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Kenneth M Nirenberg

Jan 13, 2021

Kenneth M. Nirenberg (Ken or Kenny), age 86 of Fort Myers, Florida died on Saturday, December 26, 2020 in Fort Myers after a recent decline in health which was complicated by the COVID virus. Ken was born on November 20, 1934 in Albany, NY and was the son of the late Bertram and Rosalind Nirenberg.

As a boy and young man, he loved photography, cars, movies, music, theater and opera performances, and hockey. He attended Fessenden School, before entering high school.

In 1965, he married Sondra, “Sandy” Levine. They met in Troy, NY and they were happily married 55 years.

Ken attended Berkshire School for high school and then Boston University. There he received his B.A. and later in his life he received a honorary degree from the Albany College of Pharmacy for his service to the Board between 1991 to 1997.

Ken first worked for his uncle, Arthur Nirenberg in the family shirt making business, M Nirenberg & Sons in Troy, NY. After the business was sold in the late 1960s, he opened two restaurants in Albany that featured French cuisine. One restaurant, L’Ecole was behind Stuyvesant Plaza and was very popular. In 1983, he sold the restaurants and met Bert Trombly, who helped him start his career in finance in Albany with Cowen & Co. After moving to southwest Florida in the early 1990s, Ken continued to work in finance and joined the board of Sanibel- Captiva Community Bank to help it expand. He remained active on the bank’s board until the end of 2020.

Ken lived with Sandy for over 25 years in Fort Myers, Florida

Ken’s main hobby was to donate his time and energy to helping colleges, public organizations and businesses achieve their financial goals. He loved cooking, fine cuisine, model trains, boating, theater, fine art, and celebrating friendships and spending time with his family.

 Over 40 years, Ken donated his time and expertise to several organizations. He was a board member of St. Gregory’s School in Loudonville, NY. He supported the establishment of the Community Hospice program at St. Peter’s Hospital in the 1980s. He was a board member of the Albany College of Pharmacy from 1991 to 1997. He helped to establish the Sanibel Public Library Foundation and was the President of the Board of Directors for many years.

 While Ken was a seasoned businessman and financier, he considered his greatest achievement to be helping others in fields of healthcare and education and being a positive force in the lives of his children and grandchildren.

 If he had any major regrets or disappointments, they would have been to know his mother, Rosalind, who died in 1936. He also wanted to know his cousins who were all scattered across the country and in Canada. He also would have chosen to not root so fervently for the NY Giants in the 1970s and early 1980s, when he was found often screaming, while watching the game alone in the den.

 Ken had a unique sense of humor and was a creative problem solver. As a grown man in his fifties, he loved Miss Piggy from the Muppet Show. During his ownership of L’Ecole he was known to never turn down rather odd requests like cooking and entire suckling pig in the oven for one customer. He also taught his children about current and world events at the dinner table, as well as how to play poker and blackjack. He deeply cared not only about his family members, but also about the people who worked under his supervision.    

 Ken is survived by his wife, Sandy (Fort Myers, FL), his son Cristopher and his wife Kim and their children (Ken’s grandchildren), Savannah, Emily and Dylan (Fort Myers, FL), his son Michael and his son (Ken’s grandson), Matthew (Clifton Park, )

 Services and interment will be held at the Beth Emeth Cemetery in Loudonville, NY at a later date. To leave a condolence message for the family, please visit levinememorialchapel.com