Sam Bercovich
1916 - 2014
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Sam Bercovich
Mar. 3, 1916 - May 27, 2014
6th son born to parents Edward and Jennie. He was a long time resident of Oakland, CA. Sam was married to the love of his life, Ellen Belzer, for 72 years. Sam was a successful businessman and owner of Bercovich Furniture along with his brothers. Following the tradition that began with their father, Sam sponsored youth baseball leagues for thousands of local children and teens. Many of the children Sam mentored went on to play professionally. He was a dedicated fan of the Raiders and traveled with the team for 40 years. He was a lifelong congregant of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland. Many were touched by his kindness, generosity and warm heart. Sam is survived by his loving wife Ellen, sons; Ed (Darleen), Clifford (Vicki), and Bruce (Monica), grandchildren; David (Meredith), Annie (Doug), Michael (Jenny), Brandon (Melissa), Peter, Alexis (Jason), Justin, and great-granddaughter Charlotte. Services will take place at 11am at Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland this Thursday the 29th. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Temple Beth Abraham or The Reutlinger Center (Home for Jewish Parents) in Danville.

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Published in Contra Costa Times on May 29, 2014.
11:00 AM
Temple Beth Abraham
Memories & Condolences
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30 entries
August 3, 2015
He made my life so much sweeter than it had been without him.He employed me for a summer delivering furniture, sponsored bill erwin when i played and seemed to take a real interest in me at a time when it was very important to me. I loved hanging with the little boys at the ball park. kind, caring and wise; mister B. Atrue gentleman. with respect, john
john engels
April 10, 2015
I remember Sam Bercovich as a very caring sponsor and avid fan of our1966 Championship American Legion baseball team. I traveled with his sons during the tournaments and have the greatest respect for the Bercovich Family. Too bad he couldn't make it to our 50th anniversary next year in Las Vegas. His generousity inspired me to sponsor and coach youth baseball in Oakland and Idaho.
June 4, 2014
A great Raider fan and a tremendously loyal man who helped so many of the Bay Area youth with sponsorships of sports teams. I remember going against his American Legion sponsored team back in the 1960s, and they always were top-flight clubs. Of course, I always will have fond memories of his pre-game warm-up with the Raider DBs and how he used to jog out there with the players.
tom walsh
June 4, 2014

Thank you for sharing the many stories I was privileged to hear. Your smile lit up the room and your appetite was like no other. I will continue to share the stories with my girls.
Cuevas Family
June 3, 2014
Thank you all for posting about my grandfather - its incredibly heart-warming to read each and every post.

In case anyone was interested I thought I'd share some of the tributes that have come in over the past week:

My Eulogy -

Raiders Tribute -

Ch 7 video profile (1998) -

A's Tribute (audio of A's broadcast last thursday) -

Interview with my cousin Justin Bercovich on 95.7 -
David Bercovich
June 3, 2014
Dearest Mr. Bercovich, Thank you for the greatest summer of baseball of my life! Terry Adami, 1966 American Legion National Champs!
June 2, 2014
Ellen - our deepest condolences on the loss of our dear sweet soul, Sam. Both of you were so kind to our family and I will always remember Sam's smile and always ready handshake! May his memory be a blessing.

Peter and Vickie Eiges
June 2, 2014
We are so sorry to hear about Sam's passing. Our deepest sympathy. My mom, Ida, was glad she got to speak to him last year.
Your cousins from New Jersey,
Ida, Margaret & Fern Shaw
June 2, 2014
Ed, Darleen, Michael and Brandon, I am so sorry to hear of your loss.
Keri Aronson
June 2, 2014
my deepest sympathies..Sam was a wonderful story teller..I enjoyed meeting him and interviewing him at his home..a good man...a friend...much love..Marty Lurie
June 1, 2014
Sam and Abe Rose great guys I was a teen in the early 70s Abe gave deals and Sam a pat on the good kid...
adam cuevas
June 1, 2014
Sorry for your loss
Jennie Thompson
May 31, 2014
My deepest sympathy to the entire Bercovich family Mr. Mr. Bercovich played a special role in my life as he did for so many other youths. As I grew older, it became abundantly clear what it meant to be a "gentleman". Mr. Bercovich will always be remembered, and never forgotten.
Thanks Sam
May 30, 2014
Wishing Ellen and the whole family well and hoping that the sweet memories and Sam's incredible life and legacy will always evoke the smiles and good feelings he did. I'll never forget his ebullience, zest for life and magnanimity. From the time our branch of the family got to know him in 1985 he was a warm presence and a figure we enjoyed seeing on TV and hearing wonderful stories from and about. It's also been gratifying and uplifting to learn of his impact on the lives of budding sports legends and so many others. We New York cousins toast an extraordinary, unforgettable individual with appreciation for all he has meant and will always mean to everyone fortunate enough to know him!
W. Weinbaum & family
May 30, 2014
Sam was a wonderful guy, loyal Raider fanatic and often got Al Davis the benefit of the doubt just because he was by his side. If Sam liked you, you had to have some saving grace. RIP.
Ron Borges
May 30, 2014
we wiii miss a real gentle-man..
chet franklin
May 30, 2014
Ellen. I have not seen you or Sam in many years. That is how life works sometimes. My days at the Raiders were very special to me. Especially when it came to you and Sam. Your kindness your smiles your loyally to the Raiders were just great. The life your husband lived the way he lived his life the way he treated his follow man WOW. Please take care of yourself and know a old old friend is thinking about you today. God Bless you Mrs. B. best Michael Ornstein
Michael Ornstein
May 30, 2014
On behalf of all the baseball players and teams you sponsored, we are saddened by your passing, but thankful for tour support of baseball.
Jim Hemphill
May 30, 2014
We lost a Great Legend and a Gentleman. Sam was a wonderful and genuine person. We have so many wonderful memories of him and our father in the furniture industry and the affiliation he had with the Raiders.
Our Deepest Sympathy to Ellen and the rest of the Bercovich Family.


