In Memoriam



Clifford C. Herdman, 83, of Cape Coral, Florida, passed peacefully at Cape Coral Hope Hospice on Monday, February 28, 2011. Born in West New York, NJ, on February 26, 1928, he went on to become an athlete, engineer, sportsman, and civic leader.

While serving as a Petty Officer in the Navy, he traveled the South Pacific playing center for their championship basketball team. He went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from New York University. He was a civil engineer for the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey for 42 years in charge of future planning for major thoroughfares like the George Washington Bridge and Newark International Airport.

He and his wife, Doris Santoro-Herdman, retired to FL in 1994 where he served on the boards of the Cape Coral Fishing Club; Cape Coral Historical Museum (lovingly taking care of the rose garden); and the beautification committee of Ft. Myers and Cape Coral.

He was pre-deceased by his parents, Mary Murphy and Charles Herdman. He is survived by his loving wife, Doris; his brother Ralph (Claire); his four children, Chris, Beth, Louise, and Paul (Dana); two stepchildren, Sandra and Jerry (Bernadette); nine grandchildren, Sasha, Hali, Ayla, Emma, Kelsa, Leah, Olivia, Jesse, Jerry (Denise); and one great grandson, Nicholas. Collectively, they shared thousands of memories catching blue fish, sharing jokes, ballroom dancing, playing hoops, working in his gardens, building tree forts and frog ponds and camping on Lake George.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 19th at 11:30 am at St. Andrews Church in Cape Coral. In lieu of flowers, his family suggests memorial donations be made to Hope Hospice in Cape Coral or the Alvin Dubin Alzheimers Resource Center in Fort Myers, Florida.  Arrangements: Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Funeral Home

Published in The News-Press on March 3, 2011

 Copyright 2011

It is indeed a tribute to a man who obviously invokes many fond memories from his fellow workers, I received a few emails about cliff and thought it appropriate that I share them for all to read......Webmaster

Sent:      Sunday, 3/6/2011 10:28:24 P.M.
Subject:  Cliff Herdman

Hi Arnold,

My Cliff Herdman story is quite similar to yours.

I was a new engineering trainee and I had worked only a short time for Joe Fabian, Paul Nicholson and Frank Cummings in Terminals when I was transferred to a rush project in Tunnels and Bridges. Irv Gould introduced me to Cliff who was warm and friendly from the start.  He was working on an additional bridge for the NY bridge approach project.  This bridge had to "catch up" with the rest of the project and a final estimate was needed.  I told Cliff I had never done an estimate and in the following several days, I prepared an estimate as Cliff instructed, corrected and encouraged me. 

Bid time approached and I was very uncomfortable after the bid opening as Mr Gould and Cliff approached me with no sign of a smile on their faces.  It seems Cliff had taught me too well and our estimate was exactly the same as that of the low bidder!  Mr Kyle, the Chief Engineer, had tasked them with determining if I had any connections to the low bid contractor. I went on to work for Cliff on structural integrity but I will never forget "the estimate".  Although I moved to other divisions, Cliff was the kind of person who always had time to say hello and ask how things were going, and I spent many hours discussing engineering solutions with him.  He was a true professional and a great asset to the Engineering Department.

Paul Wood

Sent:      3/6/2011 10:05:25 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subject:  Cliff Herdman

Cliff was a great guy, a friend, a gentleman and a pleasure to work with.  I first met Cliff, more than fifty years ago, when he was the lead structural designer to construct a new Bayonne Bridge Toll Plaza and Building.  I was one of the new engineering trainees, working with him, on the project.  Shortly after the building was constructed he asked me to investigate something very strange.  The heating unit, in the building, was lifted off the floor and appeared to be floating in the air.  We both laughed when I reported what I had found.

Adjacent to the building, which was supported by foundations resting on rock, was an abandoned rock quarry that had been back filled with, loose, garbage more than 100 years before.  When the work started the site appeared to be a virgin forest.  The large diameter pipe, that provided gas to the heating unit, was supported by garbage in the quarry.  When the grade was raised, to be compatible with the plaza elevations, the quarry and the pipe settled.  Since the pipe that rested on the building did not settle and the pipe in the quarry area did a fulcrum was created that lifted the heater.

I still remember Cliff Herdman and his warm smile and friendship.

Arnold Aronowitz


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