George Howard Berk was born October 19, 1940 in Brooklyn to William and Jennie Berk and during his youth he developed a lifelong love of sports. In his teens he worked and played at the Pines Hotel in the Catskills, where he met his wife Barbara. He studied pharmacy at Columbia University and served in the Air Force before opening several pharmacies in NYC with his long-time business partner Martin Kepecs. He raised his family in Cedarhurst on Long Island and relished going for long walks and playing on the black course of the golf course at Bethpage. He loved Florida and began visiting there every winter starting in the 80s before moving there in the 90s. George had great personal warmth and was a skillful storyteller. His love of food was matched only by his love for his family and friends. He loved games off the court as well, excelling at chess, scrabble, pinochle and poker just to name a few. He was smart, witty, kind and had a rare zest for life. His gentle and kind spirit will be missed by all. He is survived by his sister, Dr. Nina Berk Knox, her sons Joshua and Daniel Berk Knox and her partner Mort Kantor; daughters Shelly Berk and her husband Thomas Mohler, Amy Berk and her husband Andrew Cox and their children Benjamin and Jude Berk Cox along with their Grandmother Barbara Berk. He also leaves behind his partner Marcia Jacobs, her children and grandchildren and a large group of friends and other family members. Donations to honor his lifelong love of sports can be made to the Jewish Community Center to fund a deserving young athlete in the upcoming Maccabi games (Aug. 10-14, 2014): Levis JCC Maccabi Scholarship Fund in memory of George Berk: 9801 Donna Klein Blvd, Boca Raton, Florida 33428 All are welcome to join the group that will gather at the opening ceremonies of the Maccabi games in Boca Raton next August to celebrate George's life.
Published in Sun-Sentinel from Sept. 22 to Sept. 24, 2013