|Birth: ||Sep. 19, 1910|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Mar. 11, 2005|
Rescue turns tragic for elderly couple
Longtime Albany lawyer, wife found dead in pool at Florida home
By LEIGH HORNBECK, Staff writer
First published: Monday, March 14, 2005
An elderly Albany lawyer and his wife of 66 years, who apparently died attempting to rescue her husband, were found drowned in the swimming pool of their winter home in Florida.
Bernard Ellenbogen was 94. His wife, Mary Ellenbogen, known for her gardening, was 85.
According to family friend Howard Schaffer and published reports, the couple died when Bernard Ellenbogen fell into the pool at their Rotonda West home and his wife went in to rescue him. A neighbor found their bodies Saturday, according to a published report.
In Albany, the Ellenbogens lived on North Allen Street and were active in Congregation Ohav Sholom, which they helped found.
Lawyer Jim Gross of Loudonville remembers Bernard Ellenbogen as a "very accomplished lawyer versed in his craft" and as a kind man. Gross met the family as a first-grader at PS 16, where he went to school with Bob Ellenbogen, one of the couple's five children. As an adult, Gross had the opportunity to discuss the law with Bernard Ellenbogen and interviewed him for an article in the Albany County Bar Association journal.
Ellenbogen was an estate lawyer. At his home of 55 years on North Allen Street, he kept a collection of law books dating to 1737.
"Mrs. Ellenbogen was a sweet, lovely lady with a lot of class, an extraordinary woman," Gross said.
Mary Ellenbogen, nee Hershkowitz, grew up in Schenectady. She had a pool at the North Allen Street home, Gross said, and grew plants and trees in the back yard. She was a master gardener for the Cooperative Extension and taught and lectured on gardening in Albany and Florida.
Gelene Matonti, a neighbor from the Ellenbogens' Florida neighborhood, said Mary Ellenbogen hadn't been giving lectures lately because Bernard Ellenbogen was nearly blind and used a walker.
"I'm a nurse, and I offered to stay with him on my day off so she could go to lunch with a friend or go shopping without worrying, but she said, 'No honey, you're busy, we're getting along fine.' She wouldn't leave him for long," Matonti said.
Everyone in the neighborhood knew Mary Ellenbogen because she walked each day to the Kash 'n' Karry three miles away, wearing her trademark "Gilligan's Island" hat, Matonti said.
"She always had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye," Matonti said.
In addition to their five children, the Ellenbogens are survived by 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Services will be held at Congregation Ohav Sholom on New Krumkill Road at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Mary Hershkowitz Ellenbogen (1919 - 2005)*
Married July 30, 1939
"Everything in Moderation"
Beth Israel Lower Cemetery
New York, USA
Created by: TLH
Record added: May 20, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37295234
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