Oct. 16, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
The corner of 46th Street and Skillman Avenue is going to be co-named this Saturday in honor of Ethel Plimack, a Sunnyside resident who lived on that block and died last year at the age of 107.
The intersection will be co-named ‘Ethel Plimack Way’ in a ceremony organized by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer at 1 p.m.
Plimack died last November, just a few weeks short of her 108th birthday. She was Sunnyside’s oldest resident at the time of her passing.
She is survived by her three children and multiple grandchildren. Her husband, an optical supply wholesaler, died 40 years ago.
Plimack’s birthday became a popular annual event in Sunnyside. Residents would show up outside her house on 46th Street on Thanksgiving Day and sing Happy Birthday to her. More than 100 people attended the 20-minute event each year for five years.
The event was organized by Plimack’s neighbor Patricia Dorfman.
Van Bramer said in a statement that Plimack was a revered member of the Sunnyside community.
“Ethel Plimack was a beloved community activist and Sunnyside’s favorite centenarian,”Van Bramer said.
“Throughout her 107 years of life, Ethel made a profound impact on our community. I am proud to co-name Skillman Avenue and 46th Street to honor Ethel’s lifelong commitment to public service.”
Plimack, who grew up in the Bronx, moved to Sunnyside in 1941 and was an active member of the community until her death.
She worked as an administrative assistant in Marymount Manhattan College until she was 94 and swam regularly at the Equinox until she was 100.
She remained active and alert after she turned 100. She enjoyed knitting regularly and would donate her knitwear to local charities and fundraisers.
She had a strong connection to the neighborhood and was an outspoken supporter for the landmarking of Sunnyside Gardens in the early 2000s. She went before the NYC Landmark Preservation Commission in Manhattan to testify in support of landmarking the Gardens at the time.