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Shelter Island Reporter obituaries: Currie, Tarlow

Donald J. Currie

Donald J. Currie passed away on May 26 surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on Dec. 28, 1933 in Greenport, to Evelyn Moore Parks and Dr. Donald F. Currie of Shelter Island. (Dr. Currie served as Shelter Island’s only physician, general practitioner and surgeon for over a quarter of a century from 1930 until his death in 1964.)

Donald J. Currie was raised on the Island and graduated from Shelter Island High School in 1950, followed by a post-graduate year at Hackley School.

Don graduated from Bucknell University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and was a catcher on the university’s varsity baseball team. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army where he served in the Air Defense Artillery, the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps and the National Guard. In 1959, he graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law, where he was the associate editor of the university’s Law Review.

After marrying his first wife, Mary Elizabeth Straughn of North Carolina in 1959, the couple started a family, living and working in Manhattan and later in Manhasset and Shelter Island. In a legal career that spanned almost half a century, he joined the New York firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in 1959 and a few years later was recruited by the Park Avenue firm of Kaye, Scholer, Ferman, Hayes, and Handler where he would serve for over four decades as a senior partner in the firm’s trusts and estates practice. In 1997, he established Kaye Scholer’s first Florida-based office in West Palm Beach.

He was a member of the bar in New York State, Florida and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and was admitted to practice in the Southern and Eastern District Federal Courts. He was regarded as an authority on trusts and estate planning and served on numerous boards of directors throughout his career.

With the marriage to his second wife Bonny Currie in 1973, he acquired a second family. The couple resided in Manhasset, until Bonny’s passing in 2016, at which time he moved to Florida to be near his eldest son, Don and his wife Michelle, and their family.

Don (Pop Pop) was a loving and dedicated father, grandfather and great grandfather. Besides his son Donald S. Currie and his family of Lake Mary Fla, he is survived by son Scott Currie of Manhattan and Southampton, daughter Heather Currie Wegge of St. Louis, Mo., and his stepchildren Jamie, Lori and Stacey Levere. He also leaves behind his grandchildren, Lauren Penberthy and husband Jon, Katherine and Sarah Currie, and Miranda Wegge, his great grand-daughter Avery Penberthy and step grandchildren Jenna and Jake Levere.

Family and friends were invited to celebrate Don’s life on Wednesday, June 1 at Highland Funeral Home and Memory Gardens, in Apopka, Fla., followed by a graveside memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Donald J. Currie to the Shelter Island Historical Society. Donations may be made by mail at PO Box 847, Shelter Island, NY. 11964 or online at shelterislandhistorical.org.

Richard J. Tarlow

Richard J. Tarlow, renowned New York advertising executive known for his work with Revlon, Ralph Lauren, Cuisinart, Pottery Barn and Vanderbilt Fragrance, passed away on May 27 2022 at his home on Shelter Island.

Richard Tarlow, 81, died peacefully in his sleep with his wife Kristin Kehrberg by his side. He was the heart of his family and is survived by his wife as well as three children, Jordan, Wendy and Cody; two stepsons, Jonah and Lukas; and five grandchildren, Annabelle, Ryder, Logan, Bo and Truly.

Always conscious of making the world fair and equitable, Richard and Kristin were loyal supporters of John Jay College and the John Jay Justice Awards. One of Richard’s proudest moments was joining Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel in The Elders, a group of independent global leaders whose aim was working together for peace and human rights. Richard acted globally as well as locally. He saw the potential in people and worked to help them achieve it by quietly helping a number of students pay for their education.

Richard was born to Ted and Min Tarlow in the Bronx, then raised in New Rochelle alongside his (now deceased) brother Alan. At New Rochelle High School Richard proved himself a gifted athlete and attended the University of North Carolina on both a baseball and basketball scholarship before graduating Tufts University in 1962.

He began his storied career in advertising as a copywriter at the Martin Landey/Arlow agency. He rose through the ranks in advertising and after being executive vice president and creative director of Daniel & Charles, Richard and fellow ad man Don Kurtz established Kurtz & Tarlow in 1977, which Advertising Age called the fastest-growing agency in the nation. They oversaw Ralph Lauren’s successful expansion from Polo Fashions to becoming an icon of Americana and establishing Ralph Lauren Home Furnishings Inc. in 1982. Kurtz & Tarlow was sold to Geers Gross in 1983 where Richard served as chairman.

Fiercely independent Richard took a leap once again to establish Tarlow Advertising on his own in 1988. His gamble paid off and Tarlow Advertising became another of Madison Avenue’s fastest growing agencies with $50 million in billings in only a year and a half. Tarlow Advertising’s clients included Revlon and it’s subsidiaries Ultima and Almay. An account close to Richard’s heart was Topps Chewing Gum, maker of the famous baseball cards.

Additionally, Richard co-founded Carlson and Partners with his (now deceased) wife Sandy Carlson where he oversaw clients including Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret and Neutrogena.

After retiring from advertising, Tarlow pursued his many passions. He established the posh eatery Sunset Beach Restaurant and Hotel with André Balazs, and authored the 2016 off-Broadway play “The Trial of An American President.” He and Kristin were executive producers of “The Wilde Wedding,” a 2017 movie that starred Glen Close, John Malkovich, Patrick Stewart and Minnie Driver.

Richard’s love of sports never left him. He and Krisitn could often be found sitting courtside to watch his beloved New York Knicks.

Richard was a colorful, swashbuckling figure who left everyone in his wake better off for having known him.

The Shelter Island Funeral Home is serving the family.