Remembering Charlie Lomnitzer

Charlie Lomnitzer — a Westport social studies teacher for 30 years– died last week, surrounded by loved ones at his longtime Black Rock home. He was 91.

The New York city native joined the US Army in 1946, age of 17. He was deployed to occupied Japan and served in the 24th Infantry Division, 34th Regiment, with the military police. Lomnitzer then continued to serve, as a Marine Corps as sergeant.

His respect for the military continued. He supported West Point athletes as a football season-ticket holder for 49 years, and was an honored member of its Five Star Club. He took interested students on tours of West Point too.

Lomnitzer earned a BS degree in social studies in 1960 from Southern Connecticut State University. He complete his 5th and 6th year studies of European and American History at Southern Connecticut State and Fairfield Universities.

Charlie Lomnitzer

He taught for 3 decades at Bedford Junior High School and Bedford Middle School.

As a member of First Church Congregational in Fairfield, Lomnitzer enjoyed meeting church friends while assembling monthly newsletters.

He was an avid walker, keeping fit with daily walks around St. Mary’s by the Sea.

He read several newspapers daily, and liked to discuss current events of any topic. He was a spirited sports fan, and loved traveling and cruising in Europe with his wife Beverly.

He was passionate too about cooking for the family. A favorite pastime was listening to the music of Frank Sinatra and big bands.

In addition to his wife of 60 years, Beverly, he is survived by his children, Charles L. Lomnitzer of New Bedford, Massachusetts; Lauren Novotny of Monroe, and Liesl Cugno of Stratford; 6 grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

In his last year, Charlie Lomnitzer cared for by Masonicare Hospice-At-Home and by several caring aides from Companions & Homemakers. He developed individual relationships with each aide, in his own special way. His family is grateful for the hospice nurses and aides who lovingly cared for him.

A private memorial service takes place Friday (September 18, 12 p.m.) at First Church Congregational. He will receive full Military Honors on the front lawn of the church around 1 p.m.; all are welcome outside.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Church Congregational, 148 Fairfield Beach Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. Click here to sign the guest register.

20 responses to “Remembering Charlie Lomnitzer

  1. Vivianne Pommier

    I remember him well as my social studies teacher in 6th grade at Bedford Elementary. My prayers and condolences to his family.
    We will never forget him, he was wonderful.

  2. Godspeed Mr. Lomnitzer. One of my favorites.

  3. K.F. Spearen ..

    One of my Favorite Teachers , of all Time .. I would often stop by to say hello to him , while he was still teaching at Bedford.. I remember the day I payed hime a visit wearing my uniform , while on leave from the Army .. He was Very Impressed with my Ranger Tab , and Flight wings …… Godspeed Charlie .. You were one of the Rare Good Guys

  4. Mr. Lomnitzer was my home room as well as taught social studies in 6th grade at Bedford El. But more than that, he taught me perseverance and accountability. A truly good man. Than you and RIP Mr. Lomnitzer.

  5. Claudia Pessagno

    So sorry to hear of Mr. Lomnitzer’s passing. He was my teacher at Bedford back in 1990. He was a great teacher. I’ve always remembered him and can still picture standing at the front of the class lecturing. My condolences to the family.

  6. Rest in peace . Thankyou for your sevice. And thanks for being my teacher.

  7. We all remember our teachers. I’m 73 and remember my first grade teacher at Greens Farms School, Miss Spencer. We all remember our all time favorite teacher too, who might have influenced us. I had an English teacher in high school who basically taught me how to write. I want everyone reading this to think about their favorite teacher who influenced them.

  8. Cindy Gough Stalnaker

    Mr. Lomnitzer was my sixth grade teacher at Bedford El, it was the year JFK was assassinated. Mr. Lomnitzer was gruff at times, but fair. I was always enthralled with how he wore his wristwatch on the inside of his wrist, and he kept the class riveted with his stories about military life in the Marines. That sixth grade year, troll dolls were all the rage, and he let the girls keep their trolls on the corner of their desk. Only on the corner. Only one. RIP.

  9. Werner Liepolt

    Charlie was a great colleague and exemplary teacher. Proud to know him. Proud to have taught with him. Sad to see him go.

    My condolences to all who were dear to him.

  10. Just a lovely man. Thanks Dan for the memories and for letting us know.

  11. Michael Brennecke

    Such a great, special teacher. One of my all time favorites. My sister and I both had him and one of my kids actually had him as well. Lucky us.

