David Jay Fishman died peacefully at Serenity House on July 3, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia Manzer, as well as his brothers, Alan and Fred Fishman, and their families.
David was born in Elgin, Illinois, and moved with his family to Philadelphia while in high school. He attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he injured his spinal cord in a fall. Undeterred, he returned to Pomona and graduated with honors in 1968. He moved to Santa Barbara for graduate school at UCSB. He earned a M.A. in political science from UCSB and subsequently a Ph.D. in education from Claremont Graduate University.
Before David began working in the UCSB Graduate Division in 1986, he had an accessibility consultant business and worked for various nonprofits in Santa Barbara. Graduate Division turned out to be the perfect fit. He loved working with students, staff and professors on graduate program issues, and he was appreciated in return, receiving a Staff Citation of Excellence and a Getman Service To Students Award. With great regret, he retired as Director of Graduate Academic Services in 2004 for medical reasons. Once retired, he began taking writing classes and wrote about his life experiences from childhood on. He had to give up golf but continued to swim regularly and exercise to maintain his strength.
Unfortunately, the long-term effects of his spinal cord injury began to manifest, and for many years David valiantly lived with an expanding and complex set of medical conditions. He faced the challenges of each day with a positive attitude, enjoying the small pleasures of his increasingly restricted life. He never lost his gentle humanity and quirky sense of humor. Even beyond words, he greeted all who came to his bedside with his beautiful smile.
“All right,’ said the cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.” Alice in Wonderland