Paul Charles Blackman of Delray Beach, Fla., the dearly loved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle died July 20, 2020, from complications due to COVID-19. He was surrounded by his family at Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Fla.
Born Jan. 1, 1941, to Rose and Lewis Blackman (both deceased), he grew up in Cleveland Heights and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1960. He loved sports and was a varsity letter athlete, excelling in football, basketball and track (shot put). He went to Ohio University on a football scholarship, was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) Fraternity and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism. He joined the U.S. Army as a reservist in 1960 and served six months in Military Police school. During the Berlin Crisis, he was called out of class and sent to serve a year at Fort Polk, La. Returning to Ohio University, he completed the four year course in three years by taking extra classes.
For two years, Paul was a probation officer for Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court while attending Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
In 1968, Paul found his calling, beginning his 40-year career trailblazing the world of Wall Street. At age 28, he was one of the youngest branch managers in the country of a New York Stock Exchange firm. By age 30 in 1971, Paul was vice president and resident manager at the Shaker Square branch of Cleveland-based Prescot, Merrill, Turben & Go., the largest regional investment firm between New York and Chicago. He joined the investment house after attending The New York Institute of Finance in Manhattan and graduating at the top of his class. He was one of its top producers out of 16 branch offices and 350 employees.
His career continued over the years as a national sales manager of several firms, including Cowen & Company NYC, Ladenburg Thalman Financial, Rodman & Renshaw, Chicago and others that have since been bought out.
At one time during these years, he became head of the bankers and brokers division of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and was emotional and excited to be on a mission to Israel with important dignitaries.
On March 10, 1968, Paul married Sherry Miller of Beachwood, whom he met on a blind date exactly one year prior. As members of Temple on the Heights (eventually B’nai Jeshurun Congregation), they were married by Rabbi Rudolph Rosenthal and Cantor Saul Meisels. Within seven years, they had four daughters: Kelly, Melissa, Alyson and Liza. Natives of Cleveland, Paul and Sherry raised their daughters in the beautiful suburb of Shaker Heights. After many decades of being “snowbirds,” in 2014 they said goodbye to their hometown and settled in Delray Beach.
To describe Paul’s passions: He was a lover of dogs especially his own, obsessed with golf, golf and more golf, especially with his best friends at (MGB) Mizner Golf Buddies, Addicted to his hometown sports teams (Browns, Cavs, Indians), emotional about the state of Israel, absorbed by movies especially the oldies (“Casablanca” being his favorite), craved sushi, steak, Geraci’s, affinity for old cars and sports cars, intrigued by history (especially Holocaust and mafia documentaries), passionate about the music from “Les Miserables,” and mad about Munchee cheese and spicy Bloody Mary’s from Daily’s.
To describe Paul as the Blackman patriarch: Known as “Grandpa,” “Papa” and even Paul. His Sherry, daughters and grandchildren were all he needed in life to be gloriously happy. He played the most special role in each daughter and grandchild’s life. When he wasn’t playing golf, he was with one or some of them. He became a “Soccer Dad” and some of his nicknames for the group were: “Sis,” “Miss Know It All,” “The Finster,” “Ri,” “Mills,” “TyTy,” “Lu,” “O,” “Mitt,” and “G-Unit.”
Paul’s love for his family had no bounds.
To describe Paul: “Aha Tall Paul,” he lived his life fearlessly. He was one of a kind, He never met a male whom he didn’t ask to arm wrestle. He was brave, loyal with fierce determination, strong and confident. He was respected and admired by countless friends, co-workers, relatives, clients, everyone who met him. A true leader. Since he moved to Florida, Paul Charles Blackman would get up very early in the morning, walk down his driveway to get his three newspapers, gaze at the blue sky and palm trees and say: “Thank you G-D for another day in paradise” ... and that is who he is. A lover of life.
Paul is survived by the love of his life, his wife Sherry (married 52 years); daughters, Kelly Unger, Melissa (Douglas Lamb), Alyson (Christopher Kiely) and Liza Blackman; grandchildren: Tyler, Patrick, Carter, Chase, Sloane, Griffin, Brooks, Oliver, Cruz, Finley, Rio and Miller; sisters: Gayle (Moe Safenovitz) and Sondra (Abe Newman); and many nieces and nephews. The following are deceased: aunt Evelyn and uncle Sydney Horwitz, and grandmother, Dora Tolchinsky.
Special thank you to Boca Raton Regional Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Weston (Florida).
Donations may be made to: Cleveland Clinic COVID donation. Go to: give.ccf.org, click “Donate Now” and select “Support Front-Line Garegivers and Critical Research,” or to Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation Baptist Health South Florida. Go to “donate” on BRRH.com/make-a-donation and select the designation: BRRH- Covid-19, BRRH/BHSF.