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Bernard Lenhoff

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Bernard Lenhoff, 87, former first Justice of Northern Berkshire District Court, of 69 Cobbleview Road, Williamstown, died Wednesday Nov. 22, 2006, at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

He was born in North Adams on Oct. 4, 1919, a son of the late Jacob and Fannie (Synder) Lenhoff. He attended schools in North Adams and graduated from Drury High School with the class of 1937. He then graduated in 1941 from Suffolk University Law School in Boston. He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1942. He began his career at the former law office of John J. Alberti before serving three years with the Army Air Force during World War II as a sergeant.

Judge Lenhoff operated his own law practice at 57 Main St. in North Adams for many years and from 1974 to 1976 was in partnership with his son attorney John Lenhoff at the law offices of Lenhoff & Lenhoff. Judge Lenhoff was appointed special justice in Williamstown District court in 1969 and later was appointed presiding and full-time judge. In 1978 the Williamstown and North Adams District courts were consolidated, and Judge Lenhoff was appointed first justice of the Northern Berkshire District Court. He retired in October 1989.

Judge Lenhoff was civic and community leader. In 1955 he was elected to the North Adams School Committee and in 1958 was named chairman of the planning committee which brought Mc Cann Vocational Technical High School into existence. He served as chairman of the McCann Regional School Committee until 1963. In 1962 then Mayor Francis C. Florini named him to the post of city solicitor and he served for six years.

He was a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and was a longtime member of Congregation Beth Israel.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Lillian (Giuffre) Lenhoff, whom he married Dec. 28, 1941; two daughters, Marsha D. Lenhoff of Watertown, and Arlene Wachstein and her husband, Alan, of Bennington, Vt.; a son, John Lenhoff and his wife, Suzanne, of Williamstown; three grandchildren, Adam M. Wachstein, James B. Lenhoff and Andrew J. Lenhoff.

He was predeceased by a brother, Arthur Lenhoff and a sister, Molly Lenhoff.

Funeral services will take place Sunday at 11 a.m. at Congregation Beth Israel, Lois Street, North Adams. Burial will follow in Beth Israel Cemetery in Clarksburg. In lieu of flowers memorial donations are suggested for the charity of the donor’s choice through the Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, WEST CHAPELS, 521 West Main St. North Adams, Mass.
Published in Bennington Banner on Nov. 24, 2006
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