Houston N'Crowd


Our Friend Ben
1942 - 2006

Our friend Ben


June, 2006:  It is with great sadness that the Houston N'Crowd announces the passing of one if its founding members and good friends, Bennett "Ben" Pearlman.

Ben was born Dec. 6, 1942, to Leonard and Lillian Gertrude Pearlman of New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Ben moved to Houston when he was 15 years old, where he graduated from San Jacinto High School. He went on to study at the University of Houston. It was also at the University of Houston that Ben met his true life-partner and soulmate, Irene Pearl (nee Chanowsky). They were married in 1966.

After school, Ben worked as a cameraman for KTRK (ABC) in Houston. Then he formed Pearlman-McNee Productions in 1970, which later became Pearlman Productions, a successful full-service film and production company. Irene and Ben ran this company together for 28 years. In 1989, the University of Houston honored Ben with the Distinguished Alumni award. Ben also received numerous industry tributes, including many Telly awards which adorned the lobby of Pearlman Productions, along with a vast collection of antique cameras and film equipment.

Other than overseeing the lives of his children and grandchildren, Ben was fascinated with trains. He was involved in the National Model Railroad Association from 1968 to present. He was Vice-President of the Lone Star Region of the National Model Railroad Association from 1987-89; President from 1989-93; and co-chair of the 1989 National Convention, which took place in Houston, Texas.

In 2002, after Ben and Irene sold Pearlman Productions, he realized his lifelong dream and opened Papa Ben's Train Place, which specializes in a vast genre of model trains and accessories. He had once remarked that seeing his grandchildren's faces and having his train store was all that he needed to be happy (and maybe an occasional trip to a craps table).

Ben and Irene were blessed to have recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, and honored it by taking the family on a vacation throughout Italy. Ben is survived by his loving wife, Irene Pearlman; his younger brother, Allyn Pearlman (of Houston); his daughter and son-in-law, Marci and Mark Frenkel, and grandchildren Jonas and Lola (of Dallas); his daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Brian Silver, and grandson Miles (of Houston); and daughter, Sari Pearlman (of Houston).