Lenny Bernstein
1941 - 2016
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Lenny Bernstein 1941-2016

Asheville - Lenny Bernstein died on Sunday September 25, 2016, ending an enthusiastic, active, and caring life. He was committed to the environment and committed to hiking, melding these two lives seamlessly.

With a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 1969, Lenny spent the next twenty years as a researcher for Exxon. He worked, in part, to determine the effects of gasoline quality on air pollution. When he moved to Mobil in 1989, he quickly became the corporate expert on climate change. Though working for an oil company, he understood that human-induced climate change was a threat with severe impacts to people. In 1995, Lenny began attending UN meetings devoted first to the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, then to its ratification and implementation.

He was a member of the writing team that produced the overall summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s Fourth Assessment's Synthesis Report. In 2007, the IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, and Lenny was recognized for contributing to this award. No, he didn't "win" the Nobel Prize but he, along with his fellow scientists and engineers, treasure the certificate from the King of Norway.

Lenny Bernstein discovered the pleasures and challenges of hiking in his twenties and hiked his first mile on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in 1974. He's been hiking, maintaining and supporting the A.T. ever since. Lenny and his wife Danny (Danielle) are "A.T. end-to enders" - completing the 2,185-mile trail in 1998. He also walked all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, becoming a Smokies 900M. He was very active in Carolina Mountain Club, serving twice as president. The club recognized his service by granting him its highest club honor--Honorary Life Membership.

His wife, Danny (Danielle), son, Neil, daughter-in-law Yi-Ting Wang, and granddaughters, Hannah and Isabelle, survive him and will miss him a great deal.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807 or Carolina Mountain Club PO Box 68, Asheville, NC 28802.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.ashevilleareaalternative.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Asheville Citizen-Times on Sep. 28, 2016.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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25 entries
September 29, 2020
I knew Lenny when we were both members Live Strong cancer group. He was such an intense charge of good humor and sharp intellect. We shared very little time but I'll never forget him.
Marcianne Miller
October 16, 2016
I was so saddened to learn of Lenny's passing. I so enjoyed attending his classes and lectures at the College for Seniors. He had a real appreciation for all the really important things in life and was a true Renaissance man.

My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Kate Beatty
Kate Beatty
October 16, 2016
Lenny left the world a much better place. We will miss his sage advice on how best to protect the Appalachian Trail experience and its resources.

Bill and Sharon, Franklin, NC
aka Dayglo and Bluebird
October 9, 2016
I hiked many miles with Lenny at Appalachian Trail Conservancy events, spent countless hours with him at ATC committee meeting, and shared his passion for Appalachian Trail. I will miss our discussions and arguments but most of all I will miss his friendship. The trail community has lost a great champion
Bob Almand
October 4, 2016
Lenny, was a great person, only got to meet him a few times and hiked with him once. So sorry he has pass.
Bruce Julian
October 4, 2016
Lenny was a wonderful and caring man - giving his all to his pursuits and causes and people he held dear. He was a strong supporter of college education and to his alma mater - University of Florida (UF). Decades of UF students will have changed lives due to his and Danny's generosity.

