A venerable Judge and active member of the Bay Ridge community, Arthur Schack died on Monday, May 2.
An accomplished and respected New York State Supreme Court justice serving in the civil term, Schack, 71, is remembered by many as a positive, insightful and kind man.
A dedicated public servant, Schack told this paper last year that “serving the community, providing justice and giving everyone access to justice,” were the reasons why he became a Judge.
“This world just lost one of the most brilliant men I have ever known,” Schack’s daughter-in-law, Gina Briggs Schack, wrote in a Facebook post. “He was so knowledgeable on a plethora of subjects. He was so very proud to be a Supreme Court Judge. He was so devoted to his family and friends. He told it how it was. He led a truly wonderful life and he will be forever missed.”
Those who worked with him also remember him for his kind demeanor.
“Today a very good friend of mine, Judge Arthur Schack, passed away,” longtime friend Kevin Peter Carroll, wrote after hearing the news. “Dilia and Arthur have been such great friends and mentors to me. Their kindness can’t be expressed in a Facebook post. I am at such a loss. God bless him and his whole family.”
“I will always remember Justice Schack as a kind, compassionate and brilliant friend,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile. “Whether he was discussing his latest court decision or a major league baseball game, he did it with a style and flair of his own. Justice Schack made a positive impact on me and those he touched. I will miss him and his insight and his brilliance. I send my sympathy to his loving wife Dilia and to his children and family. This is a big loss to our community and to the judicial system. May he rest in peace.”
During his time as a Judge of the civil term, Schack handled cases ranging from real estate disputes to contract disputes to personal injury cases to foreclosures and mortgages.
Aside from his professional commitments, Schack spent many years as a member of Community Board 10, also serving as the board’s chair, stepping down when he was appointed to the bench, and was involved with the Boy Scouts of America, as well as different bar groups and bar associations. He previously was a history teacher at the former Bay Ridge High School for many years and was an active member of the United Federation of Teachers. Before becoming a judge, he served as counsel to the Major League Baseball Players Association.
“After he was called to the bench, Judge Schack became renowned for his colorful opinions, oftentimes quoting Shakespeare, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ and recent popular films,” added Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “His commitment to protecting homeowners from unlawful lending practices allowed many families to remain in their homes. The entire community of Brooklyn will always remember Judge Schack for his profound belief in the rule of law and the love he had for his family and his community.”
Schack is survived by his wife, Dilia, two children, Elaine and Doug, and two grandchildren, Olivia and Robert.
When asked last year what some of the highlights of his career were , Schack simply answered, “It’s quite an interesting job. No two days are alike. That’s a highlight. I hope that what I do has made the world a little bit better for some people.”
Schack’s funeral — a packed service that saw a complete shutdown of Coney Island Avenue — took place on Wednesday, May 4. He was interred at Green-Wood Cemetery. Shack was remembered as a “renaissance man” with a “passion for doing the right thing.”
The family has requested that those wishing to make a donation in Schack’s memory make it to either the Boy Scouts of America or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.