Emanuel “Manny” Mandelkern, father of Sands Point resident Peter Mandelkern and wife Joyce, and grandfather of Port Washington resident Kenny Mandelkern and wife Annie died on Saturday, March 1, surrounded by his loving family. He was 91 years old.
As an executive with Amicale Industries, a company that imported and processed cashmere and camel’s hair, Manny was among the first businessmen to visit the People’s Republic of China in the early 1970s, negotiating the exportation of raw materials from that country to the U.S. for the first time since the revolution in 1949.
His business travels, often with his wife Bernice were extensive and included places most non-military Americans had never seen such as pre-revolutionary Iran, Afghanistan and the U.S.S.R. While in the Soviet Union, Manny located and met his first cousins who, with his help, emigrated to the U.S. soon after.
Manny was born in the Bronx, NY, on May 16, 1922, and attended DeWitt Clinton High School. In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in active duty during WWII. Manny rose to the rank of Sergeant in the 335th Company of the 84th Infantry Division, “The Railsplitters,” a division that traced its roots to Abraham Lincoln. He served in the European theater, most notably the Battle of the Bulge. The impact of the war on his life was evident through his reluctance to speak of it.
While on furlough from the Army at a Catskill Mountain resort, he met the love of his life, Bernice Gertzkis, then 15. They married on June 5, 1949 in Monroe, NY.
After returning from the war in 1946, Manny attended the University of Miami on the G.I. Bill, completing the education he had begun at City College of New York. He graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting, followed by a C.P.A.
The couple followed the post-WWII migration, moving from The Bronx to Jericho, LI, and retiring to Boca Raton, FL, in 1989, where Manny indulged his lifelong dream of golfing every day. Despite hours on golf courses at Bethpage on Long Island and at The Polo Club in Boca Raton, Manny’s goal of hitting a hole-in-one eluded him until 2005, at the age of 84. In 2012, Bernice and Manny moved
to Redding, CT, to be close to their family.
Manny is survived by his wife of 64 years, Bernice, currently of Redding, CT; his son Peter Mandelkern and wife Joyce of Sands Point, NY; his daughter Nancy Wolff and husband John of South Salem, NY; his grandchildren Jonathan Wolff and wife Jen of North Tonawanda, NY; Kenny Mandelkern and wife Annie of Port Washington, NY; Eric Mandelkern of New York City; Jason Ham of Forest Hills, NY; Alex Wolff of Stamford, CT; and his great-grandchildren Allie, Cooper and Connor.
Funeral Services were held on Wednesday, March 5, at Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Glendale, NY.
Charitable donations may be sent in Manny’s name to the Wounded Warriors Project (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/).