Longtime Fisherman contributor and former field editor Manny R. Luftglass passed away on February 25, 2020 at Wellington Regional Medical Center in Florida from complications from influenza. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he and his wife, Karen Kelly, were snowbirds, alternating between New Jersey and Florida.  Manny was 84.

Manny was an insurance agent for most of his life who started his own business, Insurance Affiliates, with his good friend Paul Markowitz in Somerville, NJ. After retiring from the insurance business, he sold real estate for several years, specializing in condominiums.

Manny was also active in local politics as well as an avid environmentalist for many years. He was twice elected mayor of Somerville where he proclaimed the Somerville Borough Hall the first Municipal Peace Site in the world. Not surprisingly, Manny was an honorary chairman of Citizens Against Nuclear Arms.

One of his proudest accomplishments was his founding of the first recycling program in New Jersey, WASTE (We Are Somerville Together for Ecology), the proceeds of which were used to fund the planting of over 200 trees in and around the parks and streets of Somerville.   He also helped found the Women’s Health and Counseling Center in Somerville. He was especially proud that both of his daughters followed his lead in politics, Barbara having served on the Ledyard Board of Education for six years, and Sue involved in many presidential campaigns on a local level.

Manny’s first and true love was fishing. He fished saltwater and freshwater and had fish blood in his veins. Wherever he was, Manny fished 12 months out of the year, and every vacation that he took had to include an opportunity to fish. If anyone asked what his religion was, the answer would be fishing.

Luftglass would go on to host a radio show that broadcast from stations WCTC and WBRW in New Jersey, and authored many fishing newspaper columns and magazines in New Jersey and Florida, all titled “Gone Fishin’.” All of his radio shows and newspaper columns would end with his signature phrase, “S’cuse me, gone fishin’.” This phrase is forever etched into the memories of everyone who knew Manny, and into the back of his boat, the ‘Gone Fishin.’

Manny was the author or co-author of over two dozen books about fishing, the titles of which all started with the words “Gone Fishin’.” He even taught courses at adult education centers in New Jersey and Florida, aptly titled ”Fishing in New Jersey” and “Fishing in Florida;” what else?

“Manny and I fished two to four times every week in all but the most inclement weather, and I have never known a better fisherman or a finer man,” wrote Ron Bern in a tribute to Luftglass on his obituary at All County Funeral Home and Crematory in Lake Worth.

A tribute to his life, which will include the planting of a tree in Somerville, is being planned for some time this spring.



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