Bernard Karlebach, 96

July 20, 1917 - Dec. 7, 2013
Bernard Karlebach - July 20, 1917 - Dec. 7, 2013

       Bernard Karlebach, a former East Hampton resident who was active with Guild Hall and the LongHouse Reserve, died on Dec. 7 at home in Delray Beach, Fla. He was 96.

       Mr. Karlebach’s love of the arts led him to Guild Hall and the LongHouse Reserve, where he and his wife were active volunteers. “He found his niche in both of those organizations,” a stepdaughter, Linda Goldman of West Hartford, Conn., said.

       He also enjoyed working on art and do-it-yourself projects, including his own backyard bocce court. “He could fix anything. He could build anything. He could design anything,” Ms. Goldman said. “He just had this incredible aesthetic and creative mind. He had a vision, and he wasn’t satisfied until everything looked exactly the way he wanted it to look. . . . The wheels were always turning.”

       Mr. Karlebach was born in the Bronx on July 20, 1917, to Christianna and Eugene Karlebach. He was a star athlete at Morris High School there, winning the school’s heptathlon in 1934. After high school, he married Pearl Goldhagen, and, eventually, the couple and their two children moved from the Bronx to Fairlawn, N.J. Mr. Karlebach worked in the printing industry, among other businesses, was a cartographer during World War II, then opened the Karlebach Art Gallery in Fairlawn.

       His first wife died in 1978. In 1979, he was married to Florence Freedman, moving with her to Glenrock, N.J. They often visited friends who had summer houses on the South Fork, and when Mr. Karlebach closed his gallery they moved to East Hampton, working closely with an architect to design a house in Northwest Woods.

       After wintering in Florida for a number of years, the couple sold their house in East Hampton in 2005 and moved to Delray Beach, where they again designed a house. Mr. Karlebach continued to be an active in the community.

       In addition to his wife and stepdaughter, he is survived by a son, Clark Karlebach of Fairlawn, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He also is survived by another stepdaughter, Debi Freedman of Genoa, N.Y., two step-grandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren. A daughter, Dorothy Jaffe, and a brother, Henry Karlebach, died before him.

       A service was held on Dec. 10 in Delray Beach. His family has suggested memorial contributions to Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton 11937.