Published: October 29, 2007
Byrd Drucker, 78, died peacefully on October 25, surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Janet for 57 extraordinary and memorable years. He is survived by his adoring children, Carol, William and his wife Rhonda, and his youngest daughter, Abby, as well as three grandchildren, Elizabeth, Sarah Beth and Matthew. His older brothers, Joseph, Simon and David Drucker, predeceased him. He was especially devoted to his sister-in-law, Anita Caminiti, who showered him with laughter, kindness and an abundance of Italian cuisine.
He met Janet at 15 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where they were both raised, and their lives have been inextricably linked ever since. He enlisted in the US Army at 17, and was a paratrooper serving in World War II.
He was a graduate of Boys High School in Brooklyn, and received both a BA and MA from Brooklyn College. He was a devoted teacher of economics and history for 35 years for the New York City Board of Education. An educational innovator, he developed an alternative school at Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, which prepared high school graduates for immediate entry onto a career track.
He was the executive director of Camp Louemma, part of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, in Glenwood, N.J., for 17 years. During this time, he mentored young people in the social work field and created a wonderful camping experience for thousands of New York City children.
In 1976, Byrd and Janet, founded Drucker Antiques, which is now operated by their son, William. Their shared passion for art, antiques and design created a business that has cultivated a worldwide appreciation for Georg Jensen silver. His passion, knowledge and perseverance enabled Janet to complete her labor of love, the authoritative monograph on Georg Jensen silver, Georg Jensen: A Traditional of Splendid Silver, now in its second edition.
In their 60s, they embarked on a new adventure, and moved from their longtime home in Canarsie, Brooklyn, into Manhattan, where they truly felt like every day was a holiday.
He will always be remembered for his humor, intelligence, curiosity, persistence, courage, kindness, wisdom and his ability to savor every moment of joy. Family was most important to him, and in his mind, a man’s wealth could be measured by his abundance of loving family and friends, and in this regard, he was the richest of men. One of the greatest lessons he imparted to his children and grandchildren was that the only thing that should limit them would be their own dreams.
A memorial service was held, Sunday, October 28, at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th Street, at Amsterdam Avenue.
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