Morton H. Pechter
PECHTER--Morton H., November 13, 1922 -June 24, 2008, a business tycoon and later Hall of Fame Underwater Photographer, adventure sports photojournalist, writer and book author passed away peacefully from respiratory failure. Morton Pechter was the last remaining member of the original Pechter Baking Company and Harrison Baking Company, wellknown for its Jewish Rye Bread and other baked goods products, serving the New York, New England, New Jersey, Pennsylvania area. The specialty of dark and heavy breads, pumpernickel and rye, and assorted bagels and pastries proved popular and the concern prospered. The bakery grew to over 1000 employees with hundreds of delivery trucks. Serving at various times as President, Treasurer and Secretary he was a brilliant, energetic, practical, motivating, detail oriented force ensuring the company's success. Starting with horsedrawn delivery trucks, they were one of the first commercial companies to change to the Edison Electric Truck. Thomas Alva Edison was present to give a personal send-off when the first of these trucks was put into service. Pechter's was also wellknown for its "kosher for Passover" line of products. Store shelves were filled with their "kosher" items at holiday time. Jews and non-Jews alike devoured their delicious Passover macaroons and chocolate nut brownies. Pechter was a graduate of Dartmouth College, Class of 1943, the Tuck School, 1944 and Harvard Business School. He served in the Army in WWII. In later years, when the Pechter Baking Company had been sold, Pechter turned to SCUBA diving and underwater photography, first as a hobby and later as a profession. His professional life as a photographer grew and he wrote and photographed for hundreds of magazines, joining the masthead designation on many. He became the "Official Photographer" for the SCUBA Industry for over 25 years; for over 16 years he was the "Official Photographer" for the Chris Evert Tennis Charities; for eight years for the Delray International Tennis Championships; for four years for the Air & Sea Show in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and was the photographer for "Raffi on Broadway" and several other Broadway productions. As a professional photographer, writer, SCUBA diver and lecturer, he photographed and wrote about the world's top tennis professionals, searched for sunken archeological and lost treasures, photographed the magnificent reefs, jumped from helicopters, flew in hot air balloons and gliders and investigated the deep ocean. He authored and photographed an award winning book, "What's In The Deep?" that was a "Reading Rainbow" designated book. It was the first children's book ever done with actual underwater photos rather than illustrations. Pechter's book is a science text in libraries and classrooms throughout the U.S. He also produced and photographed an instructional, photographic flyer for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. His photos appeared on many calendars and covers of magazines. He was recognized as an outstanding underwater photojournalist by New York Times art critic David Shirey, who stated that Pechter's photos "reflect a technique, a specialized expertise and an aesthetic authority that gives us a new understanding of underwater photography." His many awards include: the 2003 NOGI for Distinguished Service from AUAS; the 2008 Diver of the Year from Beneath the Sea; Director's Award from the Balloon Federation of America; the Photographer of the Year from USCA. He was given recognition and honored by the United Nations Environment Programme, recognized by the U.S. Navy as an Honorary Deep Sea Diver, and awarded the "Rambo" underwater diver from the Police Department. He was honored with election to the SSI Platinum Pro 5000 group in recognition of making over 5000 SCUBA dives and his work within the industry. The North American Travel Writers Association (NATJA) awarded him top honors for several of his published pieces. He was elected a Fellow National member in the prestigious Explorers Club for his contribution to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration. Pechter has been the featured speaker on several television productions, among them a special television production about sea and space including Michael Collins, the command module pilot for the first landing on the moon. Some of the more memorable TV shows he helped to film were Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Kim Alexis for Good Morning America, Al Roker for the Today Show and Hugh Downs for 20/20. He was a founder of the Long Island Science Museum and its Executive Vice President. His photos and articles have appeared in Life, Time, Newsweek and Forbes Magazine. Pechter was a longtime member of Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn, Long Island and a member of the Board of Trustees, sang in the choir and served as Cantor on many occasions. He was a charter member of DEMA, a member of the American Society of Media Photographers, the National Association of Press Photographers and the North American Travel Writers Association. He was a Life member of the National Marine Educators Association, a Founding member of the Historical Diving Society, a Fellow in the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences and a Fellow in the Explorers Club. Pechter had the unique ability to instill in others the same excitement and enthusiasm for life's wonders that he had. His obvious delight for the world beneath the sea was nurtured by his deep commitment to conservation and preservation of the underwater wilderness. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Alese, and his children; Dr. Stuart and Madeline Pechter, Dr. Richard and Robin Pechter, Dr. Jay and Roxanne Pechter, Juris Dr. Todd and Christine Pechter and his grandchildren, Nelson, Wyatt, Joseph, William, Patricia and Diana.
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Published by New York Times from Jun. 27 to Jul. 6, 2008.
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70 Entries
Mort's uncle, Isidore Jacobowitz, was my great-grandfather's (Max Hymowitz) doctor in 1919.
Robert Ceisler
February 19, 2018
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A tribute to the life of our phenomenal husband, best friend, lover and soulmate: our fantastic Dad; and our remarkable "always there" Grandad, Morton H. Pechter. He would tell us all to "Keep Smiling" and for us to continue giving "vitamins for the soul" as we travel life's path. While he is physically gone from us, his spirit, influence and kindness will long be remembered.

