Passed away on April 20, 2022, at the age of 93. Predeceased by sisters Edythe (Saul) Joseph and Lillian (Jerome) Klein. Survived by his beloved wife Molly Seidenberg Panner, his sons Morris (wife Nancy Jardini), Aaron (wife Jenifer), and Daniel (wife Maria Chudnovsky), 10 grandchildren, and many nephews, nieces, and their offspring.
Born October 9, 1928, Bernard grew up in a small town in Ohio, near Youngstown, in the shadow of the depression, the growing disaster in Europe, and the approach of war. The son of immigrants, his father managed to maintain a level of comfort for his family, and he moved, to his great relief, from Girard to Youngstown to complete high school. He studied chemistry and then medicine at Western Reserve University in Cleveland; after his graduation and a year of internship he joined the navy at the tail end of the Korean War, seeing no combat and traveling the world as a ship’s doctor. He trained in pathology and moved in the late 50s to the University of Rochester to be chief resident at Strong Memorial Hospital. He never left, joining the faculty and becoming a Professor of Medicine until he took emeritus status in 1998. He continued to practice renal pathology at Strong – where he was a pioneer in the diagnostic use of electron microscopes – until his retirement in 2017.
He first met Molly Seidenberg when they were both interns in Brooklyn at Kings County Medical Center. They dated; he wowed her with his sophistication, ordering lobster at Gage & Tollners. But it didn’t stick – perhaps because he went to sea – and that might have been the end of the story had he not, in 1961, missed a train from New York City to Rochester and headed downtown for a Gilbert & Sullivan matinee. In line at the theater, he ran into Molly and an uninterrupted 60-year romance ensued. Married in February 1962, by 1968 they were living with three boys on a leafy street in Brighton where they spent 50 deeply satisfying years.
A clarinetist as a boy, he took up the cello as an adult, and became an active and accomplished amateur, playing with a quartet for many years and performing in a public master class with the Guarneri Quartet. He was a decades-long member of the Penfield Symphony, and he and Molly took full advantage of all of the wonderful classical music and theater that Rochester had to offer. A lifelong member of Temple Beth El, he was a leader of the congregation, including as chair of the ritual committee. In retirement, he and Molly loved to dine out – they were treated like family at Lucano and the Park Avenue Pub – and travel, including a memorable Alaska cruise and vacations in Paris and London. A connoisseur of fine French Bordeaux, he loved to share his cellar with his children and friends. A man of wide reading and deep learning, he tackled the French language, ancient Greek, Talmud and Jewish history ancient and modern, novels, biographies, and histories of many genres.
He was fiercely intelligent, a wise parent and friend, kind and generous, and very funny. For decades he led the family seders, magical events that brought our whole family together and that none will ever forget. Perhaps most of all, he was a deeply loved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and great-uncle. We will miss him!
Funeral Services will be held on SUNDAY April 24, 2022 at 12 Noon in The Chapel of Temple Beth El (139 Winton Road South). CLICK HEREfor directions to Temple Beth El.
A procession will follow to White Haven Memorial Park (210 Marsh Road).
The family will sit Shiva on SUNDAY April 24, 2022 from 4 – 6 PM at The Summit (2000 Summit Circle Drive). CLICK HEREfor a map to The Summit.
Donations may be made to Jewish Senior Life in Bernard’s memory. CLICK HEREto donate online.