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Bernie Blumenthal


1936 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Bernie Blumenthal Obituary
Bernie Blumenthal 1936 - 2014 OLD SAYBROOK - Bernie Blumenthal of Old Saybrook passed away peacefully with his family at his side on March 8, 2014. He is survived by long-time partner Fran Sarra; sons Doug, Jeff and wife Catherine, and Jason; grandchildren Jessica and husband Brooks Laisi, Kristen, Matthew, and Scott; great-grandchildren Benjamin and Levi; siblings Elsie Fetterman, Miriam Glinn, Mort, and Meyer and wife Joyce; many nieces and nephews and Fran's children and grandchildren. Wives Sheila and Polly and brother Harold pre-deceased him. Born in 1936 to Dora & Nathan Blumenthal of Danielson, Bernie was a gifted athlete, achieving many MVP and co-captain honors in basketball & baseball including a .432 average as batting champion while at Killingly High. He turned down an offer to play Boston Red Sox Class E ball, instead attending University of Miami where he earned the President's Cup as Intramural Athlete of the Year. He met wife Sheila there, married and returned north to join the family hardware business. Sons Doug and Jeff were born soon after. A remarkable woman, Sheila died in 1967 after a brave battle with cancer. Bernie remarried Evelyn "Polly" Blumenthal, followed by the birth of son Jason. A wonderful mother, Polly worked side by side with Bernie to keep the hardware store going through tough times and helped him through the heartbreak of its eventual closure. Bernie parlayed his skills into real estate and insurance and helped 150 families achieve home ownership by introducing Westville modular homes to the state. He was a Danielson Exchange Club charter member and treasurer, Temple Beth Israel Treasurer, and volunteer in the local Chamber and S. Killingly Fire Department. He also helped found Danielson Little League. Sadly reminiscent of Sheila's death when sons Doug and Jeff were 8 and 6, and his own mother's death when he was 12, Bernie lost wife Polly in 1979 when son Jason was six. In 1986, Bernie became Insurance Administrator for Connecticut's 98 housing authorities. Introducing joint bidding and strong risk management, he reduced premiums by $250 a year for elderly tenants. He also helped transform Killingly's Library through reuse of the A&P building owned by his siblings, structuring the deal with the building's eventual donation to the town. After retirement, Bernie became a farm insurance entrepreneur, helping 100s of farmers reduce their premiums. Bernie spent the past 20 years enjoying life in Indiantown, Old Saybrook where he and his best friend and eventual caregiver, Fran, enjoyed Bernie's ultimate pleasures -- boating, fishing, and life on Long Island Sound. Funeral services will take place on Thursday at 2 P.M. at Church & Allen Funeral Home, 136 Sachem Street, Norwich, CT followed by burial at IOBA Cemetery . In lieu of flowers, donations in Bernie's memory can be made to Temple Beth Israel Preservation Society, c/o Rosa Goldblatt, 63 Sherwood Lane, Norwich, CT 06360.
Published in Norwich Bulletin on Mar. 11, 2014
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