Harvey Jeffrey Smilowitz, 79, passed away on Friday, September 1, 2023 from complications related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in Madison, Wisconsin. Harvey faced ALS as he approached life in general, with courage and a sense of humor, surrounded by family and friends.
Harvey was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1944 to Louis and Bertha Smilowitz and was raised in Queens. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School and Hunter College. Harvey was an Army veteran and served as a radio operator in the Signal Corp and Missile Company. Harvey had a 40-year career in pharmaceutical sales and distribution. In 1967, Harvey married Sabina Madeline (Maddy) Neffson. They raised their daughters, Jennifer and Karen in Livingston, New Jersey. Harvey was both a dedicated coach for many of their soccer and softball teams and an athlete himself bowling, playing softball and running. Over time, golf became his sport of passion. Harvey also loved watching movies and traveling the world with Maddy. Harvey and Maddy retired to Madison, Wisconsin to spend more time with their daughters and grandchildren and revive his soccer coaching career as “Coach Grandpa.” Harvey was a consummate storyteller who will be remembered for the creative and adventurous bedtime stories he passed along to his daughters and grandchildren.
Harvey is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sabina Madeline, daughters Jeni (Michael) and Karen (David); grandchildren Florencia, Logan, Eli and Alex; and brothers Bruce and Richard and their families.
The family will be sitting shiva at their home.
The family requests donations in lieu of flowers to the ALS Association of Wisconsin.