The Coastal Star

Mayor served town he loved

By Rich Pollack

For Highland Beach Mayor Carl Feldman, serving as the leader of the commission was the culmination of a love for the town that started when he moved here in 2000.

He died Dec. 24, following an illness, while holding the title that meant so much to him. He was 79.

A dedicated elected official, Mr. Feldman was in his second year of a three-year term as mayor. He had previously served for four years as a town commissioner and had worked on campaigns for other elected officials, including former Mayor Bernard Featherman.

“Carl was an outstanding man who was very intelligent and very fair-minded,” Featherman said. “He was involved because he cared very much about the citizens of Highland Beach.”

Mr. Feldman also was the vice president of the Beach Condominium Association of Boca Raton and Highland Beach, and he served on the board of the Villa Costa Condominium, where Mr. Feldman was president for several years and Featherman was secretary.

He was dedicated to the residents of Highland Beach and to working in local government.

“It became his passion,” said his wife, Lois, to whom he’d been married for almost 53 years. “He had a passion for making things better and doing it in a kind way, the right way, so everyone would benefit.”

Born in Boston, Mr. Feldman was a successful businessman who held a degree in manufacturing engineering from Northeastern University. He formed three companies, including one focused on importing and distributing Spanish cutting tools. He was an Eagle Scout and a Mason.

Prior to running for a three-year commission seat in 2013, Mr. Feldman served as a member of the town’s planning board and volunteered at community events.

“He went out of his way to help others,” Featherman said. “He wasn’t the type of man who wanted credit for things. He wanted to give that credit to other people.”

During a private celebration of Mr. Feldman’s life on Dec. 30, he was remembered by those who served with him in various organizations as someone who was honorable, trusting, and always a gentleman.

“He was modest, practical, down to earth and cherished the things that were important to him,” said former Vice Mayor Bill Weitz, who spoke at the gathering. “He was also tough in a warm and loving way.”

Mr. Feldman was also described as a generous man, willing to jump in and lend a hand to whoever needed it.

“Carl was always willing to help you out,” said Emily Gentile, president of the Beach Condominium Association of Boca Raton and Highland Beach.

Commissioner Peggy Gossett-Seidman, who served with Mr. Feldman since March, remembered him as a public official who took the time to meet with residents and listen to their concerns.

“Mayor Feldman was a gentle man who devoted many years of service to Highland Beach,” Gossett-Seidman said. “He tried earnestly to do the right thing for the town and viewed issues with a conservative and fair approach.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Feldman is survived by two daughters, Jill Smith and her husband, Frank; and Michelle Rieck and her husband, Tom; his brother, Dr. Howard Feldman, and sister-in-law, Roberta Feldman, and four grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to the National Arthritis Research Foundation, curearthritis.org/donation.

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