Long-time Corcoran Group broker Mitchell Lawrence died Thursday after 21 years with the company.
Friends and family gathered at a memorial service at 11 a.m. today at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue at 30 West 68th Street. Corcoran did not release the cause of death.
Lawrence is survived by his long-time partner, Corcoran Vice President Joseph Dwyer, his sister Stacey Lippman, brother-in-law John Lippman and his niece Danielle Lippman.
Lawrence, 54, was a senior managing director at Corcoran’s 12th Street office at the time of his death, after joining the firm in 1988, according to an e-mail alerting employees at the company of his death.
Pamela Liebman, Corcoran’s CEO, could not immediately be reached for comment.
One of the first men to work at the firm, Lawrence “belonged to that special class of Corcoran folk we call ‘old-timers,’” the email said. “As such, he played an important part in shaping the character of the firm in its early days. Many of the photos we possess of those years feature a smiling Mitchell — he always wanted to be where the fun was.”
Corcoran Group founder Barbara Corcoran recalls the dapper, energetic young agent “jumping from chair to chair,” adding, “I can’t picture him sitting down.”
After 10 years at the firm, Lawrence convinced her to create a position for him as director of training, helping other brokers market themselves to build their business.
Corcoran recalled the excited pitch he made for the position.
“I knew that anybody who could be that enthusiastic was going to succeed,” she said. “Was it the right idea? Who knows. But was it the right person? Definitely.”
Mitchell was promoted to managing director in 2004, heading the Village office and eventually the 36 East 12th Street office.
Lawrence, who lost his parents early in life, had come to the firm as a “young man in search of a family,” Corcoran said. “I think he found it at the Corcoran Group. He was by himself and he had a lot of love to give, and he showered everybody with it.”
That literally became the case when Lawrence met Dwyer, with whom he shared a dog and vacation homes in Southampton and Fort Lauderdale.
“It was somewhat unsurprising that when he met the love of his life, he kept his heart in the Corcoran family,” the company e-mail said.