Independents

Longtime Maine Jeweler Stanley Pollack Dies at 82

IndependentsFeb 08, 2022

Longtime Maine Jeweler Stanley Pollack Dies at 82

A beloved and respected figure in the industry, he was a past JA president and member of National Jeweler’s Retailer Hall of Fame.

Stanley C. Pollack, who started working at his father’s jewelry store in the ‘60s after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, died Jan. 25. The longtime Maine jeweler was 82 years old.
South Portland, Maine—Stanley C. Pollack, a well-respected jeweler who headed some of the industry’s most prestigious organizations and is remembered for his kindness and guidance, died Jan. 25 surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren.

He was 82.

According to his online obituary in the Portland Press Herald, Pollack was born in Pittsburgh to Perle and Gerald Pollack but moved to Maine, the state that would become his longtime home, when he was 15.

He graduated from Deering High School and went on to attend, and graduate from, the University of Bridgeport.

It was during his freshman year at Bridgeport that he met the woman who would become his wife, Doris Carroll. He was 18 and she was 17, and their meeting sparked the beginning of a 59-year romance.

After college, Pollack served in the U.S. Army during the Berlin Crisis (1961) and received the National Emergency Medal from President John F. Kennedy for his service.

He was honorably discharged from the Army and began working alongside his father, Gerald, at G.M. Pollack & Sons, the jewelry store Gerald had opened in 1955.

Pollack led the expansion of G.M. Pollack & Sons from one store in Maine to more than a dozen across the state and in New Hampshire, including a corporate office.

He was a diamontologist and gemologist who not only sold jewelry but also designed it and brought happiness and love to his customers.

Pollack headed some of the most visible organizations in the jewelry industry.

He was treasurer, vice president, and president of Jewelers of America, served two terms as chairman of the Diamond Council of America, and founded the Maine Jewelers Association.

He also served on the first board of directors when the organization now known as Jewelers for Children transitioned from being the International Retail Jewelers Charity Fund to the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children.

According to current JFC Executive Director David Rocha, Pollack spearheaded JA’s effort to support JFC from the start.

It was his idea to create the JFC canister for retailers to put on their counters and he worked through JA to send one to every member at the time.

He was inducted into National Jeweler’s Retailer Hall of Fame in 1999 alongside Cartier’s Ralph Destino and New York jeweler Al Solomon.

His family’s jewelry store, G.M. Pollack & Sons, closed in 2015, struggling with the same troubles that have plagued many independent jewelers in recent years.

Outside of the jewelry industry, Pollack was involved in various charities in Maine, and had a deep-rooted love for the state’s Jewish community and for continuing the traditions of his religion.

He also liked to fish, travel, and spend time with his family, and was a fan of all New England sports teams, especially the Boston Red Sox.

Pollack was preceded in death by his sister, Betsi Messier.

He is survived by his wife, Doris; two sons, David and Sam; two daughters-in-law, Agnes and Stacey; two grandchildren, Sage and Boden; sister, Leiba Frankel (Marshall Frankel); brother-in-law, Raymond Messier; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and three special “furry friends,” Timmy, Willi, and Bella.

The family held a private funeral service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Pollack’s memory to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital via this link or through the mail to the Maine Medical Center Philanthropy Department, 22 Bramhall St., Portland, ME 04102. 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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