General Information

Full Name: Elaine A. Lederer
Date of Death: Friday, April 14, 2023

OBITUARY – ELAINE A. LEDERER: A Life Dedicated to Service,
Compassion and Caring for Others
Elaine A. Lederer, born in the Bronx, had good fortune smile upon her at
the age of 15, serving as counselor at a summer camp where she met the
partner, companion and love of their mutual lifetimes, Dr. Seymour J.
Lederer, shortly after he had returned from distinguished service in the
Marine Corps, during which he was wounded seriously at the battle of Iwo
Jima.
Their meeting might not have happened in any other way, as successful
romances such as theirs between natives of the Bronx and Brooklyn were,
and still remain, rare. It was a long way to travel by subway every day, but
Mrs. Lederer commuted to Brooklyn College throughout their courtship, a
move to Manhattan after their marriage in 1949, and her graduation with a
B.A. in elementary education.
Following their move to New Jersey in the 1950’s and building a home in
Fair Lawn, Dr. Lederer’s chemical company, Metalsalts in Hawthorne, was
purchased by Merck & Company and became Metasol Merck, where he
served as an executive until his retirement. Meanwhile, Mrs. Lederer
dedicated her life to service, both to her immediate and extended family
and to the community.
Especially passionate about the work done by the National Council of
Jewish Women (NCJW), she was instrumental in building its Mid-Bergen
Section, which she served in every capacity, most notably for many years
as Section President and mentor. Working also with NCJW’s National
Office, she spearheaded innovative and effective programs that made a
difference for good, not only locally but also nationally and internationally.
Mrs. Lederer was active in civic life as well, serving twice as a delegate to
national political conventions. For many years, she was a guardian ad
litem through an NCJW program known as Court Watch, committed to
protecting, to counseling, accompanying them through the legal process,
attending harrowing court proceedings, to representing in court and

assisting with shelter options women who have been victims of domestic
abuse.
Having grown up in a time when women did not have full control of their
reproductive health, Mrs. Lederer became an enthusiastic advocate for
women’s right to choose, and supported enthusiastically NCJW’s pro-
choice initiatives.
A gifted chef, innovator of treasured family recipes, and generous teacher
of cooking technique, Mrs. Lederer passed on her love of nurturing through
cooking to so many of her loved ones. She was an expert Mah Jongg
player and, typical of her willingness to share her knowledge and
experience with others, often taught the game to new players.
During her husband’s retirement, the couple spent weeks at a time at their
country home in Parksville, New York. For generations, the surrounding
fields were left to grow wild—until Mrs. Lederer discovered her passion for
driving a tractor. This was no idle hobby for her, but became an obsession.
She loved everything about it, dressing the part in overalls tucked into her
work boots, a wide-brimmed hat, rawhide gloves and bug netting. She
spent hours on her iconic John Deere, methodically cutting the fields until
they looked as manicured as a golf course.
This great eye for aesthetics was reflected also in how Mrs. Lederer
finished and appointed her homes, and in her classic sense of fashion.
She and Dr. Lederer taught themselves about antiques and art. Together,
they collected and displayed beautiful things from around the world.
She became a designer extraordinaire, a collector of fine antiques and art.
Around the house, every corner was painstakingly, beautifully decorated,
reflecting her sense of life, travels around the world and, in short, savoir
vivre. She knew how to live! Later in life, Mrs. Lederer began to work
professionally as an interior designer, and many of her friends and family
sought her decorating advice and ideas.
She was always eager to help, and freely offered her time, keen eye,
attention to detail, and encyclopedic knowledge about things like textiles,

silver hallmarks, construction methods and materials. She had an
outstanding sense of colors, space and aesthetics – she had panache.
She loved her parents, husband, children, grandchildren and family in the
same way she was loved by her parents and sister. She was extraordinary
in many ways.
An excellent writer as well as educator, Mrs. Lederer passed her writing
skills to, so far, two additional generations of descendants. H
The growing Florida branch of her family and the town of Boynton Beach
have welcomed her as a resident since 2011. There, she maintained her
dedication to service and the active, vibrant and independent life she led
throughout her 92 years.
Mrs. Lederer is an irreplaceable part of every life she has touched, and will
be missed by her children, Rabbi Karen Lederer Allen of Florida, Stuart
(Jennifer) Lederer of New Jersey and their children, Ava and Sarah Lederer
of New York City, and Michael (Dayra Bernal) Lederer of New York City, as
well as by beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and friends of many decades,
all of whom are very close and dear to her heart.
In lieu of flowers, donations are invited to the National Council of Jewish
Women.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Service Information

Thursday, April 20, 2023
10:30 AM

Service at:
Louis Suburban Chapel
13-01 Broadway, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410

Burial at:
Beth Israel Cemetery
US Highway 1 North, Woodbridge Township, NJ 07095

Get Directions to Louis Suburban Chapel

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