Edith Bermaine Drake, 93

Edith Bermaine Drake
Edith Bermaine Drake

Edith Bermaine Drake passed early on the morning of Sept. 30 and was laid to rest the same afternoon in a private ceremony surrounded by her three sons, their spouses and her grand­children. Her career as a model, showgirl, business woman, teacher, mother and muse spanned over 70 years.

The daughter of Russian émigrés was born in Harlem on Feb. 7, 1922. She worked as a showgirl in the 1939 World’s Fair and as a model. She married Norman Edwin Berman in 1944, just before he was sent overseas. They lived in Manhattan, Levittown and finally, Great Neck.

She created a course in self-empowerment for women, and taught adult education while still modeling and raising three sons. In 1958, she created Bermaine Cosmetics, an institution for more than 35 years in Great Neck, as well as in Wilmington, DE.

Norman died in 1974, and in 1982, she married songwriter Ervin Drake, best known for his Edith-inspired songs “Good Morning Heartache” sung by Billie Holiday and “It was a Very Good Year” recorded by Frank Sinatra.

She lived an active, happy life, biked daily until the last week of her life, and was a major supporter and fan of the theater and cabaret. Her husband Ervin, sister Alice and brother Abraham predeceased her. She is survived by her sons, Neil, Roy, Jed, their spouses and seven adoring grandchildren.


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