ROBERTA AND GENE PRASHKER: A Class Act at NST
WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?
We both grew up in Brooklyn. Roberta at
2728 Kings Highway (two blocks from Bernie
Sanders) and Gene at 918 East 14 Street (down
the street from Woody Allen).
While in her teens, Roberta moved to the
Upper West Side of Manhattan where she graduated
from the Bronx H. S. of Science. She
received her Bachelor’s Degree from Barnard
Gene graduated from Brooklyn Technical
H.S. and then went to NYU College of
Engineering where he received both his
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial
Engineering. While at NYU he was a member
of ZBT’s Gamma Chapter.
WHAT CAREERS DID EACH OF YOU FOLLOW?
Growing up in a household where her father
was a school principal, Roberta always wanted
to be a teacher. After graduating from Barnard,
she taught elementary school, and then realized
that she was very interested in helping those
students who were falling behind academically.
She received her Master’s Degree in Education
and then became a reading specialist. For 25
years she worked with middle school and
junior high school students who had difficulty
reading and were testing substantially below
grade level. At the same time, she was also
an instructor at the Stanley Kaplan Center
preparing students for their SAT’s. During a
number of summers, she served as Director
of the Elementary Summer School.
Roberta has been invited to speak at professional
conferences for experts in reading
instruction. Her lectures on the topic of “What
Really Works” were standing-room-only. In
1982, she was awarded membership in the
“Four Chaplains Legion of Honor,” a prestigious
award given to those who have performed
selfless service by going the extra mile to help
Early in Gene’s career, he worked at a number
of companies including Merganthaler Linotype
and Westinghouse Electric. He later held executive
positions at both Continental Copper and
Steel Industries and I.U. International. In 1978
he left I.U. and joined Omni Management, a
management-consulting firm where he was
Executive Vice President until retirement. Gene
was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and a
licensed Professional Engineer (PE).
While at Continental Copper and Steel, he
was instrumental in bringing the first copper
manufacturing plant to the state of Utah (the
nation’s largest copper producer), in recognition
of which he received the personal congratulations
of Calvin Rampton, the Governor of
Utah. In addition, he was awarded the “Keys
to the City” of West Jordan, the city where the
new plant was located.
DO YOU HAVE A FAMILY?
Roberta and Gene met on a blind date and
were married after Roberta’s junior year in
They have two children, Audrey and Mark.
Audrey attended Wellesley College and
Columbia Law School. After graduation she
joined the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind,
Wharton and Garrison. After six years at the
firm in New York, she spent four years in Japan
at their offices in Tokyo. When returning to the
United States, she joined Verizon where she
is now a Vice President and General Counsel-
Their son, Mark, attended Princeton
University. He received his MD degree from
the Medical College of PA and his Master’s
degree in public health from Boston University.
Mark was a recipient of the American College
of Rheumatology’s Physician Scientist award
He served as Associate Dean of the School of
Public Health at Boston University until his
They have three granddaughters: Alison,
who after recently graduating from Dartmouth
College has started medical school at the
University of Pittsburgh, and twins Betsy and
Lauren, who are seniors at Edgemont High
School in Scarsdale, N.Y.
WHERE DID YOU LIVE
BEFORE COMING TO NST?
Roberta and Gene have moved nine times.
They have lived in many interesting places
throughout the country including Clark and
Metuchen, NJ; Oceanside, NY,; Atlanta,
GA; San Antonio, TX; Gladwyne, PA; and
Manhattan, NY before coming to NST.
After retirement, they decided to move from
the bucolic suburb of Gladwyne, PA , outside of
Philadelphia, to the urban oasis of Manhattan.
They greatly enjoyed living in Manhattan
and for 18 years took full advantage of the
theater, museums, concerts, the 92 St Y, and
One of the questions they are asked all the
time is “Why did you move from Manhattan to
NST?” Their answer is that the hustle and bustle,
and especially the noise, of the city made
them look for a quieter place that would be
better suited for their later years. In addition,
Roberta had also developed a condition called
Hyperacusis that makes her very sensitive to
loud sounds. After visiting Roberta’s cousins,
Felice and Frank Schmeyer, at NST a few times,
they were sure this was the right place for them.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING AT NST?
It’s been three and a half years that we are
here and we are both actively involved in clubs
and activities. Roberta has already served on
many committees including: Country Club, No
Smoking, Welcome, Special Projects, House
and Grounds, and Cultural Programs. Gene
has served on House and Grounds, Country
Club, and Capital Improvements.
They have made many friends here and go to
most of the dinner dances, parties and evening
programs. You can always find them at the
VIP Club Room for Friday night dinner. They
enjoy the Tai Chi and Ballroom Dance Classes.
Gene belongs to the Men’s Club and they both
go to their meetings, dinners and never miss
They play couples Canasta, Bridge and
Scrabble and Roberta belongs to a Mah Jong
group. You can find them walking daily both
outside in the surrounding neighborhood and
in the Arcade, depending on the weather. You
will know them as the couple checking their
Fitbits to make sure they have achieved their
number of “steps” for the day. They have added
a great deal to many of NST amenities.
HAVE YOU GONE ON MANY
Their most interesting travel experience
was having the opportunity to visit Japan for
extended visits when their daughter was working
there. While in Japan they were not only
able to visit the major tourist attractions, but
they were also able to experience everyday life
in a fascinating part of the world.
In addition to their Japan trips, they have
also visited many major cities in Europe and
main attractions in the U.S. and Canada. They
especially enjoy the opportunity to fly to their
two favorite cities, London and Paris, to celebrate
Roberta and Gene Prashker have enjoyed
many fascinating experiences before joining
us at North Shore Towers. They are active
members of a variety of service and recreational
groups at NST. Also, they’re regulars
at the Friday Night Happy Hour at our VIP
Gene & Roberta Prashker
4 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ December 2019