Elliott Jules Taradash of East Hampton died Wednesday, September 3, in Southampton. He was 87.
Mr. Taradash was born in Chicago on January 6, 1927, to Max and Ida Taradash. He was the youngest brother of Lawrence and Samuel Taradash.
Always excelling in his studies, he was the valedictorian of his high school class. Upon graduation, he went on to attend the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied with world-famous architect Mies van der Rohe. During his studies, he was drafted into the Army Corps of Engineers, serving in World War II as a sergeant. He received an appointment to West Point and Annapolis.
When he returned from military service, he met Gloria Jean Grossman of Passaic, New Jersey, and the two married in December 1949. He began working at M. Grossman & Son, Inc., a manufacturer of the world-renowned Betmar Hats, supervising hundreds of employees. Survivors said he was known for being a kind and compassionate leader.
Always having a vision for the future, Mr. Taradash was personally responsible for implementing an IBM computer system into the company in the 1960s. Betmar became the first manufacturer in northern New Jersey to utilize technology in its business affairs. While working, Mr. Taradash completed his education at New York University and received his degree in industrial engineering.
Mr. Taradash and his wife, Gloria, raised two daughters, Meryl Taradash and Lauree Dash Austin.
A community leader, he served numerous terms as president of the Jewish Federation of Passaic and Clifton, New Jersey, the United Jewish Appeal, and the Northern New Jersey chapter of B’nai B’rith. He was honored on two presidents’ missions to Israel.
Mr. Taradash and his wife traveled the world, visiting more than 90 countries. He loved photography and documented his travels extensively. He was among the first Americans to go hot air ballooning in Spain, where was honored by the Mayor of Cordoba.
He retired to East Hampton in 2000, where he enjoyed swimming and playing the piano. He loved to spend his winters in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where the locals referred to him as “The Don.”
Survivors said he always wore a smile on his face and had a twinkle in his eyes, and that his generosity was exceeded only by his love of life.
In addition to his wife of nearly 65 years, Gloria Taradash, he is survived by two daughters, Meryl Taradash and husband Wayne La Pierre, and Lauree Dash Austin and husband Ford; and a grandson, Jeffrey Koch.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, wwwjcoh.org.