Obituaries November 25, 2010

Posted on 26 November 2010

Seymour Leonard Pollack

Seymour Leonard Pollack, optician, artist, and patron of the arts passed away on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 of pancreatic cancer. He was 82 years old. Mr. Pollack, known affectionatey as S.L., enjoyed softball, gardening, horseback riding and boating.

The highlight of his youth were his summers at Camp Wasegan, first as a camper where he developed a life-long love of softball, later as a counselor, and finally as an alumni reunion organizer.

Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, Mr. Pollack attended Ohio State University. His fondest memories of his college years were playing clarinet with the marching band at half-time. After graduation, he returned to Paterson and entered the family optical business where he became a pioneer in the retail industry, offering one hour service in an era when customers were accustomed to traveling to New York and waiting one week or more for a pair of eyeglasses. He served as a senior statesman on the NJ State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians where he championed consumer rights.

During summers, Mr. Pollack spent most of his time in Sag Harbor, NY where he was a fixture at the weekend softball games regardless of his health. He first came to love the town by taking his boat to the town. He eventually took residence and participated in philanthropy at the local Bay Street Theater.

As an artist, Mr. Pollack ventured into sculpture and photography. After early training in oils, he gravitated to water color to pen & ink. As an artist-in-residence in Sag Harbor, his drawings of local homes and businesses appeared frequently on local postcards, advertisements, menus and once on the cover of the well known local publication, Dan’s Papers.

An avid world traveler, Mr. Pollack sought extraordinary opportunities to explore the world. Seymour Pollack’s idea of a vacation included stints as a volunteer with the Israeli army, working on an archeological dig in Belize or herding cattle with the gauchos in southern Spain. Each adventure is memorialized with a scrapbook of his photos, drawings and artwork.

Never one to opt for any ordinary form of transportation, Mr. Pollack was frequently seen driving around town in his flashy yellow TriHawk. This three wheeled roadster epitomized Mr. Pollack’s eccentricity. One of 96 vehicles built in 1984, was built by Harley Davidson with a Citroen engine. It is licensed as a motorcycle but it’s not a motorcycle. It drives like a car but it’s not a car. It is unique.

Mr. Pollack is survived by his wife and life partner, Mindy Bernstein her two children Richard and David and her four grandchildren. In addition, Mr. Pollack is survived by his four children from his first marriage, Susan Horowitz, Bruce, Steven and David and twelve grandchildren plus one great granddaughter. S.L. will also be missed by many other whose lives he has touched at home and throughout the world.

Friends and family will gather at a memorial on Sunday, November 14 at Gutterman’s Funeral Parlor in Hackensack, NJ at 3:00 p.m. In accordance with Seymour Pollack’s final wishes, teammates will gather in Sag Harbor this summer to celebrate his life while his ashes are rocketed skywards in a fireworks display accompanied by a the music of a Klezmer band.

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