Jennifer Curtis, former Department Chair of Chemical Engineering at UF
Dean, College of Engineering, UC Davis
Jennifer Curtis
October 3, 2016
Danny, and all of Lenny's Family - please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all during this most difficult time. I got to know Lenny through his work as an Appalachian National Scenic Trail manager -- spending countless hours and boundless energy "behind the scenes" in meetings and calls and discussions (some of the unglamorous management work that didnt involve being on the Trail he loved so much and worked so tirelessly for). And a few special times, we actually got to hike together. It was clear that he was the smartest guy in the room long before I learned of his Nobel recognition. His ability to distill complex subjects into terms we could all understand, his passion, his energy, and his sarcastic wit are what I remember best -- he is a true Champion of the A.T. I am proud to call him friend as well as Champion.
Pete Irvine, U.S. Forest Service
October 2, 2016
I first met Lenny on a hike at an A.T. Regional meeting. It was a delight to walk and talk with him, a very intelligent and personable man. I was always happy to see him again at A.T. gatherings and am shocked and saddened at his sudden loss. He contributed much to the Trail community.
Marianne Skeen
October 2, 2016
I met Lenny in writing class, where I learned to listen attentively to his thoughtful comments and impressive displays of a wide range of expertise. I shall remember him most for his energy, his passion for the planet, and his great good humor.
I shall miss him.
Judi Goldenberg
October 2, 2016
I met Lenny here in Asheville in a writing class. I did not know him long, and yet he left a deep impression with his thoughtful comments, his wide range of knowledge, his great good humor. I will always remember him for his energy even in retirement, his passion for the planet, and his contributions to all of us in the Asheville community.
Judi Goldenberg
October 2, 2016
I just heard yesterday and was shocked. Lenny was and will always be a force fighting for causes and the people and things he loves.
Rita Hennessy
October 1, 2016
I met Lenny when we were both members of the Live Strong cancer survivor group at the downtown Y. He was the only man in the group and of course we women kidded him mercilessly. And he gave it back as good as he got. He brought in his novel, The Great Rebellion, Book One of the Autobiography of William Watson, his remarkable alternate reality about what life could have been like if the American rebels lost the revolution. We were thrilled to have autographed copies. It's a fascinating novel and long so we teased him that we were all going to go to bed for months with him under our pillows! Such a charming, compassionate, funny gentleman -- impossible to forget. We are all so proud to have known him. Our deepest sympathies to his wife, Danny, and son Neil and his family.
Marcianne Miller
October 1, 2016
So sorry for your loss. Jesus wept. We weep along with you. John 11:35
September 29, 2016
Lenny was always a kind man and always a gentleman. He was a great leader in the Carolina Mountain Club and gave tirelessly to foster the enjoyment of the outdoors in Western North Carolina. Condolences to Danny and familyJohn Pawcio & Sandy Walters.
John Pawcio
September 29, 2016
Lenny brought out the best in people. With that twinkle in his eyes, he was perceptive and inclusive.
His contributions to our community are diverse.
My condolence to Danny and family.

Jill Zimerman
Jill Zimerman
September 29, 2016
I am so saddened to hear of Lenny's passing. He was a joy to be with in the Great Smokies Writing program. I always will remember his zest for life, love of writing and helpfulness to all of us. I send my prayers and warm thoughts to Danny. I will surely miss him.
Nancy Forsythe
September 29, 2016
Lenny was a mentor to me during our time at ATC. Dedicated, thoughtful and driven to the mission. He contributed so much and will be missed.
Edward Guyot
September 28, 2016
Feel honored to have met him in the Live Strong group.
Linda Wilson
September 28, 2016
To Lenny, a good man
I met Lenny after going through treatment at the cancer center. A group of "graduates" attended the YMCA "Live Strong Program" made available to us after cancer treatment.
Lenny was the only man, among 6 other Live Strong attendees - all women. He was indeed a gentleman and a scholar. We all bought his book, The Great Rebellion, and enjoyed his fictional version of what America would have been like in an alternative outcome in which the English Crown won our revolutionary war. What a great mind and imagination Lenny had....and fortunately, he leaves us with that in the written word....as well in our hearts, by the way he made us feel: valued.
Binford Jennings
September 28, 2016
It was pleasure to read Lenny's alternative history of the Revolutionary War, a complete trilogy no less at Great Smokies Writing courses. Also loved his saying he grew up in a nursing home having moved from New York to Miami Beach when a child. I miss you, Lenny.
David Schulman
September 28, 2016
Lenny, you were a gracious and friendly presence at Great Smoky Mountain Association functions accompanying Danny. You and your smile will be missed.
Geoff Cantrell
September 28, 2016
I met Lenny when we were both learning the craft of creative writing at the Great Smokies Writing Program. We both had technical Ph.D.'s, so we shared the task of learning to write with more emotion and verve than is required in a scientific paper. His critiques of others' work were always insightful, and delivered with grace. I will miss his presence and his smile.
Ted McIrvine
September 28, 2016
My condolences on the passing of Lenny Bernstein. He was always so great to work with here at OLLI! Smart, funny, kind and such a gentleman. He will be missed and remembered.
Leanna Preston
September 27, 2016
Chris and I send our deepest condolences to Danny and family. Lenny was a force to be reckoned with and I feel privileged to have worked with him. He will be missed.
Sandi Marra and Chris Brunton
Sandi Marra
September 27, 2016
I had the pleasure of working with Lenny while he was President of the CMC back in 2007. I'm saddened to learn of his passing. My condolences to Danny and the rest of the family.
Jeffrey Hunter
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