Elliot Spanierman, a resident of Back Lawrence for nearly 40 years, who retired to Bal Harbour, Florida, died on Aug. 15. He was 87.
His family remembers him as the beloved and dashing husband of Leatrice Slote Spanierman, who served as editor of the Nassau Herald for 30 years and became the first executive editor of what is now Richner Communications.
Born on March 24, 1934 and originally from the Bronx, Spanierman founded a newspaper distribution business at age 12 and employed many of his schoolmates. He was lauded as the youngest entrepreneur in the field. The business lasted five years.
Spanierman had the distinction of scoring the highest in the nation on an aptitude test as a Navy recruit and served in that military branch from June 1952 to February 1954. He graduated with honors from New York University School of Finance in 1957, while working full-time nights and weekends.
He applied his education as a plastics and button manufacturer, and served his profession as a board member of the Plastics Products Manufacturers Association.
On his daily commutes from Lawrence to the city on the Long Island Rail Road he was part of a large group of friends who entertained themselves and fellow commuters with their gin rummy games.
Spanierman was also very active on the fundraising circuit in support of the Five Towns community and its agencies, local hospitals, UJA-Federation, Woodmere Academy (now Lawrence Woodmere Academy), and other groups. Tall, dark and handsome in his tuxedo, you could find him on many Saturday evenings squiring Leatrice at charity balls and community events.
Later on in his career and then in retirement Spanierman took joy in spending the winters with his wife, children and grandchildren at his vacation home at Casa De Campo, in the Dominican Republic.
“He was known as the mayor of the beach because of his warm, generous and gregarious personality and was also known as the king of his Jacuzzi,” his daughter, Brooke S. Spanierman, said. In Bal Harbour he was considered “the mayor of the pool,” she added.
“[Dad] was famous for having golden hands; he loved to construct and repair, and there was nothing he could not fix,” said his son, Dr. Clifford S. Spanierman, who added that, “his true passion was for his family.”
A Zoom memorial in celebration of Spanierman’s life, produced by his children and grandchildren, was held on Aug. 22, and was viewed by many of his friends from the Five Towns. Clifford Richner, former Herald publisher, described it as a beautiful tribute that spoke volumes about a man who was truly cherished by his family and friends.
Spanierman is survived by his wife Leatrice, his son Dr. Clifford S. Spanierman; his daughter Brooke S. Spanierman, an attorney; and his grandchildren Alessandro Masolo, Alessia Masolo, Remy Spanierman and Cole Spanierman.