Remember to always: ENJOY BEING!!!


PECHTER--Morton H., November 13, 1922 -June 24, 2008, a business tycoon and later Hall of Fame Underwater Photographer, adventure sports photojournalist, writer and book author passed away peacefully from respiratory failure.

Morton Pechter was the last remaining member of the original Pechter Baking Company and Harrison Baking Company, wellknown for its Jewish Rye Bread and other baked goods products, serving the New York, New England, New Jersey, Pennsylvania area. The specialty of dark and heavy breads, pumpernickel and rye, and assorted bagels and pastries proved popular and the concern prospered. The bakery grew to over 1000 employees with hundreds of delivery trucks.

Serving at various times as President, Treasurer and Secretary he was a brilliant, energetic, practical, motivating, detail oriented force ensuring the company's success. Starting with horse drawn delivery trucks, they were one of the first commercial companies to change to the Edison Electric Truck. Thomas Alva Edison was present to give a personal send-off when the first of these trucks was put into service.

Pechter's was also well known for its "kosher for Passover" line of products. Store shelves were filled with their "kosher" items at holiday time. Jews and non-Jews alike devoured their delicious Passover macaroons and chocolate nut brownies.

Morton Pechter was a graduate of Dartmouth College, Class of 1943, the Tuck School, 1944 and Harvard Business School. He served in the Army in WWII.

In later years, when the Pechter Baking Company had been sold, Pechter turned to SCUBA diving and underwater photography, first as a hobby and later as a profession. His professional life as a photographer grew and he wrote and photographed for hundreds of magazines, joining the masthead designation on many.

He became the "Official Photographer" for the SCUBA Industry for over 25 years; for over 16 years he was the "Official Photographer" for the Chris Evert Tennis Charities; for eight years for the Delray International Tennis Championships; for four years for the Air & Sea Show in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and was the photographer for "Raffi on Broadway" and several other Broadway productions.

As a professional photographer, writer, SCUBA diver and lecturer, he photographed and wrote about the world's top tennis professionals, searched for sunken archeological and lost treasures, photographed the magnificent reefs, jumped from helicopters, flew in hot air balloons and gliders and investigated the deep ocean.

He authored and photographed an award winning book, "What's In The Deep?" that was a "Reading Rainbow" designated book. It was the first children's book ever done with actual underwater photos rather than illustrations. Pechter's book is a science text in libraries and classrooms throughout the U.S. He also produced and photographed an instructional, photographic flyer for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. His photos appeared on many calendars and covers of magazines.

He was recognized as an outstanding underwater photojournalist by New York Times art critic David Shirey, who stated that Pechter's photos "reflect a technique, a specialized expertise and an aesthetic authority that gives us a new understanding of underwater photography."

His many awards include: the 2003 NOGI for Distinguished Service from AUAS; the 2008 Diver of the Year from Beneath the Sea; Director's Award from the Balloon Federation of America; the Photographer of the Year from USCA. He was given recognition and honored by the United Nations Environment Programme, recognized by the U.S. Navy as an Honorary Deep Sea Diver, and awarded the "Rambo" underwater diver from the Police Department. He was honored with election to the SSI Platinum Pro 5000 group in recognition of making over 5000 SCUBA dives and his work within the industry. The North American Travel Writers Association (NATJA) awarded him top honors for several of his published pieces. He was elected a Fellow National member in the prestigious Explorers Club for his contribution to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration.

Pechter has been the featured speaker on several television productions, among them a special television production about sea and space including Michael Collins, the command module pilot for the first landing on the moon. Some of the more memorable TV shows he helped to film were Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Kim Alexis for Good Morning America, Al Roker for the Today Show and Hugh Downs for 20/20.

He was a founder of the Long Island Science Museum and its Executive Vice President for many years.

His photos and articles have appeared in Life, Time, Newsweek and Forbes Magazine.

Pechter was a longtime member of Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn, Long Island and a member of the Board of Trustees, sang in the choir and served as Cantor on many occasions.

He was a charter member of DEMA, a member of the American Society of Media Photographers, the National Association of Press Photographers and the North American Travel Writers Association. He was a Life member of the National Marine Educators Association, a Founding member of the Historical Diving Society, a Fellow in the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences and a Fellow in the Explorers Club.

