John H. Wishnick, known as Jack, died peacefully on Nov. 10, shortly after his 96th birthday. A longtime resident of Scarsdale, he lived on Meadow Road for more than 50 years.
Mr. Wishnick was a WWII veteran pilot of the Army Air Corps and loved flying most of his life. He had a degree from the University of Oklahoma in petroleum engineering, which he obtained on the GI bill. He worked for his family business, Witco Chemical Co., until striking out on his own with his WWII buddy in Crowell Designs, a marine electronic business located in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. When he sold it to Zane Industries, his largest competitor, he started a “retirement” business, an antique auto museum in Wall, New Jersey, where he exhibited and sold antique cars, always a passion of his.
Called a “gregarious” and “generous” man, Mr. Wishnick loved talking to everyone and handing out $2 bills. He called himself “Two Dollar Jack.” For many years, Mr. Wishnick had a winter residence in Tucson, Arizona, where locals also called him “The Canyon King.”
Loved ones described him as a “very charitable person,” giving to everyone from the dishwasher in a restaurant to the first Reform Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, Har El, Temple Israel of New Rochelle and Congregation B’nai Yisrael in Armonk. Mr. Wishnick also sent many to school who could not otherwise afford it.
Mr. Wishnick’s passions in life were his family, his dog, Killer, and vehicles of every kind. He was at a car auction in 2005 when he had a massive stroke that paralyzed him. Since then, his family said Mr. Wishnick led a quiet life. Still, they said, he was “a force to be reckoned with and will be missed by all whose lives he touched with his exuberance and generosity.”
He was predeceased by his wife, Phyllis Price Wishnick. He is survived by his three children, Linda Markowitz, Laura Arnold and Robert Wishnick (Karla); five grandchildren, Lisa Grand Roberts (Adam), Benjamin Markowitz (Kristi), Kacey Arnold, Aaron Wishnick and Miriam Wishnick; and four great grandchildren. The funeral was held Nov. 13 at Westchester Reform Temple.
The family asks that donations be made to donors’ favorite charities or the American Heart Association in his honor.