Ernie Haim

24 Oct 2019 | 10:47

Ernie Haim, a longtime resident of Warwick, New York, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. He was 87.

He was born in Vienna, Austria in 1932 to Ella and Alfred Haim.

As a Holocaust survivor, he was interviewed by Steven Spielberg’s production company for research on the movie, "Schindler’s List." During the talks, he told his story of being a seven-year-old boy escaping from the Nazis with his parents behind the false-wall of a cheese cargo truck. Once they escaped, they traveled to the United States and arrived in New Jersey in 1940.

Ernie graduated from Newark Arts High School in 1950 and from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Art and Fine Art Illustration in 1956. His education at Pratt was interrupted from 1953 to 1956 to serve in the U. S. Army during the Korean War.

He graduated from Columbia University 1958 with a Masters of Fine Art and Fine Art Education. From 1959 to 1960 he attended the New Bauhaus in Ulm, Germany. From 1960 to 1967 he worked as a civilian for the U. S. Army as head of the Crafts Program in France.

In 1967 he became a student of Gurdjieff under Dr. Willem Nyland, who established the Institute for Religious Development in Warwick. Gurdjieff’s philosophical system remained his lifelong study while he was earning a living as a freelance book design, working for a variety of publishers such as Norton, Harper, Avon, Rheinhold, E. P. Dutton, Prentice Hall, Hayden Books, and then for many years with Cambridge University Press.

He also worked in the toy business for a number of years and made a variety of wooden toys. He loved woodworking and made many creative items and pieces of furniture over the years.

He is survived by his wife, Dale Ackerly, his daughter, Allyson Haim (Steve, Emma), his son, Turi Haim, and his stepson, Paul DiGiorgio (Rachel, Sarah, Leah).

He said he would like to be remembered as an independent bastard with a tendency to speak the truth as he saw it.

He loved art and music and friends who also pursued their passions. He loved his kids unconditionally and beyond description.

He remembered a fortune teller who spontaneously told him that he "would have two children and one not of his flesh." His favorite phrase he loved to quote frequently upon observing the change or end of something or someone, was “And ... so it goes”

Private funeral arrangements were made by Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home, 17 Oakland Avenue, Warwick. A memorial will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Institute for Religious Development (Chardavogne Barn), 7 Chardavoyne Road, Warwick, NY, 10990.