San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)
Sept. 1, 1936 - Apr. 15, 2021
Martin Stillman died peacefully in his Lake Park home at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife Carol Cohen of Oakland, brother Leonard Stitelman of Albuquerque, daughter Ruth Dashiell (Dan) of Orinda, son Mark Stillman (Kate) of Boise, stepson Brian Cohen (Randy) of Beverly Hills and stepdaughter Dana Cohen (Jeff Simon) of Piedmont; and 9 grandchildren.
Stillman, known to family and friends as Marty, was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. He was a tall, wiry kid who excelled in all athletics, with his brother Len having fond memories of him playing baseball in empty lots with his friends. He attended Columbia University and received an Economics degree in 1958. After college he entered active duty in the US Navy, serving aboard the USS Lake Chaplain from 1958 to 1959, and the USS Little Rock from 1960 to 1961. During a record review, his commanding officer gave Stillman a mark of “Outstanding performance, a very fine officer” and remarked “under the leadership and guidance of Lt Stillman, the 2nd division was one of the best divisions of the Pre-Commissioning Detail at Personnel Inspection” and “…a fine subordinate who is cheerful and loyal in executing the orders of his superiors.” He served in the Naval reserves for 13 years, rising to rank of Lieutenant Commander at the time of his honorable discharge in 1974. Marty changed his name from Stitelman to Stillman (hat tip Bob Lipsyte), moved to San Francisco in 1963, married Bernice Elaine Zuckerman in 1966, and started a family in Danville and Lafayette in the late 1960s. He worked 10 years for Prudential Insurance company as Associate General Manager of Real Estate investments, and in 1973 realized his dream of founding Stillman Commercial in Walnut Creek. According to his resume, as Managing General Partner, Marty “aggressively managed properties to maintain high occupancy rates, quality tenants and maximum property values.”
In 1986 Marty married Carol Cohen and started a new chapter in his life. He enjoyed traveling with Carol, visiting all corners of the world. For many years Marty shared office space with Richard Singer whose wit, charm and caring heart made him a great friend. He loved playing tennis with friends, cherishing his weekly doubles matches with Norman Licht, Chuck Batts and Rick Hazard. He always made it a priority to be involved with Ruth, Dan, Mark, Kate and their children as they raised their own families. And he embraced his expanded family, creating strong bonds with Dana, Jeff, Brian, Randy and their children.
In his later years, Marty embraced learning through The Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning in San Francisco with his good friend Harry Citron.
According to his son Mark, “He was a great father with a good heart. He was always there for me, and he taught me so much. He left me with happy memories of playing tennis together, watching action movies, traveling and always cheering me on in everything I did. Over the last 5 years we spent a lot of quality time together and I am proud to be called Marty’s son. I love and miss you dad! And I’ll never forget you.”
Contributions in Marty Stillman’s memory may be sent to: The Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117.