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Bernice Sylvia Pollock

Fashion industry veteran, outspoken leader, lifelong learner, volunteer

Bernice Pollock, 101, died peacefully at Claremont Manor on April 11.

Bernice led a full life. She was born in 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, the third of four children of Michael and Florence Peyser. She attended Thomas Jefferson High School and was an amateur handball champion on local courts. She worked in the fashion industry, moving up to a buyer for a chain of department stores.

She met the love of her life, Milton Pollock, in 1949 at Scaroon Manor, a resort in New York’s Catskill Mountains. After an inauspicious beginning, where she shooed him off with “You’re the most obnoxious man I’ve ever met, please don’t talk to me again,” they commenced a 43-year romance that produced two children and only ended upon Milton’s death in 1994 in Delray Beach, Florida, where they had retired in 1982. She moved to Claremont in 2014 to be close to her son, daughter-in law-and grandchildren.

Ms. Pollock was competitive in tennis and golf, a traveler, a cook, painter and lifelong learner. Never getting past high school, she was a voracious reader of fiction, bridge player, film and concert goer, theater aficionado and known among her friends for organizing trips to the theater, getting tickets and generally leading whatever group she was in.

Community minded, she participated in Women’s American ORT, was a den mother to her sons’ scout troops and volunteered with various charities. A founding mother of the Suburban Temple in Wantagh, New York, she was her husband’s biggest supporter and cheerleader while raising her family and was always actively involved and connected with her large, extended family.

She had enormous inner drive and an intense energy that was not to be corralled or denied, her family shared. “She was outspoken and often said, regardless of the consequences, ‘They have to be told.’ Which did not always endear her, but she always made an impression and she surely did it her way.”

She is survived by sons Blair (Rebekah) and Donald (Frances); grandchildren Micky and Ariella; nieces Claire and Roberta; nephew David; and many great nieces and nephews. 

A memorial service was held April 14 in Claremont.

Memorial donations may be made to your charity of choice. She was a supporter of breast cancer research and Hospice by the Sea in Delray Beach, Florida. Donations to Hospice by the Sea may be made at trustbridgefoundation.org.