The Caputo Family
May 30, 2014
My condolences to Sam's family, his wife Ellen and the children. Sam was very special to my Mother, Mary Safer who was Sam's Southern Cousin. She was always thrilled to receive a phone call from him which was often. Although Mary passed away in 2007, the memory of Sam will always remain in the hearts of his Southern Cousins.
Edwin Safer
May 30, 2014
I will always remember Sam with a smile on my face. Always a positive experience whenever we crossed paths. A great man and a great life.
Jon Kingdon
May 29, 2014
To The Bercovich Family; The Raimondi family offers our heartfelt condolences. Sammy is a true Oakland legend and a true gentleman. He has touched many, many lives. Our families go way back to the days when my dad (Billy) played for the old Oakland Oaks and his kid brothers play for Sammy's team. May the Good Lord Bless all of you and may Sammy Rest in the Peace of the Lord. Jim & June (Raimondi) Ogden
Jim & June (Raimondi) Ogden
May 29, 2014
May 29, 2014
I am so sorry to hear about Sam's passing he was such a nice man, he would share great sport stories with me when he would come into the San Francisco Mart . He will be truly missed. He always had a great smile
Pamela Ross
May 29, 2014
I will always have many wonderful childhood and adult memories of Sam. I will miss him.
Bradley Kantor
May 29, 2014
Sam was one of Oakland's finest. Legend has it that Al Davis once held up the start of a Raider game because Sam hadn't arrived yet.
Bill Weiman
May 29, 2014
My dad managed some of the American Legion teams that Mr. Bercovich sponsored. In fact, the one that won the 1966 national championship played in South Carolina. Mr. Bercovich was very proud of the team and treated them very well.
Greg Kleven
May 29, 2014
Sam was a very loving person, who loved everyone. He always greeted u with a smile, that was warm and heartfelt. When ever I saw Sam he let me know that there was still a lot of good people in this world. He will be greatly missed not only by his family, but also by the many people who knew him.
Dorchester Franklin
May 28, 2014
To my dear family, especially my aunt Ellen, words can't express how sad I am to know that uncle Sam's smiling face won't be there to shake my hand and talk to me about the good old days. And yet, I'm buoyed by the knowledge that this was a man who led a life to be envied, surrounded by the people he loved and the things he loved doing.
To say Sam was a man of his community is selling the notion short. He was from a time where the work you did defined your standing and when the local shopkeeper, butcher, teacher, and yes, furniture store owner was a part of the extended family of an entire city. I remember roaming the store in my youth, always feeling part of his family and of the community. Sam was Oakland. The city's families furnished their homes with him. The city's athletes found a place to play with him. The city's teams found a loyal fan in him.
And while Sam's loyalty to Oakland's sports was certainly a notable trait (and a heroic one to a great-nephew who begged for stories about Billy Martin & Joe Morgan) it was not what defined him.
To me Sam was defined by the love of his family. Sam would be sure to tell you how well he knew that he married the most beautiful woman he ever met. His pride in his sons and grandchildren was overwhelming. His willingness to spend time with my children (his great-great nephews!) and his love of them was his most endearing quality to me.
I will miss my great uncle in ways that I can not fathom. He represented an era to me and and model of faith and love. He will live on in the smiles of his children and his grand children. They will live on in the stories that we will tell about him. His memory is eternal. He will be missed.
Jason Belzer
May 28, 2014
Sam was a great man, who loved Oakland and everything about it. His youth baseball teams sent dozens of players to the majors, but more important than that the E. Bercovich and Sons teams were a family that kept kids off the streets and out of trouble. If you knew Sam, he was your friend forever, and you will never meet a more generous person. He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed in the Oakland community. We are moving back to the Eastbay in July and it's sad that we will not see him when we get there.
Tom LaMarre
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