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Rolf Sternberg

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Rolf Sternberg Obituary
Rolf Max Sternberg

1945-2012 On November 29th, 2012 Rolf Max Sternberg passed away peacefully in his home with his daughters, his sister, and sister-in-law by his side. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in October 2011. Always hopeful that he would get better, he fought until his very last day.

Rolf was born on November 24, 1945 and grew up in Hoosick Falls, NY as a first-generation American. His parents escaped World War II and opened a five and dime store in the village. Rolf left Hoosick Falls to attend Syracuse University and after graduating, he taught fifth grade in Bedford- Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY. While teaching, Rolf took night classes and earned his masters in teaching at NYU and subsequently, his law degree at Brooklyn Law. After law school, he moved back to Hoosick Falls to start his own law practice in order to give back to the community that gave his parents and family so much.

Rolf met his late wife Patricia Barr, another lawyer in the area, in 1978. They married in 1980, and by 1982, while expecting their first child, they began their own law firm (Rolf's second firm) in Bennington, VT. Although Rolf would never mention it because he was never one to self promote, the firm grew to become the largest in Southern Vermont, succeeding in winning many groundbreaking cases over the years. One of these cases is cited in law school texts and is taught in law schools throughout the country.

Rolf practiced law in Hoosick Falls, NY and Bennington, VT until he fell ill in 2011. He played the role of super-husband to his late wife, who battled breast cancer, much of their marriage, and super-dad to his daughters, Shira and Tava. He served on the board of Ed Levin Jewelry, hosted a local Friday morning radio show that he absolutely loved, ran his late wife's family business, started a non profit to help restore Hoosick Falls, as well as countless other activities.

He had a passion for basketball and enjoyed shooting hoops, coaching his daughters, and watching his alma mater, the 'Cuse orange. He also loved his early morning routine of going for a run. In law and in life, Rolf championed the underdog when no one else would. Using his remarkable skills in the courtroom, he was a fierce advocate for his clients, but was kind, and deeply devoted to them and their plights. Above all else, he loved his two daughters and could be counted on to put them first and do whatever they needed or wanted.

In addition to his two daughters, Rolf is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Karen and Alan Scharfstein and their 3 children; his sister Gabriela Malec and her 2 daughters and their 4 children; his sister-in-law Teri Barr and her husband Charles Stewart and Teri's daughter and his brother-in-law Michael Barr and his wife Daria Barr and their 2 children as well as several dear cousins.

Rolf liked uplifting events and always looked for the positive in every situation.

To honor his wishes, there will not be a funeral.

The family invites you to join them at their home: 407 Cold Spring Road in North Bennington, VT between the hours of 1to 5 p.m. on Sunday December 2nd to celebrate the life of Rolf Max Sternberg and his endless optimism and hope.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Civicure (www.civicure.org), the Civic & Cultural Restoration Corporation, an organization Rolf founded for the revitalization of the Hoosick economy through active stewardship of its rich heritage and rural environs and the art inspired by them, through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201.

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Published in Bennington Banner on Nov. 30, 2012
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