Joel Stephen Fass was larger than life. When he entered the room, the room took notice. A devoted husband, a beloved father and grandfather, a respected attorney, he impacted those around him with his kind heart, generous spirit and talent for storytelling. He died Sunday, July 28, 2019 at 72.
A shareholder for more than 40 years with the Colodny Fass law firm, which he co-founded in 1976 with his lifelong friend, Mike Colodny, Joel was a recognized, accomplished civil and criminal attorney. Before moving to Florida, he served as a Kings County prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York and then in Florida as a special prosecutor for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Joel represented the Florida Marine Patrol, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Insurance and the cities of North Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Tamarac. His firm, Colodny Fass, was always a leader in the practice of insurance regulatory law and litigation.
Joel was a tireless advocate for abused and neglected elderly, successfully representing their rights in court on many occasions. He was also a past president for the Broward County Council on Aging and was recently named to the "Broward Senior Hall of Fame."
Joel served the Broward community in many other ways, as well. He was appointed a member of the Broward County Charter Review Commission and Broward County Management and Efficiency Review Commission. He chaired the City of Weston's first Charter Review Commission, served as a Weston Charter Review Commissioner, and was president of the Windmill Ranch Homeowners Association. He was a past President of the B'nai B'rith Justice Unit #5207 and was a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard.
Along with his wife, Susan, and Rocky Leff, who was like a son to him, Joel founded the annual Presidents' Fest in the Park. For 19 years, he chaired and organized this community festival that raised more than $1.5 million for local non-profits.
Joel earned his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from the State University of New York at New Paltz. He received his Juris Doctor at Buffalo Law School.
Joel cherished his family above all else. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Susan, children Andy Fass and Lisa Zucker (husband Scott), grandchildren Elliana, Sasha, and Joshua, and brother, Stuart Fass (d. Anne). He was preceded in death by his parents, Sylvia and Irwin Fass.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on July 30, 2019