Michael Albert Berenson died comfortably at his home in New Orleans surrounded by family on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at the age of 75 after a 12 year struggle with a rare progressive neurodegenerative process - Multiple System Atrophy. He was born in New Orleans on November 16, 1938 to the late Janis and Abe Berenson. He graduated Isidore Newman High School in 1957 and later received a bachelor of Science in engineering from Tulane University. In 1963, Michael earned a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University and was hired as a rocket scientist for Martin Marietta in Denver, Colorado. In 1969, Michael founded Quanta Data Systems which was one of New Orleans' first data processing companies. Quanta provided accounting, accounts receivable, payroll and inventory for hundreds of businesses in the greater New Orleans area and was acquired by another local data processing firm in 1985. In 1987, Michael enrolled in the Tulane University School of Law and was an editor for the Tulane Law Review. After graduating with honors in 1990, Michael joined and later became partner in the law firm of Sessions & Fishman. For nearly thirty years, Michael was an active leader in the New Orleans Jewish Community. He served two terms as president of Touro Synagogue and was Chairman of the Board of Touro Infirmary and president of the Jewish Community Center. In 2011, Michael received the Judah Touro Award for outstanding contribution to his local community hospital. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Mat Shushan Berenson, two sons, Andy Berenson and Mark Berenson, two grandsons, Jack Berenson and Brett Berenson, sister, Jill Berenson, daughters-in-law, Jamie Berenson and Brooke Barradale. Services will be held in memory of his life at Touro Synagogue, 4238 St. Charles Ave. on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM, with visitation beginning at 12:30 PM. Rabbi Alexis Berk will officiate. Burial will follow at Hebrew Rest Cemetery Mausoleum in New Orleans. Please make memorial donations to Touro Synagogue or Touro Infirmary. THARP-SONTHEIMER FUNERAL HOME of Metairie is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be expressed online at www.tharpsontheimer.com. Information, please call (504) 835-2341.
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Published in TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, 2013