Joseph Pernica, who owned a house on Hedges Bank Drive in East Hampton for 32 years, died on June 22 at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. He was 86.
Mr. Pernica was born on April 7, 1925, in Plumlov, Czechoslovakia, the youngest of five sons of Aloise Pernica and the former Herma Pospil.
He grew up under the Nazi occupation and was a student in Prague when the Communists took over. After receiving a business degree at the Czech University of Prague, he escaped from communism in 1949 and emigrated to Sydney, Australia. There he received a master of economics degree from the University of Sydney and began a career in marketing research.
In 1958 Mr. Pernica emigrated from Australia to the United States. He first worked in Chicago and Minneapolis, then in 1962 moved to New York City to work for J. Walter Thompson Advertising.
Over the years he was involved in marketing research in many capacities, including as one of the principals who developed the “I Love New York” campaign.
In 1980 he founded his own company, Consumer Behavior, and was heavily involved for many years in international banking research.
Surviving are his wife, Cecile Otte Pernica of Manhattan, five nieces and nephews in the Czech Republic, and a brother-in-law, David Otte, who lives in Massachusetts.
Mr. Pernica was well known in East Hampton and in the North Hollow community for his dedication to bluff restoration at the property he bought with his wife in 1977. During the 1980s and 1990s, he fought back against coastal erosion by replacing his lost bluff several times, on each occasion with permits from the required agencies.
He also treasured his beloved lawn, Ms. Pernica said, and was a master at landscaping his waterfront East Hampton property.
“Joe loved the Town of East Hampton and was extremely proud of belonging to such a beautiful and historical community,” Ms. Pernica said.
He is buried at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in East Hampton.