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Werner Klugman, 92, Formerly of Pleasantville

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Werner Klugman, a former Pleasantville resident, died at his home in New York City on June 14. He was 92 and had Alzheimer's disease.

He was a former president of the American Ethical Union and a founder of the Ethical Society of Northern Westchester in Ossining.

He was born Feb. 29, 1920, in Fuerth, Germany, and was forced to leave the country amid the rise of the Nazi regime. Klugman was able to board passage on a steamship to Manhattan in 1937 with the help of an uncle.

Once in New York, he became acquainted with the Ethical Culture Society, an organization that helped him to assimilate smoothly into American culture. He eventually served as president of the American Ethical Union from 1962 to 1967 and founded the Ethical Society of Northern Westchester with his first wife, Phila.

Klugman joined the U.S. Fifth Army Corps of Engineers in 1942, serving in North Africa and Italy as a technical sergeant. He later received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Columbia University and a master's degree in urban planning and policy from the New School, leading to his work in the coatings industry.

In 1975, Klugman and his business partner, Howard Greenwald, bought Landers Segal Color Co. He served as president and the company flourished into a national distributor of pigments catering to industrial demands for coatings, ink, plastic and construction. He retired from the company in 1996.

In 1945, Klugman and his wife settled in Pleasantville, where they raised three daughters. After his first wife's death in 1977, he married Bruni Verges in 1978. She died in 1992.

Beyond his professional career, Klugman enjoyed teaching and supporting his children and grandchildren. He taught his children and grandchildren how to play tennis and ski — his two favorite sports — and could often be seen attending their sporting events  and recitals.

Klugman had a summer home on Martha's Vineyard and would relish small adventures, telling family members about his bicycle excursions as a young man in Germany and encouraging them to make their own discoveries.

He is survived by three daughters, Carol (John) Carey, Margaret, and Deb (Carl) Mehne; a stepdaughter, Pilar; a stepson, Sebastian; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Ethical Culture Society in New York City.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Ethical Union, Ethical Society of Northern Westchester, Planned Parenthood ot Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam.

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