Obituary: Joel Fairman


Joel M. Fairman, 91, died peacefully at home in Hobe Sound, Florida on March 24.. Formerly of Locust Valley. Born in New York City, he played stickball near Yankee Stadium and tried his first skis on the Belvedere Hill in Central Park.

After graduating from the Horace Mann School in 1947, he made his way through UNC Chapel Hill, Columbia and Cornell before finding his true alma mater at Amherst College, where he was a DU brother and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in 1952.

After finishing his JD at Yale Law School (’55), where he was an editor of the Law Journal, he returned to New York to practice at Patterson Belknap & Webb. In 1960, he moved into investment banking at Bache Halsey Stuart Shields, eventually leading the Prudential-Bachecommunications practice. In 1982, he founded Faircom Inc.,which merged with Regent Communications in 1998, from which he retired as Vice Chairman in 2004.

In 1959, he wed Claire Martin of Cincinnati, OH, a cultured and well-traveled Radcliffe graduate (’54) who was his intellectual equal and life partner for 52 years. Together they raised three children in Manhattan and then in Locust Valley, where he was an avid tennis player into his eighties at Piping Rock Club. He played hockey until age 75 at Beaver Dam Winter Sports Club, where he served on the board and the membership committee, joining a travel team to play in the Senior Olympics Hockey Tournament for several years. An avid skier through his seventies, he passed his love of the slopes to his three children and five grandchildren. He was also a member of the Racquet & Tennis Club, Doubles, the New England Society, and the Winter Wheezers. A Trustee of the Village of Lattingtown, he chairedthe Board of Zoning Appeals. After retiring, he joined the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Long Island Harmonizers, where he performed as a soloist while strumming his signature ukulele.

In 2013, he relocated to live his final years in Hobe Sound FL, where he joined Jupiter Island Club, swimming daily until his last months and performing with the chorus. He was also a member of Hobe Sound Yacht Club. Beloved for his wit, intellect, and puckish charm, he will be dearly missed by all who knew him, especially by his surviving children, David and Helen, his son-in-law David Weyerhaeuser and daughter-in-law Juliette Zener, and his five grandchildren, Joshua and Isaac Fairman and Blake, Jackie and Charlie Weyerhaeuser. He was predeceased by his wife Claire Martin Fairman in 2011 and by his daughter Betsy Fairman Weyerhaeuser in 2013.

Arrangements entrusted to Dodge-Thomas Funeral Home of Glen Cove. Memorial services will be held at a later date and donations may be made to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, McLean Hospital, or Jupiter Medical Center Foundation.

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