Joseph Marcus died peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 27, 2009 in Penobscot, ME. He was 95 years old.
Born May 27, 1915 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Mr. Marcus graduated from Manual Training High School in 1930 and received the degree of bachelor of arts from Kings College, Columbia University in 1934.
A avid violinist and violist, Mr. Marcus participated in his high school and college orchestras. He was awarded the Silver and Gold Crowns for music as an officer and manager of the Columbia Orchestra under the direction of Douglas Moore. He recalled playing in the orchestra for a college revue which starred a very young Ginger Rogers.
Mr. Marcus suffered from heat condition most likely due to rheumatic fever contracted in childhood. Inducted into the U.S. Navy during WWII, Mr. Marcus received an honorable discharge for health reasons in 1944. In 1991 he underwent successful six-artery bypass surgery and survived it by 18 years.
Mr. Marcus was a CEO of a family textile business but continued a lifetime participation in music.
In 1945 the Great Neck Symphony Society, Inc., originally known as Community Music Society, was organized in the basement of the Marcus residence in Great Neck.
At first the orchestra was under the direction of the founder, composer/orchestrator/arranger Maurice Gardner. Mr. Gardner conducted the orchestra from its inception through its eighth season in 1953, when his workload forced him to resign.
Mr. Gardner's music has been heard in motion pictures and on radio and television shows. He was author of a standard reference work, Orchestrators Handbook.
Sylan Shulman of the Stuyvesant Quartet was director of the Great Neck Symphony for many years to follow.
As an associate of Sir Thomas Beecham, Mr. Shulman directed broadcasts of the ABC Symphony Orchestra. He also conducted for Columbia Records recordings, was a member of Toscanini's NBC Orchestra and was concertmaster of the orchestra for the Perry Como Show.
Joseph Marcus was principal viola of the Great Neck Symphony. He served on the board for most of the orchestra's duration and served a term as president.
Over the years the Great Neck Symphony featured many well-known guest soloists and conductors. Among them were cellist Leonard Rose, also a Great Neck resident, Morton Gould, who conducted his own works, George Szell, conductor of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, violinists Michael Rabin and Itzhak Perlman, and baritone McHenry Boatwright.
Mr. Marcus and his family were members of the Congregation of Temple Beth-El. In 1956 the temple's sixth annual Jewish Festival was a collaboration between members of the temple choruses and orchestra under the direction of Cantor Louis Gordon and members of the Great Neck Symphony conducted by Sylvan Shulman.
In the 1960s Mr. and Mrs. Marcus moved to Union, ME, where they restored an eighteenth century house and sold antiques. They were active in the Union Historical Society. Mr. Marcus served a term as head of the Union Planning Board.
In the 1990s the couple moved to a retirement home in Blue Hill, ME, where Mr. Marcus continued to play chamber music until he was 90 years old.
Mr. and Mrs. Marcus celebrated their 70 wedding anniversary last year. They were five days apart in age.
Mr. Marcus is survived by his wife Hazel; a son Jonathan Marcus and a daughter Elizabeth Dowling; and predeceased by a son Daniel Marcus. The oldest of five children, Mr. Marcus is also survived by two sisters, Ceil Dillon and Sari Winik; and several nieces and nephews and their families.
Mr. Marcus was a preservationist, conservationist and a lover of animals. He not only contributed to the Rockland, ME, SPCA Shelter, but visited the animals there regularly.
In his memory donations may be made to any SPCA Animal Shelter.
Longtime resident of Great Neck, Grace Naughton passed away on March 20, 2009 at the age of 90. A graduate of St. Luke's Nursing School, and Columbia University's Teachers College, she served over three decades as a caring nurse, supervisor, and later as volunteer at North Shore Long Island Jewish University Hospital in Manhasset. She was a member of St. Aloysius parish, a devoted member of the Rosary Society, a den mother and Scout leader to her six children throughout their youths, and in her retirement a committed member of the Woman's Club of Great Neck. Friends and family remember her joy in a good game of cards, dominoes, quilting and other arts, family dinners, and always, always - dessert. Grace was an extraordinary person whose love, great patience, and quiet strength will be sorely missed by those she leaves behind. A Mass of Christian burial was held on March 28 at St. Aloysius RC Church in Great Neck. Interment will be held at a later date in Fairlee, VT, by the side of her late husband G. Richard Naughton.
Edward Warren Reecks, formerly of Great Neck and Palm Coast, FL, died on March 21, 2009 in his 89th year in Middle Island, NY. He was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Clyde Winona. Father of Debra, Robert (SCPD), Marcia and Warren. Father-in-law of Harold Rodgers, Rita Reecks and Shanda Reecks. Grandfather of Jason and Charles Luckey, Tiffany, Tyler and Stacy Reecks. Stepgrandfather of Joey and Michael Caputo , Justin Rodgers and Shadanna Borden. Step-greatgrandfather of Alexis Caputo.
A participant of the 1944 Class of Tuskegee Airmen, he was a former civil rights and community activist and a retired educator of 32 years with the New York City Board of Education. Arrangements entrusted to the DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home, Mattituck.
Louise L. Zuckerman, 81, of Great Neck, passed away on March 24, 2000 after a long illness. Wife of James R. Zuckerman. Born Naomi Leavitt Jan. 5, 1928 in New York City, she was the daughter of Fannie Fishelson of Boston and Moses A. Leavitt of New York City who was the executive vice chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Louise attended the Birch Wathen School in New York City and graduated from Great Neck High School in 1945. She received a BA in English from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1949. While raising four children, Louise volunteered at North Shore Hospital, Manhasset, and worked as a real estate agent. She later turned a lifelong love of travel into a business, working as an independent tour manager/travel consultant and visiting more than 150 countries (she always said that North Yemen was her favorite).
She is survived by two daughters, Julie Zuckerman Schwartz (Jeffrey) and Faye Zuckerman (John Martin) of Barrington, RI; a son Laurence Zuckerman (Alice Gottesman) of New York City and Cornwall, CT; and eight grandchildren, David, Jonathan and Kayla Schwartz of Denver, Seth and Melanie Chitwood of Barrington, RI, and Zachary, Eleanor and Jessica of New York City and Cornwall, CT. A third daughter, Elen Zuckerman, died on 1996. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Archaeological Institute of American, LI Society, c/o Rae Koppelman, Tribute Fund, 55 Edgemere Dr., Albertson, NY 11507 (646-672-1258) or the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee at www.jdc.org.