  12. Thank you Dan, wonderful post. Mr. Lomnitzer was one of the best. How blessed those of us who were educated in Westport back in the 70’s and 80’s had the good fortuned of being taught by so many from the Greatest Generation. They embraced the young liberal hippie teachers of the day, and all created a learning experience like no other for all of us.
    I never made it to the “upstairs” at Bedford Elementary where Mr. Lomnitzer taught, but did catch up to him at Bedford Junior High School. Enjoyed the many talks as a 14 and 15 year old about West Point. The Army – Navy game, sports, etc.
    The life lessons taught by Mr. Lomnitzer and others of his generation went far beyond the classroom.
    RIP Mr. L. life well lived, and a legacy that will live on for a long time in the hearts of so many you touched.

  13. Probably my favorite teacher of all time. I still hear his voice st various times. Bedford El. 6th grade ‘64. I recall he never understood Bealemania. From the hair to the screaming it was simply a foreign concept to him. Big Detroit Lions fan.

  14. My condolences to his family & friends.
    I had Mr. Lomnitzer as well in 6th grade at Bedford El.
    The many responses from his young students of the past is a testament to the great impressions he left on all of us. Rest in Peace.

  15. John D. McCarthy

    Mr. Lomnitzer was indeed a great teacher. Scared me at first a little as a BJHS 7th grader, but he quickly became one of my favorites.

  16. Patrick Eastin

    How fortunate I was to have Mr. Lomnitzer as my Bedford Elementary 6th grade homeroom and social studies teacher in 1967. It’s been so long but my memories of him are of a stand up guy, a straight shooter, a kind and giving man who had a passion, a gift, as an educator for young people. Condolences to his family. I hope his life was well lived. Rest in peace, Mr. Lomnitzer.

  17. Domingo and Debbie Serrano

    You will be missed Charlie! Will always hold dear the times we talked about the Bible. Precious Memories!

  18. great teacher, so glad I had him!

  19. a moment of tenderness from a man of high standards …

    Recess was after lunch. It was from 12:30 until 1:00. The reason I remember this so well is that on rainy days we would file into the auditorium to see a half-hour film. Unfortunately by the time we got into our seats and they got the film threaded the first ten minutes of the recess time had expired. Sometimes the movie was a reel of three cartoons and they would only show two of them. That wasn’t such a big deal. However they occasionally would start a full half-hour of Rin Tin Tin. I can still remember the episode: Rusty (the little blonde kid) had been talking to big Chief somebody-or-other about the White Buffalo. “Only the greatest warrior could actually see the White Buffalo, ugh” explained the Chief. Later on in the episode Rusty and Rin-Tin-Tin were on the desert plain. For some reason all the adult authority figures were somewhere else and the regular buffaloes were stampeding. “Run and get help Rinny”. The German shepherd would bark and run off. Then Rusty would look up and there was the White Buffalo!!!!!! Baaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrumph. The projector would run down and the screen would go dark. The lights would come up. 1:00. Time to go back to class. Each time this would happen the sound of 300 disappointed little voices would raise a little higher. Finally, around the seventh time this scene was repeated the outcry of disappointment reached a fever pitch. Mr. Lomnitzer came running down the center aisle, waving his arms wildly. “EVERYONE TAKE THEIR SEATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I was sure that we were about to receive some unfathomable punishment for expressing our displeasure so vehemently. To my utter amazement he said “Cut the lights and run the end of the movie. We are all going to find out what happens to Rusty and the White Buffalo.”

  20. Leanne M. Hudson

    These entries from former students and people who knew Charlie over the years are so precious and seem to say all anyone would need to know about him to respect and admire him. I’ve only known him a handful of years but have thought I would have liked to know him when. I imagine he had many volumes of wonderful stories and anecdotes and words of wisdom. An intellect, a good sportsman, a man of faith, a brave soldier, a caring and compassionate advisor to his loved ones and students, a faithful and devoted husband and father and grandfather – what more could one say about any man?


    Not – How did he die? But – How did he live?
    Not – What did he gain? But – What did he give?

    These are the things that measure the worth
    Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

    Not – What was his station? But – had he a heart?
    And – How did he play his God-given part?

    Was he ever ready with a word of good cheer?
    To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

    Not – What was his church? Not – What was his creed?
    But – Had he befriended those really in need?

    Not – What did the sketch in the newspaper say?
    But – How many were sorry when he passed away?

    These are the things that measure the worth
    Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

    Author: Anonymous