Morton Pechter had the unique ability to instill in others the same excitement and enthusiasm for life's wonders that he had. His obvious delight for the world beneath the sea was nurtured by his deep commitment to conservation and preservation of the underwater wilderness.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Alese, and his children; Dr. Stuart and Madeline Pechter, Dr. Richard and Robin Pechter, Dr. Jay and Roxanne Pechter, Juris Dr. Todd and Christine Pechter and his grandchildren, Nelson, Wyatt, Joseph, William, Patricia and Diana.
The Family of Morton Pechter
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My heart goes out to you and your family. I know how deeply empty one can feel at a time like this. I hope that all of the memories you two have shared brings you comfort and joy. I am sorry I did not know you both better.
Barry & Christine Adler
July 22, 2008
Dear Alese, Stuart, Richard, Jay and Todd,
I was contacted by the Thorners with the news about Mort and was truly saddened. I own the copy of the book that you gave to my mother and now enjoy sharing it with my grandchildren. I have such fond memories of growing up across the street from you and of all the time we spent at the pool together. I send prayers of comfort to all of you. I share your feelings of loss and will keep Mort's memory with me always.
Lainie (Marks) Krasnoff
July 8, 2008
Dear Alese,
I only knew Morton through the family tree information you shared a few years ago but I was very sorry to hear of his passing and most impressed to read about his interesting life and myriad accomplishments. On behalf of the Chicago ("hardware") Pechters I extend my sincere condolences to you and your family.
Edward Pechter, MD
July 7, 2008
Alese and Family -- We were so sorry to hear about Mort's death. He contributed so much to the diving industry and will be fondly remembered for his talent, elegance and kindness. We are glad our paths have crossed on so many happy and positive occasions. You have our sincere condolences.
Susan & Rick Sammon
June 30, 2008
He was extremely kind, and fun to play with. We'll miss him terribly.
Mojo & Sheena
June 29, 2008
Dearest Alese:
Mort was "simply the best" and was a much beloved member of our family as are you. Words cannot truly express how much he will be missed but he will always have his own special place in our hearts as he lives on in yours. Our best love we send over the miles to you. Know you are always in our prayers.
Your loving brother and sister,
Nancy and Edwin Owen
Phoenix, Arizona
Nancy & Edwin Owen
June 29, 2008
Alese- Sorry about your Morton. Our childred Heidi & Monte have bonded with your grandsons in Tampa. What a small world it is. This will continue for generations to come. Phyllis & Marc Pechter
Marc Pechter
June 29, 2008
Mort was a gentle, quiet man who spoke volumes through the photos that he took of the sport and the people he loved. He was, in turn, loved by all who knew him and he leaves a void that can never be filled.
Dan Orr
June 27, 2008
Dear Alese,

At DEMA 2006 in Orlando, both you and Mort made me feel so very special. You have always taken lots of pictures of my Dad and justifyably so. Yet that year it is almost like you went out of your way - more than once, too - to take pictures of me doing things. You made me feel like the belle of the ball! I often think of you both and that time.

You and Mort were so missed last year and the DEMA Show just wasn't the same. I guess it never will be.

Yet I will always, always remember all of the wonderful photos you have taken of my Dad and all of us at DUI and the memories you have given us.

With all of my love,

Susan
Susan Long
June 27, 2008
SINCERE CONDOLENCES, I REMEMBER "KNOB HILL" WELL. YOU WERE VERY GRACIOUS.!!!!HE WILL BE MISSED.
SADLY, MY DAD DIED A FEW WEEKS AGO..
WE ARE GOING THROUGH A SAD TIME, TOO..
ALESE, TAKE CARE
BEST TO STU AND MADDY, TODD, RICHARD ET AL.
FONDLY JEFF LINDEN
JEFF LINDEN
June 27, 2008
Dear Pechter Family,
My son Bryan is a patient of Dr. Stuart Pechter in Lantana, and we would like to send our deepest sympathy to the family. I am also a close friend of Alvin Newman in Hunters Run. Mr. Pechter was an extraordinary man -you all should be very proud of his accomplishments!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time.
The McFaul Family
Marcy McFaul
June 27, 2008
Alese and Family: Our deepest sympathies on the loss of a great man. The entire diving industry will miss this quiet, kind, thoughtful and talented person. We are thinking of you and your family, and if you need anything, please let us help.
Tom Ingram
June 26, 2008
Dear Alese and family,
We wish you courage through this difficult time.
With our love,
Sharry, Seth, Danny, and Jonathan Kimmel
Sharry, Seth, Danny, and Jonathan Kimmel
June 26, 2008
Dear Alese: May g'd give you strength at this most difficult time. Thanks for the memories!
Leni Smith
June 26, 2008
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