South Strafford, Vt. — Alfred Edler, 86, died, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, at the Lebanon Center Genesis in Lebanon, N.H.
Alfred was born on June 12, 1927, in Rochester, N.Y., along with his twin brother, Adolph III. He was the son of Adolph II and Anna Mae Edler. He was unexpected (back in 1927 there were no ultrasounds!) and weighed only three pounds at birth. He was not expected to live, though through the diligent care of his parents and many hot water bottles later, he did survive.
Alfred joined the Navy (his twin brother, the Army) in 1945, a year before graduation from high school. Alfred was stationed at Pearl Harbor.
After returning at the end of the war, Alfred finished high school and soon entered the family profession: the field of commercial art. His father had been the chief art director for several large newspapers, his brother Adolph an art director with LOOK magazine, and his younger brother Peter was also a photo-retoucher as was Alfred. For many years, Alfred learned the art of photo-retouching under his mentor, one of the best, respected, photo-retouchers of his day, Denton Morris. Alfred eventually went out on his own and acquired a large clientele of ad agencies across New York City. His skill as a retoucher, soon had him known as the “retoucher’s retoucher”. Alfred and Adolph loved art so much that when they were kids they built their own easels and tabaret desks. Alfred inspired his niece, Lynne Stephenson, to learn the art of retouching from him. She later joined her uncles, Alfred and Peter, as part of Alfred’s business known as Edler Retouching, a studio located in Miami, where Alfred had moved, his wife and young family in 1967.
Alfred met the love of his life, Beatriz (later changed to Beatrice) E. Medina at a roller rink in Queens in 1945. She had recently arrived from Ecuador, South America. They were married in 1951 and were married for almost 63 years. Alfred retired from retouching in 1992, as digital retouching was making the art of hand retouching with bleaches and dyes obsolete.
He and Beatrice moved to Wheelock Terrace Assisted Living in Hanover, N.H., in 2009, to be closer to their daughter and her family. In 2011, they moved to Strafford, to live with their daughter, who cared for them and for her father until the last day of his life.
Besides Alfred’s obvious talents in the commercial art world, he was known by friends and family as an outdoor enthusiast, especially water sports. He enjoyed SCUBA diving, spear fishing, shipwreck expeditions and treasure-hunting in the waters off of South Florida and the Caribbean. He dreamed of and finally was able to purchase his own boat, “Bea II”, in the early 70’s. He was the owner of two Studebakers, a 1955 Commander and his beloved 1964 Golden Hawk GTO (Grand Tourismo), which sits in his daughter’s garage today. He lovingly cared for that car for more than 45 years.
Alfred and Beatrice were fortunate to have been the recipients of the prosperity and optimism of the post WWII era. They were great entertainers, throwing lavish food and dance party’s at their homes in New York and Miami and enjoyed the companionship and love of many, like-minded friends throughout their lives.
Alfred is best known to his children, however, as the quintessential father—one, who provided well for his children, made many sacrifices along the way, was devoted to his wife and family and served as a role model for goodness—honesty, kindness and generosity. Just a great dad all around, who will be sorely missed.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Beatrice; daughter, Leslie; son, Gary; six grandchildren; his twin brother, Adolph; his sister, Mary; and many nieces and nephews.
A short chapel service followed by a burial service with full, military honors will be held July 18 at 1 p.m. at the Vermont U.S. Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Randolph, Vt. Condolences may be expressed to Alfred’s family in an online guestbook at www.knightfuneralhomes.com.