Kenneth (Kenny) Paul Fleischman, 77, passed away on September 11, 2013. He was born on April 16, 1936 in the Bronx and as a child raised in Oceanside, Long Island. In 1966 he bought the SOS gas station in Sag Harbor on the Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Turnpike later know as Sag Harbor Service, KPF Automotive and Gulf. He ran the gas station for nearly 40 years before retiring.
Mr. Fleischman truly loved what he did and took much pride in his work, his family, his community and hot rods, said his daughter, Michele. He personally answered calls even throughout the night for anyone who needed help or a tow. Mr. Fleischman was actively involved with the Sag Harbor Lions Club and served as president for some time. He loved to talk of his early childhood in Oceanside where he helped run his family’s candy store/luncheonette. It is here that he learned to “sleep standing up,” he would joke.
In his 20’s he moved to California and settled just next door to Andy Southard, Jr. another Oceanside car enthusiast and renowned photographer. This forged a long friendship and together they started a business punching louvers, painting and pin striping cars. He then went on to manage the service center of the Cadillac dealership in Southampton. Mr. Fleischman later moved to Sag Harbor and his long career at Sag Harbor Service Station began.
Mr. Fleischman could easily be described as affable. He loved talking with people and telling jokes, said the family. His smile was infectious, even his eyes twinkled when he so readily shared his joy. Each customer at his station was treated with much attention. He loved sharing stories of his family, his children, telling jokes all while putting gas in their car, checking the oil, checking tire pressure, washing windows, bringing a bone for the dog and a lollipop for the children. He was incredibly grateful for each day, the opportunity to work, raise a family and participate in society, said the family.
In 2008 he moved to Naples, Florida. After a very sudden and rapid decline, he passed away in the care of Hospice. Despite Mr. Fleischman’s diagnosis of Lewy Body Disease he always remained positive. Mr. Fleischman often said “I had no room for negative thoughts or actions” and “I’m happy to be on the green side of the grass.”
Mr. Fleischman was predeceased by his parents Kay and Aaron Fleischman. His body was laid to rest at Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, New Jersey. He is survived by his first wife Marilyn Fleischman of Tamarac, Florida, his second wife Karen Raphael of Verona New Jersey; their children Lisa Rebele (Michelson) of Lake Ronkonkoma, Cindy Snook (Fleischman) of Melbourne, Florida, Andy Michelson of Newport, Rhode Island, Michele Dean (Fleischman) of Naples, Florida; his grandchildren, Craig and Megan Schiavoni, Garrett Snook, Tate, Teghan and Tanner Michelson, Saiba and Naomi Dean and his brothers Barry Fleischman of Wainscott and Boyton Beach, Florida and Zou Zou of Amsterdam, Holland.
He was a loving father, husband, brother, grandfather and friend to all, said the family. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.