Albert Greenberg, a 40-year resident of the Villa Marina community of Marina del Rey who served as a combat motion picture cameraman during World War II, has died. He was 85.
Greenberg passed away July 3 from complications of dementia and spent his final days in the loving care of his family and his hospice nurses.
Born in Boyle Heights on Dec. 5, 1925, Greenberg was trained in photography during the early 1940s through Fremont High School’s vocational program.
He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps out of high school and was assigned by Ronald Reagan, his personnel officer, to the First Motion Picture Unit (FMPU) at Hal Roach Studios. Greenberg served as a combat motion picture cameraman during World War II, shooting post-battle scenes from B-17s over France and Germany. Having tried his hand at commercial photography after the war, he briefly worked as a butcher before going into business with his brother, Harold.
Greenberg retired at the age of 59 from Hal & Al Tire, the wholesale/retail business in Los Angeles and Inglewood that he and his brother built. In retirement, Greenberg and his wife Charlotte drove their RV throughout the U.S., riding bikes at their various destinations.
A member of the Fairwind Yacht Club in Marina del Rey and an accomplished sailor, he sailed to Hawaii as one of a four-man crew.
Greenberg helped found the B’nai Brith lodge in Marina del Rey, part of a lifelong association with the organization that began with Huntington Park A.Z.A.
Greenberg had taken up ceramics in retirement, creating distinctive Judaic pieces that were sold in crafts stores around Los Angeles and displayed at the gift shop of the Museum of Tolerance. After his wife of 50 years died in 1998, Greenberg found solace at Beit T’shuvah in Culver City, where he learned Hebrew and had a bar mitzvah in 2000, at the age of 75.
Greenberg is survived by his sister Rhoda Fires, brother Larry Greeneye, son Ken, daughter-in-law Sara, grandsons Aaron and Jacob, niece Lynn Hemar, and many cousins.
Funeral services were held at July 19 at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Daja Wangchuk Meston Greenberg ’96 Endowed Scholarship at Brandeis University (Development and Alumni Relations, Mailstop 012, Waltham, MA 02454-9110).