Eric Pomerance, 101


Eric Pomerance, a much loved artist, photographer and social activist, died Feb. 16, just short of his 102nd birthday. Born in Brooklyn to Esther Perlstein and Harry Pomerance on March 2, 1913, he later lived in Greenwich Village and in Great Neck.

At 16 he earned steamship passage to Argentina as a ship’s baker. A lively, keenly observant and thoughtful man, he later worked as an architectural assistant in Manhattan, a building supervisor and at a Dutch production studio. He became expert in the then new field of stop-motion photography, skillfully producing work that appeared in many classic television commercials. During WWII he was employed in a secret project manufacturing Norden bombsights.

Animated by a powerful sense of social justice, Pomerance ran supplies to aid the Republic during the 1936-’39 Spanish Civil War against fascism, and to raise awareness, drove an outsized Spanish ambulance through the narrow streets of lower Manhattan. Alarmed at bombsight factory workers’ exposure to dangerous solvents, he successfully pressed for safer conditions. In Greenwich Village, where he lived during the 1950s, he rallied opposition to plans that would have converted a substantial portion of Washington Square Park into a city bus lot. Later he helped found the Great Neck chapter of the activist nuclear arms control group SANE, judging it wise to keep no written records during the oppressive heyday of Joseph McCarthy.

Pomerance was also a gifted painter of urban landscapes and city buildings, exhibited in galleries, including a 2012 one-man show at Queensborough Community College.

Pomerance survived the death of his first wife, Hortense Baer and their son Joseph, and of his two brothers, Ralph and Bill. He is survived by a niece, Pam Steiner (Henry) and two nephews, Steven (Allyn) and Rafe (Lenore); numerous grand/great-grand nephews and nieces, and by his much beloved second wife Diane (Graszik), whom he met in 2004 and married in 2011.

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