About Marc Gellman

Marc was born at Unity Hospital on St John’s Place in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up in the East New York section in the 1950s/’60s, most of his world existed on the block where he lived. It was a close-knit neighborhood of Polish Jews. Almost exactly in the middle of the block was a large synagogue (East New York Jewish Center) and on the two northern and two southern corners were retail stores. The homes, consisting mostly of two- and four-family dwellings, often housed three generations of one family. It was a great neighborhood for a kid; most of Marc’s friends lived on the block.

The Strand and Breakers Hotel, which was located on Lewmay Road and Beach 31st Street in Far Rockaway.  Marc met his wife on July 4, 1964 in front of the Breakers Hotel.      

Marc’s family—mom, dad and older brother—vacationed in the Rockaways in Queens, NY. It was a summertime beach community, with a mix of bungalows and three-story rooming houses. From the first Saturday, after the last day of school, the family would travel to the Rockaways for the entire summer, until a few days after Labor Day.


It was in the Rockaways where Marc met the future love of his life, when he was fourteen and Barbara was twelve. Upon first meeting her, Marc was oblivious to any possibility of dating that cute, dimple-faced girl. It would be a year later that he worked up the courage to ask her out.

Barbara and Marc Gellman

“Every day we share is special”

On the day of his sixteenth birthday, Marc started his working career as a clerk at the Big Apple Supermarket on Church Avenue, Brooklyn. He earned $1.25 an hour and additional money from a side business of his own, which he created at the supermarket. He would carry shoppers’ packages out of the store and load up their car. Marc would be tipped a nickel, dime, or fifteen cents and, on very rare occasions, a quarter. He earned enough for a Saturday night date, with pocket money left over for the week.

As a young boy, Marc had an interest in watching the construction of buildings. When anything was being built in his neighborhood, he would excitedly visit the site after school and monitor the construction progress each day. He went on to attend CCNY School of Architecture in Manhattan.

Marc and Barbara were married 22 months when they moved into this house in Flanders, New Jersey.

While attending college, Marc became a licensed real estate salesperson, selling homes in the northeast Bronx and later in Woodhaven, Queens. He married, one week after his twenty-second birthday and two weeks before Barbara’s twentieth birthday. Yes, Barbara was still nineteen, on their wedding day.

After graduation, the couple moved to New Jersey, where Marc worked for a home builder and where they raised their three children, in a rural northwest suburb. Marc continued his career as staff architect for a Newark, New Jersey-based management and consulting firm.

Although a busy man, between work and family, Marc is particularly proud of his volunteer work starting in the late 1990s. As Co-Chairperson of the Mount Olive High School Diversity Counsel, the success of the counsel at the high school inspired Marc and his co-chair to encourage such counsels in all of the township schools. Marc and his co-chair eventually took on the role of Chairpersons of the Mount Olive Human Relations Commission and were applauded for their work by the then-Mayor of Newark, Sharpe James.
Marc Gellman
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