Memorial Roll

Eddie Zissman

Eddie Zissman

Eddie Zissman passed away during the morning hours of 1 October 2018.  Seven months previous, Eddie was diagnosed with glioblastoma a malignancy that grows and spreads aggressively, accounting for more than 50 percent of all astrocytomas which are the most common Central Nevous System tumors of the brain. Glioblastomas occur most often in adults between the ages of 50 and 70.  Surgery and aggressive radiation with chemotherapy were unsucessful in abating the effects of Eddie's  tumors.

Despite almost immediate surgery followed by aggressive radiation treatment and chemotherapy, the cancer was virtually unabated.  The change in Eddie's physical and mental condition was dramatic; his family and close friends agreed that the vigor of a scuba-diver and sky-diver had vanished almost over-night.  His ability to communicate became more impaired and Eddie's memory failed as the weeks and months passed.  Now the vivacious personality we knew in high school and during his career as a pharmacist, a teacher, a chocolatier, a parent, and grandparent has ended.

Those of the Class of 1966 who attended the 50-Year Reunion two years ago this month will recall at the Dinner & Dance the box of chocolates in a custom box bearing the reunion's logo, tied--up by hand with an orange ribbon.  That box of chocolates for each of the over 140 persons attending the Dinner & Dance was a gift from Eddie and his wife, Debbie.  That particular confection was created by Debbie's chocolate shop (in his retirement, Eddie worked for Debbie at the chocolate company) had won a first prize in national competition earlier in 2016.  Five years earlier, Eddie flew from a conference in Italy to El Paso, arriving on Saturday afternoon, just so he could be with his classmates for the Dinner & Dance of the EPHS66 45-year reunion that same night.  He was that committed to and enjoyed so much his Lamar and EPHS classmates.


Edward Herman Zissman, affectionately known throughout his life as Eddie, was surrounded by family when he lost his battle with glioblastoma on October 1st, 2018.

Eddie was born on February 20, 1948, to Jennie Moskowitz Zissman and the Reverend Phillip Zissman in El Paso, Texas. He was a graduate of El Paso High School where he was quarterback of his football team. He was active in the Jewish community and was a BBG beau. Upon high school graduation in 1966, Eddie attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned degrees in pharmacy and pharmacology.

He was a loyal, Lead Pharmacist at Eckerd and CVS for over 40 years. He took enormous pride in his career and was a vital part in the care and well-being of the many patients whose lives he touched.

Eddie is preceded in death by his wife Debra Friedman Zissman, mother of his children Heather and Eric, Debra’s parents, Sonny and Francis Friedman, his parents, and his brother-in-law, Marvin Dinesman.

In 1993, Eddie met Deborah Greenfield Zissman and they married a year and a half later. They shared travel, laughter, and the closeness of a large, loving family. Debbie survives Eddie as do his children: daughter Heather Fishman and husband Douglas, son Eric Zissman, son Jonathon Reckles and wife Suzie, daughter Meredith Bleiler and husband Seth, and his grandchildren Hannah and Justin Fishman. Eddie is also survived by his in-laws, Marianne and Larry Greenfield, sister Rhea Dinesman, brother-in-law Joel Friedman and wife Tevia, sister-in-law Elizabeth Krohn and husband Matt, sister-in-law Michelle Stone and husband Howard, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Eddie’s kindness had no limits. There was never a favor, a mitzvah, that he would refuse for anyone. Whether it was pitching in when his children moved residences, working with Debbie in their business efforts, or cutting the grass at the family ranch, Eddie was always there. He was the most incredible dad and grandpa, spending endless amounts of time with his children and grandchildren creating lasting memories. He had a witty sense of humor, a knack for storytelling, spoke 7 languages, and loved playing guitar. He had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed scuba diving and skydiving with his sons. Like a true Texan, Eddie was always proudly wearing cowboy boots, cheering on his Longhorns, and thoroughly enjoyed all the time he spent at his family ranch. Eddie loved to dress for the occasion and lit up the room with his outgoing, friendly personality. He was a role model to all who knew him and took great pride in a job well done. The works of his hands and the love he instilled in hearts of those who knew him will keep Eddie’s memory a blessing.

Funeral services will be held at Emanu El Synagogue, 1500 Sunset Boulevard, on Thursday, October 4th, 2018 at 10 am. A graveside service will immediately follow at Beth Yeshurun Cemetery, 1037 Post Oak Road. That evening, a short service and dinner will be held at Emanu El Synagogue at 6 pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Music Therapy Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann online at, by mail to 929 Gessner, Suite 2650, Houston, TX 77024, or by phone at 713-242-4400. Please notate in the comments that the donation is designated in memory of Eddie Zissman to the TIRR Music Therapy Program. Donations are also welcome to Jewish Family Service at