Cover photo for Harlow Kenneth Fischman's Obituary
1932 Harlow 2022

Harlow Kenneth Fischman

December 19, 1932 — October 27, 2022

Sandpoint, ID

Harlow Kenneth Fischman, 89, passed away on Thursday, October 27, 2022 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Ken will be buried at Mt. Eden Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY.

Graveside services will be livestreamed at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (1:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on Friday, November 4, 2022 at the Lakeview Funeral Home in Sandpoint.

Ken was born on December 19, 1932 in Brooklyn, NY to Irving and Doris Fischman. He graduated from Erasmus Hall High School and then from Brooklyn College. He then earned his master’s degree from the University of Arkansas and later his Ph.D. in genetics from New York University.

Ken worked for many years at the New York State Psychiatric Institute as a medical geneticist, investigating the role of environmental and psychological stress in genetic damage. He also served on the faculty of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Ken married Lanie Johnson in 1989 in Princeton, NJ. After Ken retired they traveled the United States pulling a camper, while maintaining close ties to his widowed mother and dear family and friends.  They stopped at Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington to man a fire tower. They made another stop at a national forest near Bonners Ferry, Idaho before settling in Sandpoint.

An avid kayaker, wilderness enthusiast and environmentalist, Ken founded the Columbia University Kayak Club and taught wilderness survival skills. He had a strong interest in the sustainable cultures of hunter-gatherers, maintaining a website on the topic. He authored two books: Sleeping With Wolves, about natural history, evolution, and culture; and Brooklyn Boy: A Memoir , recounting his childhood in New York.

He is survived by his wife Lanie Johnson of Sandpoint. He is also survived by two sons: Joshua Fischman (Huichong Chang) of Silver Spring, MD, and Benjamin Fischman (Jasmine Lee) of Rockville, MD, from his first marriage to Gwendolyn Fischman of Brooklyn. Ken leaves two grandchildren, Roy and Mirabel of Rockville, MD . He also leaves a niece, Judith Rodwin of Pennsylvania, and a nephew, Andrew Kass of Connecticut, and many cherished friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his two sisters Ethel and Naomi.

Graveside Services, Mt. Eden Cemetery, Hawthorne, N.Y. on Friday, Nov.4,2022 at 1:00 PM.


21 West Stevens Ave.

Hawthorne, New York 10532


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