Nathan Brillman, 93, formerly of Wyncote, a decorated World War II veteran and a physician in Northeast Philadelphia for three decades, died Wednesday, Aug. 24, of congestive heart failure at Rydal Park in Jenkintown.
Dr. Brillman grew up in Strawberry Mansion with a passion for baseball. He told of playing on the ballfields at 33rd and Dauphin Streets.
In the late 1930s, he was a member of a team in the city-sponsored baseball league that took the City of Philadelphia's championship title for 16-year-olds and younger.
After graduating from Simon Gratz High School in 1940, he worked in the accounting office of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard until joining the Army in March 1943.
Dr. Brillman participated in the invasion of France during World War II, landing on Omaha Beach a few days after D-Day. He served in the campaigns in Normandy, northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes (the Battle of the Bulge), and Central Europe, and was among the Americans to enter Berlin when the German forces surrendered on May 2, 1945.
He was attached to Headquarters Company, 2nd Armored Division. Honorably discharged in November 1945, he achieved the rank of technical sergeant. Dr. Brillman was decorated with a Bronze Star Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five bronze stars, a Presidential Unit Citation, and a Belgian Government Fourragere, or shoulder cord.He told his family that he had a security clearance for BIGOT, or British Invasion of German-occupied territory, the Allied battle plan for each day.
After his military service, Dr. Brillman attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and graduated as a pharmacist in 1951.
While working as a pharmacy intern at Zevin's Drug Store in Strawberry Mansion, he met Miriam Zevin, the owner's daughter. They married in 1950 and had three children.
He worked as a pharmacist for two years before deciding to become a family physician. Dr. Brillman completed his medical training at Jefferson Medical College in 1957. He practiced family medicine, first in the basement of the family home at 2301 Shelmire Ave.
"We'd go down and put pills into envelopes," said daughter Judith. "It was like a family business."
Later, he practiced from an office at 6739 Harbison Ave. He retired in 1999 after a 32-year career.
He was an avid tennis player and traveler. He and his wife moved to Rydal Park in 2014.
Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by son David Brillman; daughter Susan Naftulin; six grandchildren; and four step-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, at Joseph Levine & Sons, 4737 Street Rd., Trevose. Interment is in King David Memorial Park, Bensalem.
Shivah will be observed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, and Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Rydal Park, 1515 The Fairway, Jenkintown.
Memorial contributions can be made to Gratz College, 7605 Old York Rd., Elkins Park, Pa. 19027, or the Abramson Center for Jewish Life, 1425 Horsham Rd., North Wales, Pa. 19454.