Be well – for many who had the unique pleasure of meeting Harold “Ziggy” Rothstein, you were blessed with this number one lesson from him. In his almost 93 years with us, Ziggy was most known for his love of his family, his love of Charles Schulz’s Snoopy, and his love of cars and racing. Always a kid at heart, Ziggy lived his life to the fullest and is most remembered for his love of birthdays. It seems ultimately fitting for someone born on the 4th of July (1925) that his birthday always included one of the biggest celebrations around; and he would often joke that by mandatory decree, everyone had to celebrate his birthday. He was definite in his opinions, steadfast in his support, and loving in his nature. While some people wear their heart on their sleeve, Ziggy was always known to wear his personality on his T-shirt.
Ziggy was a well-known member of the New Britain community and made an impact in his continuous service. Of the Hebrew faith, he served and was a member of both synagogues in New Britain. Upon his graduation from New Britain High School in January 1942, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and remained an active member of the American Legion following his service. His love and care for others carried through in his civic leadership, as Ziggy served as the Board Chairman of the Farrell Treatment Center in New Britain. As member of the Chrysler Arbitration Board, he contributed to the foundation of today’s Lemon Law – fairness was always a leading quality of his.
Following his military service, Ziggy attended Samson Technological College and completed a degree in aeronautical engineering. He was a man of many talents and held certifications in plumbing, heating, and electrical work, and was recognized as an ASE certified master auto mechanic. Ziggy was the ultimate problem solver - you could always count on him to help solve any repair problem, big or small, and he always took pride in delivering the best service possible.
Ziggy’s love of cars became his lifelong passion and especially auto racing. His career as a pit crew member took him across the circuit from New England to the Midwest and Florida for numerous teams. He was most recognized in New Britain as the owner and operator of Roth Automotive Inc., and the go-to guy for everyone’s automotive needs. He taught so many in his trade in our community, and he’s made a lasting impact for all of his automotive friends. Ziggy remained a dedicated member of the New England Antique Racers (NEAR) from its founding.
Ziggy left our earth plane on Sunday, April 8, 2018, at 92 ½ years young. He was the beloved son and youngest child of Morris and Nettie Rothstein, and was predeceased by his parents, his only child, Robert “Bob” Rothstein, his two sisters, Minnie Croll and Sally Steinhaus, and his two brothers, Edward and George Rothstein. He leaves to mourn in his passing his beloved wife and ultimate partner of 39 years, Maryann Smilnak Rothstein. He will be greatly missed by his daughter-in-law, Christine Rothstein, and his three grandsons, Robert Rothschild and his wife Martha, Richard Rothstein and his wife Shelley, Raymond Rothstein and his partner Kellie Beckwith (and children: Christopher, Julia, Olivia, and Shaun Beckwith). He cherished his four great-grandchildren, Logan and Shelby Rothschild and Chloe and Alaina Rothstein. In addition, he leaves his brother-in-law, Richard Smilnak of Southington, his sister-in-law, Karen and Roger Hollandsworth of Boulder Creek, California, and his sister-in-law, Linda and Thomas Bakcsy of Perkasie, Pennsylvania. He was adored by his three nieces, Larlene Smilnak, Kristy Hollandsworth, and Melissa Bakcsy.
A funeral service will be held on Monday at 11 a.m. at Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home, 411 So. Main St., New Britain. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH, 45250-0301 or a charity of the donor’s choice. Please share a memory of Ziggy with the family in the on line guest book @ www.ericksonhansen.com