Harry Berkowitz, who died Saturday, March 15, 2014 while recovering from surgery in New York City at age 81, brought graciousness wherever he went, his family said. Those around him found themselves engaged with someone inquisitive and insightful, with a genuine interest in their life. His passion for life and consideration for others was remarkable.
Harry’s career as a retail executive at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sakowitz and the Zale Corporation spanned 30 years, and he and his family moved throughout the southeast United States before returning east to Norwalk, Connecticut in 1986. He served as president of the Yale Co-op for seven years until he retired in 1998. After he retired, he continued to consult, sharing his experience with retailers for several years.
Born in San Antonio, Texas on November 15, 1932, to Sidney and Rosalie Berkowitz, Harry was raised in a home filled with artists and fine art. Harry was educated at Andover and graduated from Princeton in 1955. At Princeton, he was a letterman in both lacrosse and football, and his experience in college athletics helped shape his motivation and passion for outdoor activities. He was an avid skier and fly fisherman, enjoying trips to Alta, Utah for the slopes and throughout the country in pursuit of rising trout.
In 1956, he wed Mary Jane (Mimi) Dreier and they and their children, spent family vacations on Shelter Island. Mimi passed away in 2007. In recent years, Harry cherished his relationship with Donna Dean whose care, friendship and love fulfilled his life.
Harry’s 25th college reunion began a chapter of very active involvement with his Princeton class of 1955. He was dedicated to both his classmates and Princeton, and the lives of these friends intertwined with his through the remainder of his life. He was a founder of Princeton Project ‘55, now part of Princeton Alumni Corps, and worked to connect recent graduates with non-profits in Connecticut for internships. He was also a member of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations committee.
Harry is survived by his partner, Donna Dean, of Darien, Connecticut; his brother, William, of Topsham, Maine; and four children and their partners, Ann Berkowitz, of Alexandria, Virginia, Peter and Debra Berkowitz of Trumbull, Connecticut, Edward Berkowitz of Bristol, Connecticut, and David and Deidra Young of Franklin, Tennessee. Harry is also survived by his six grandchildren.
A memorial service in celebration of Harry’s life will be held Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at St. Luke’s Parish, 1864 Post Road, Darien, Connecticut. The service will begin at 11 a.m., followed by a reception at the parish. A private burial will be held on Shelter Island, In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Princeton Alumni Corps, 12 Stockton Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, or Norwalk Community Health Center in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Dr. Edgar Grunwaldt
Dr. Edgar Grunwaldt, beloved town doctor for 27 years, passed away peacefully at Eastern Long Island Hospital, surrounded by his family, on March 16, 2014. He was 89.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 23,1924, Dr. Grunwaldt began medical school in Argentina when he was 16 years old. He immigrated to the United States in 1947 and attended Washington University School of Medicine in 1948. He graduated Alpha Omega Alpha, at the top of his class, with an M.D. in 1951. After medical school, he completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.
He then moved to Carmel, California where he practiced pediatrics for 10 years before pursuing his interest in research and the development of pharmaceuticals. Longing to return to the practice of medicine and make patient care the focus of his life, he moved to Shelter Island in 1975 as the town’s physician. His care was all encompassing — from home births to midnight house calls to caring for the elderly and even the occasional dog with a fishhook caught in its mouth. Although his practice was clinically oriented, he was still able to make pivotal contributions to the research of Lyme disease given his concern for so many of the patients he saw, who were afflicted by perplexing and chronic symptoms that had gone undiagnosed. He was on the team that discovered the spirochete that causes Lyme disease. In 1988 the New Yorker magazine published a feature article about his groundbreaking research into this burgeoning epidemic that was affecting his community.
Dr. Grunwaldt was a board certified pediatrician and a member of the American Medical Association. He maintained his family practice at the town Medical Center until his retirement in 2002.
He is survived by Bonnie, his loving wife of 44 years; his daughters Sheila, Alexis, Noel and Lorelei; his grandchildren, Corrina, Graham, Olivia, Audrey and Ella; and his great-grandchildren, Cash, Dylan and Lotus.
A gathering will be held in the early summer to remember him and celebrate his life; details will follow. His family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made in his name to the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation, P.O. Box 547, Shelter Island, NY 11964.
Bernard A. McCafferty
Bernard A. McCafferty of Southold, formerly of Shelter Island, died on March 16, 2014. He was 89 years old.
He was born in Brooklyn on January 20, 1925 to Bernard and Margaret (née Gallagher) McCafferty, Irish immigrants who met in Boston. Raised and educated in Brooklyn, Mr. McCafferty served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He was involved in communications and served as a tail gunner in missions in the Central Pacific, including Okinawa, Iwo Jima and Saipan.
It was during his time in the service that he advanced his education. Through this training, Mr. McCafferty enjoyed a rewarding career in engineering. He was involved in the 1938 World’s Fair and worked on remote broadcasts for the American comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis when they performed at the Copacabana in New York City. He retired from WINS Radio after a long and distinguished career.
In 1952, Mr. McCafferty married Joyce (née Gardner) and they lived in Merrick, Long Island before moving to Massapequa Park and Amityville. He and Joyce finally settled on Shelter Island. She predeceased Mr. McCafferty in 1994.
He is survived by his wife of 18 years, Mary (née Wheeler); two sons and their wives, Steven and Lois McCafferty of Jamesport and Kevin and Beverly McCafferty of Shelter Island; step-sons and their wives, John and Nanette Doroski of Greenport, Gary Doroski of Cutchogue and Gerard and Melanie Doroski of Greenport; grandchildren and spouses, Ashley and Matt Schmitt, Shannon and Ruben Silverman, Kelsey McCafferty and Daniel McCafferty; and great-grandchildren, Matthew Schmitt Jr. and Levi Silverman.
The family received friends on Tuesday, March 18, at the DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. Interment, with U.S. Marine Corps honors, was Wednesday, March 19 at Pinelawn Memorial Park. Memorial donations, in his name, may be made to Boys Town, 14100 Crawford Street, Boys Town, Nebraska 68010.
George A. Taplin
George A. Taplin died March 16, 2014 after a long illness. He is survived by his companion and partner, Andra Macdonald; sisters Martha Foster, Jean Jacobs, Doris Wiggins, Daisy Finne and Lori Hand; children Lynn Taplin, George Taplin, Terry Gramkowski, Jill Peterson, Scott Taplin and Bruce Taplin; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren; and his loyal cat, Lavender.
He is pre-deceased by his first wife Lois and his second wife Emily; brothers Robert Taplin and Roy Taplin; and children Karen Cole and Mark Taplin.
Known variously as “Joe,” “Tap” and “the Monsignor,” Mr. Taplin was born in Greenport on January 27, 1932. He grew up in Greenport, lived briefly in Maryland and New Jersey, and spent his last 47 years living on Shelter Island. He was a dairyman, master carpenter, master mason, truck driver, mechanic, bayman and an accomplished chef.
He retired from his career as chief steward with the New York Marine Towing Corp, sailing on tugboats along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic coast. He was a member of the Shelter Island Heights Volunteer Fire Department, a regular at the Friday night card games and enjoyed helping people with various building projects.
A memorial service and reception is planned for early May. Send condolences and requests for information about the memorial service to [email protected] In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation, P.O. Box 547, Shelter Island, NYYork 11964.