Richard G. Ehrlich of Southold died at his home June 7 after a sudden illness. He was 73.
He was born June 10, 1940, in White Plains to Mary (Gates) and Jacob Ehrlich. Mr. Ehrlich graduated from Hamilton College with a Bachelor of Arts degree and then became a philatelist. During this time he traveled the world, buying and selling stamp collections. After retiring in 1978, he continued to travel until he purchased The Clam Bar at Napeague in 1980. Family members said he “continued to learn and develop the business to be where it is today – an iconic Hamptons establishment.”
In 1994, Mr. Erlich bought the Seafood Barge in Southold, which is where he met his wife, Betsy. The restaurant was the first to receive a three-star rating from the New York Times. Family members said it was his vision for the Seafood Barge that put North Fork dining on the map and throughout the years, he shaped many lives of those who worked for him at his restaurants. They also said he loved the beach, the ocean and appreciated the beauty of nature.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Jennifer, of San Francisco, Calif.; his son, Jacob, of New York City; his stepdaughter, Kelly Flinn, also of New York City; his stepson, Brian Flinn of Nashville, Tenn.; and his sister, Lynn Nielsen of Olympia, Wash.
The celebration of life service will take place Friday, June 13, at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Southold. Arrangements were handled by Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue.
Memorial donations may be made in Mr. Ehrlich’s name to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978 or the Lustgarten Foundation, 1111 Stewart Ave., Bethpage, NY 11714.