Herbert A. Nestler, 101, died on Feb. 11, Born on the Lower East Side of New York City to Jacob and Esther Trachtenberg Nestler, Herbert was the middle of three sons. He was raised in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Although his family was poor in resources — he and his two brothers shared a single bed for much of their childhoods — they were rich in spirit within a tight community of close family and friends. Herb graduated from New Utrecht High School and became the first in his family to attend college, obtaining a BA from
Brooklyn College in 1933, their first graduating class as an independent campus. He later obtained an MA in Zoology from Columbia University, after which Herb joined the New York City school system as a Biology teacher at Andrew Jackson High School. He then became Chairman of Biology and General Science at Franklin K. Lane High School, later moving in the same position to Martin Van Buren High School. He retired from the school system in 1972 after 37 years of service. During this period and for several years after retirement, he taught various courses in biological sciences at a number of colleges and universities, including Brooklyn College, Hofstra University, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He authored several books and created audiovisual teaching aids focused on numerous topics in the natural and physical sciences. He was the consummate teacher who had a unique ability to explain complicated principles and to share his enthusiasm for nature. Generations of his students in high school and college, as well as campers at
Camp Starlight, Starlight, PA, became enraptured by the miracles of the living environment.
Herb and his beloved wife, Mildred Leichtling Nestler, shared a lifetime of joys and laughter and were uniquely devoted to one another for 71 years. Doting father to his two children and their spouses, Barbara Nestler Hoffman and Craig Hoffman and Eric Nestler and
Susan DeRenzo Nestler; to his five grandchildren and spouse, Nathan and Rose Asoulin Hoffman, Sam Hoffman, David Nestler, Matthew Nestler, and Jane Nestler; and to his great granddaughter, Josephine Lilli Hoffman; tireless in the time he devoted to his family, and unselfish in attending to and enabling their dreams, he will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Herbert Nestler Scholarship Fund, checks payable to Herricks School District, c/o Maria Metz, 100 Shelter Rock Rd., New Hyde Park.