Sidney Topol

Obituary of Sidney Topol


Levine Chapels

Surrounded by loved ones, Sidney “Sid” Topol, 97, died at his home in Longboat Key, Florida on March 30, 2022. Sid was born in Dorchester, MA on December 28, 1924, the son of Morris Topol and Dora Kalinsky Topol. During the next few decades, he worked for his father selling produce, became a proud graduate of Boston Latin School, Class of 1941, and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. In 1951, he married Lillian (Libby) Friedman, his lifetime partner, who helped guide and encourage his lifelong pursuit of knowledge, morality, and service to others. He loved his wife and three daughters with all his heart. Expanding the radar and electronics skills that he acquired during wartime, Sid Topol became one of the first to envision the power and possibilities of satellite-based communications. After much professional success as an engineer and manager during his 22 years at the Raytheon Company, he went to Georgia and served as president, CEO and board chair of Scientific Atlanta, Inc. from 1971 to 1990, transforming that small outfit into a Fortune 500 corporation. His legacy as a pioneer in the development of television technology and as an extraordinary visionary in the telecommunications profession is internationally secure. Indeed, Sid Topol was born in the 20th Century with 21st century vision. In addition to being named one of the 100 most influential people of the century by Broadcasting & Cable Magazine, Sid was elected to the Cable Television Hall of Fame, and was named the Distinguished Graduate of the Year by his beloved Boston Latin School. His other awards and honors are too many to list. In retirement, Sid developed a reputation as a peace-builder and philanthropist who enabled young leaders to learn about nonviolence as a pathway to peace and goodwill, especially in the Middle East, through the Topol Fellowships. Sid Topol was a remarkable man with a well-deserved reputation for excellence in all his endeavors. His life was a continual source of inspiration, enthusiasm and pride for his family, friends and associates. In business, in his charity work, and as a proud family man—and through his boundless energy, heart and intellect—Sid truly built a legacy for the ages. Survivors include his wife, Lillian, his three daughters and sons-in-law: Deborah & Edward, Joanne & Michael and Martha & Bradley; his grandchildren: Jacqueline & Douglas, Mollie, Alexander and Sarah; his two great-grandsons: Julius and Felix; and many dear nieces, nephews and friends. In addition to his parents, Sid was predeceased by his brothers Cyrus and Julius Topol and by his sister Rebecca Sacher. A memorial service will be held Monday, April 4th at 11:30am at Levine Chapel, 470 Harvard St, Brookline, MA and the live-stream of the service can be viewed by the following link Burial will be private. There will be a reception and celebration honoring Sid’s life at 1:30 pm. Memorial gifts in Sid’s honor should be directed to the Topol Family Foundation, PO Box 760994 Melrose, MA 02176. All visitors are requested to wear a face mask while in the Funeral Home.

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Past Services

Monday, April 04, 2022

Chapel Service at Levine Chapel