Martin Burman, 69, of Blue Bell, a Pennsylvania worker's compensation judge who survived with a heart transplant for almost 25 years, died Sunday, Dec. 8, of a heart attack at home.
Mr. Burman first experienced heart trouble on his honeymoon, said his wife, the former Lorraine Buchanan. Two years later, he underwent only the 159th heart transplant to be performed at Temple University Hospital.
It was an earlier time in transplants, and Mr. Burman was told he had five years to live.
Ever after, he felt blessed by the added 191/2 years he was given and tried to use it wisely.
"Lorraine, you've got to boogie while you can," his wife said he told her.
Born in Jersey City, N.J, he graduated from Lincoln High School, Ohio Wesleyan College, and Temple University School of Law.
He was a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar since 1969, and a worker's compensation judge in Pennsylvania since 1987. Based in Malvern, he never retired.
"He was tough but fair," his wife said. "He clearly knew what his job was and wanted to do it right. But he would talk law till the rest of the room was sound asleep."
Outside work, his twin passions were duplicate bridge - at which he was good - and golf - at which he was not.
His wife said Mr. Burman was known for speaking his mind. "Marty could be trying, but we all loved him," she said with a chuckle. "He was a character."
Besides his wife, he is survived by a sister, Phylis Burman; her partner, Karen Rappaport; and Russita Buchanan and Kristina Rappaport, whom he considered his nieces.
Graveside services will be at Mount Moriah Cemetery, 685 Fairview Ave., Fairview, N.J., on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 12:45 p.m. His wife will sit Shiva in Blue Bell on Thursday, Dec. 12, from 3 to 9 p.m.
Donations may be made to "Second Chance" c/o Gift of Life Donor Program, 401 N. Third St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19123.