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Mount Sinai Obituaries and Services » Seymour Pine

Seymour Pine

November 15, 2014

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On the passing of Norm Pine’s dad:

On Saturday night the world quietly lost a giant spirit. He sought neither fortune nor fame – just a better world. When I met Norm in 1984, I learned that Seymour Pine, a WWII vet from a lower middle class Bronx family, returned to high school at age 50 to receive his diploma. I learned that Seymour, after grieving the loss of the love of his life (Norm’s mother) from a sudden death in 1982, picked himself up and sought ways he could redirect his passions. He believed that communication and education were the keys to a better world. He attended meetings which brought Arabs and Jews together in an effort to promote better understanding. His admiration of Paul Robeson was legendary to those who crossed his path. He often visited the First AME Church in downtown LA and asked young African-Americans if they heard of Paul Robeson. He handed them printed pamphlets and explained to them why they should take great pride in their heritage. He even organized a petition for an official Paul Robeson stamp, which the U.S. Post Office printed.

He also helped start an organization called the “Doves” – an organization of older citizens dedicated to helping underprivileged children learn. For many years, he volunteered at Palms Elementary School and worked one on one with children from a variety of backgrounds to help them learn English and read. His countless hours of dedication were rewarded with the naming of the school library as the Seymour W. Pine Library.

Seymour’s passion also was bestowed on his family. He never just signed a Hallmark card. He wrote something on every blank space on the card making sure we knew he really, really, really meant what the card said.

Seymour died at age 93 and 11 months while Norm, me and Stacy were dancing at the CAOC Convention in San Francisco and Scott and Katrina were out painting the town. Although Seymour has been incapable of communicating for the last few years, I am sure he would be smiling at the success and closeness of our family.

Was he eccentric? Yes. Did we praise him enough for his selfless generosity? Probably not. Is the world a better place because one man gave so much of himself? Absolutely.

The funeral is on Friday at 2:00 p.m. at Mount Sinai cemetery. I realize most of you have never met Seymour. But if you see Norm, give him a real or virtual hug. To have known Seymour is to better understand Norm and his commitment to the ideals he holds precious. With love, Beverly Pine.