Athlete, reporter from Valley remembered
A beloved athlete and writer from the Naugatuck Valley died Friday surrounded by his family.
Harry “Lime” Katzman, 87, of Ansonia, was born on Aug. 7, 1930, in Canada. He got the nickname for his love of lime soda, longtime friend Greg Stamos said.
“Harry was really part of the family,” Stamos said Saturday. “He was the last repository of all the old Valley stories.”
At the age of 5, Katzman lost his right arm in an accident.
“Despite that, there was never an ounce of pity or woe is me,” Stamos said. “As a matter of fact, he would have been resentful if anyone took sympathy toward him for it.”
Katzman actually went on to play baseball, basketball and softball for years. Later, he became a mentor for others, acting as coach and manager for several teams, an obituary for him said.
He followed his passion for sports in his career, covering games throughout the Naugatuck Valley for The Evening Sentinel. He developed a weekly column — “Limelights.” He was eventually promoted to sports editor, a position he stayed in for 35 years until he retired.
John Sponheimer, a lawyer in Ansonia who grew up in Derby and now lives in Orange, said he recalls the Limelights column and how it made an impression on him and others in the Valley.
“He touched so many people — male and female — with that column,” said Sponheimer, who played basketball in the Valley growing up and has coached football in Ansonia for 47 years.
“He was one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met,” Sponheimer said.
He said he met Katzman when he played for the basketball team in high school.
“It was such a thrill to have your name in his column,” Sponheimer said. “He always wanted every Valley athlete to succeed.”
The two kept in touch over the years, occasionally giving Katzman his view on teams and players for Limelights.
Katzman is survived by his wife Carolyn ( Sitar) Katzman, his two daughters, five grandchildren, two great- grandchildren, his brother- in- law and several nephews and nieces.
Funeral services will take place Sunday at 10: 30 a. m. at Beth Israel Cemetery, 855 Derby Milford Road in Orange. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Connecticut Hospi- tal, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405.
A period of mourning will be observed following the service until 8: 30 p. m. at the family’s home, 39 Riverside Drive in Milford.
To sign an online registry book or leave a message of condolence, visit www. shurefuneralhome. com.