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  • "I remember Eric very well . We were both in the same class..."
    - Robert C. Taffae
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WUNSCH--Eric M. A creative powerhouse in the fields of engineering, alternative thinking and art collecting died at 88. Mr. Wunsch died peacefully in his home on Gramercy Park on March 20, 2013. Known as Martin to his friends, he initially applied his creativity license to mechanical engineering designing and building numerous materials-handling vehicles, such as deft, mobile cranes used by the military in World War II; electric fork lifts; capstans; and giant container handling devices with enormous capacities that helped expand the ports of America exponentially. During the last 40 years, he turned his interest to the arts. His personal and business collections of American furniture and old masters paintings are unparalleled in private American collecting. Just as importantly, he amassed a vast wealth of scholarship which led like-minded collectors and curators to join him in working to preserve America's art history. Born in Brooklyn on July 27, 1924, he graduated Poly Prep with great haste, going on to matriculate at MIT before his 17th birthday. With the ink on his Masters in Engineering barely dry, he joined the Army and was stationed in the Pacific Rim during WWII. Upon his return, he joined the Wunsch family business, Silent Hoist & Crane, creating unique mobile materials-handling equipment to solve engineering challenges by "taking the load off a man's back". He piloted his own plane on sales calls throughout the country and built the brand to a premier level in the industry. To those who knew him well Martin Wunsch was a loyal friend and a very special man who always had a smile, and an opinion. He will be missed. He is survived by his wife of 61 years Ethel, sister Rosa Durando, son Peter, daughter-in-law Susi, and his beloved grandsons Eric and Noah. A memorial service will be held 11:00am, Thursday, April 25th at Christies New York, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, in lieu of flowers the family requests a donation be made to .

Published in The New York Times on Mar. 23, 2013
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