Resolution J335-2013

Mourning the death of Robert M. Best, distinguished citizen and devoted member of his community

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  • Feb 5, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Feb 5, 2013: REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • Jan 30, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  mourning  the  death of Robert M. Best, distin-
guished citizen and devoted member of his community

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body  to  pay  tribute  to
citizens  of  the  State  of  New York whose lifework and civic endeavor
served to enhance the quality of life in their communities and the great
State of New York; and
  WHEREAS, Robert M. Best of Binghamton, New York,  died  on  Wednesday,
October 10, 2012, at the age of 90; and
  WHEREAS,  Born in Newcomerstown, Ohio, in 1922, Robert M. Best was the
son of the late Beatrice Mulvane Best and Chester R. Best; and
  WHEREAS, In 1942, Robert M. Best enlisted in the  United  States  Navy
and  was separated from active duty with the rank of Lieutenant in 1946;
he continued in the active reserve until 1954; he met  his  first  wife,
the  late  Roselyn Welton, when they were both students at Ohio Wesleyan
University; and
  WHEREAS, Robert M. Best graduated from The Ohio  State  University  in
1947,  and  spent  his  entire  working  life in the insurance business,
retiring in 1990 from Security Mutual Life as Chairman of the Board;  he
was also a former CEO; and
  WHEREAS, Robert M. Best distinguished himself in his profession and by
his  sincere  dedication  and substantial contribution to the welfare of
his community; and
  WHEREAS, This remarkable man served  as  Chairman  of  two  affiliated
companies, Home Mutual Insurance Company and Security Equity Life Insur-
ance  Company; he served as the director of several companies, including
Utica Mutual, Republic Franklin, Graphic Arts Mutual,  New  York  Marine
and   General,   Marine  Midland  Bank,  Buckingham  Manufacturing,  and
Universal Instrument Company; and
  WHEREAS, In addition, Robert M. Best served the insurance industry  as
President  of  the  Life  Insurance Council of New York, Chairman of the
Medical Index Bureau, Director of the American Council  of  Life  Insur-
ance,  a  member  of  the State Insurance Board, Trustee of the New York
State Guarantee Corporation, and a life Trustee of the American College;
and
  WHEREAS, He was a member  of  the  New  York  Joint  Labor  Management
Committee,  the  New York Commission on Insurance and Banking Regulatory
Reform, Board of Governors-International Insurance Seminars, and  Chair-
man of the New York Business Council Insurance Fund; and
  WHEREAS,  A  dedicated community servant who lent his time and talents
to many organizations and who was known as a leader of  leaders,  Robert
M.    Best served as President of the Broome County Chamber of Commerce,
President of the State Chamber, and a founding Director of the New  York
State  Business  Council;  moreover, he was the founding Chairman of the
Harpur Forum, Chairman of the  Broome  County  Performing  Arts  Center,
Director of the Tri-Cities Opera, and Director of United Health Services
(UHS); and
  WHEREAS,  UHS credits Robert M. Best as the principal community leader
in the organization's successful efforts to bring open heart surgery  to
Binghamton in the 1980s; and
  WHEREAS,  The Robert M. Best Center for Cardiac Services is located at
UHS's General Hospital facility in Binghamton, New York; and
  WHEREAS, Robert M. Best also served for many  years  as  an  important
advisor  to  Senator  Warren M. Anderson on economic development, higher
education and other issues; and
  WHEREAS, Furthermore, Robert M. Best served as  Director  of  Roberson
Museum  and  Science  Center, and a member of Binghamton University (BU)

Council; he was one of the supporters for BU to create Thomas J.  Watson
School  of Engineering and Applied Science in 1983; he was also a found-
ing chair of the Harpur Forum and  a  regent  for  the  New  York  State
Department of Education; and
  WHEREAS,  Robert M. Best had the foresight to recognize the need for a
school of engineering and applied science, which today, has  become  one
of the best in the nation; and
  WHEREAS,  Robert  M.  Best was President of UHS Foundation, a founding
Director of Broome Community Charities and a member of the  State  Board
of  Regents;  he  was  a  congregant  of Trinity Memorial Church and its
vestry, the Binghamton Club, the Putting Academy, the 21 Club,  and  the
Oteyowka  Club;  he  was  a  past member of the Binghamton Country Club,
Binghamton Rotary Club, and the University Club of New York; and
  WHEREAS, The recipient of numerous awards, Robert M. Best was  honored
as  a  33rd  Degree Scottish Rite Mason in 1975; received the Man of the
Year Award from Sertoma Club, Hall of Fame Congress American Legion Post
80, State of Israel  Peace  Medal  1980,  Huebner  Gold  Medal  American
College,  and  Alumni  Citizenship  Award  from Ohio State University in
1983, Citizenship Award Binghamton University Alumni 1984, Distinguished
Citizenship Award Susquehanna Council Boy Scouts  of  America,  the  New
York State Governor's Arts Award, Commitment to Community Award New York
State  Business  Council, and Free Enterprise Award all in 1985, Distin-
guished Citizen's Award, SUNY Board of Trustees and Public Service Award
- B'nai B'rith in 1987, and the University Medal from Binghamton Univer-
sity in 1988; and
  WHEREAS, Predeceased by  three  brothers-in-law,  Fred  Smith,  Donald
Addy,  and  Dr.  Donald  Kopes, Robert M. Best is survived by his loving
wife, Shirley Smith Best; and his family: son, Eric and wife, Ronna  and
their  two  daughters, Marissa and Leah; son, Grant and daughters, Linda
and Christine; he is also survived by Shirley's family, Cynthia  VanOst-
rand and her family, Karen (Randy) Bishop, Charles Stewart and his fami-
ly,  and Brenda (Richard) Smith and their family; in addition, Robert M.
Best is survived by two wonderful sisters, Martha Jane  Addy  and  Beryl
Ann  Kopes,  Janie's son, Tom Addy (Kelly) and family, and her daughter,
Jill Little and family, and Beryl's daughters, Jane Dixon and her  fami-
ly,  and Karen Archer (David) and family, and four sisters-in-law, Wanda
(Daniel) Chisarick, Marie (Paul) Benedict, Beverly (David) Conklin,  and
Miriam Smith; and
  WHEREAS,  Armed  with  a  humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Robert M. Best leaves behind a legacy which will long endure
the passage of time and will remain as a comforting  memory  to  all  he
served and befriended; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of Robert M. Best,  distinguished  citizen  and  devoted
member of his community; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Robert M. Best.

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