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Freda Merimsky Bernhardt (1919-2022)
Freda Merimsky Bernhardt died on December 1 at the Jewish Home of Rochester, Cottage 3, which had been her home for the past several years. She was 103 and 5/6 years old. Freda was born in Rochester, NY, the youngest of four children of Rose and Harris Merimsky, in the 2nd year of the Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1919.
She was married to Myron (Mike) Bernhardt for 71 years until his death in 2012, and is survived by their two sons, David and Bob (Nora), both of Tennessee. She was a life-long resident of Rochester, and a member of Temple B’rith Kodesh and Sisterhood for over 70 years.
Once her sons were past middle school, she began working in various temporary positions arranged by what is now the Olsten Staffing Agency. What we recall of her time with the agency is that every place she went to work asked her to stay on permanently. She stayed with the Al Sigl Center for many years.
She is survived by her sons and daughter-in-law; her adored grandchildren Alex (Cam) and Charlotte (Aaron), and her equally-adored great-grandchildren, June, Beau and Abel; Bob’s ex, Jenny Massey; her sister-and-brother-in-law Muriel and Sidney Eidson and their children Mark (Jane) and Debra (Norm); her cherished nieces and nephews Ann Hollander, Ruth Hollander, Anita (Bary) Siegel, Howard (Pam) Merimsky, Sandy Merimsky, and all of their children, and their children’s children (did we mention Freda was almost 104?). She is also survived by the family of her son David’s late wife Patti: Jodi (Jamie) Perry and Jacob Pumputis.
She was predeceased by her parents, Harris and Rose (Laritzky) Merimsky, beloved sisters Mildred (Sol), Sarah (Abe) and brother Garson (Rose), and her daughter-in-law Patti Bernhardt, all of blessed memory. On the Bernhardt side she was predeceased by Mike’s siblings, Bernard Bernhardt and Laura Karch.
Her family acknowledges with admiration and gratitude the care Freda received from Marge Gutzmer, her Living Well Companion for the past nine years, the Caring Angels at the Gables of Brighton led by Lynn and Connie, the aides and staff at the Jewish Home of Rochester, and Rochester Regional Hospice. Their professionalism and compassion toward both Freda and Mike will be remembered always.
The family will hold a private gravesite service in the coming week and will have a celebration of life ceremony in the spring.
Even though Freda loved alstroemeria, in lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to the Jewish Home of Rochester (Jewish Senior Life) (WEBSITE), Temple B’rith Kodesh or TBK Sisterhood (WEBSITE), or to any charity or non-profit of your choice. She would love that.