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William Bernart

1927 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
William Bernart Obituary
William F. Bernart MD

January 24, 1927 - April 6, 2017


Dr. William Francis Bernart, 90, died on April 6, 2017 at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community. He was born on January 24, 1927 in Providence, R.I. His parents were Louise Bryan and William F. Bernart. Educated in public schools in New Canaan, Conn., he graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Late in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and attended the Electronic Training Program in Chicago. Graduating in April 1946, he served at the Alameda Naval Air Station in Oakland, Calif.

After discharge from the Navy, he attended Princeton University, graduating in 1950. He graduated with honors (Alpha Omega Alpha) from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1954. His residency training included the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, a National Heart Institute fellowship at the University of Puerto Rico Medical School, and the University of Virginia's Medical School Hospital.

Dr. Bernart practiced Internal Medicine in Nassawadox, Va. from 1958 until 1992. He was a member of the American College of Physicians. He was a cofounder, along with Dr. William S. Burton, of the Internal Medicine Group (now Riverside Eastern Shore Physicians and Surgeons). He was an attending physician at the Northampton-Accomack Memorial Hospital (later Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital). He also served on the hospital's board of trustees. His efforts on behalf of the Riverside Shore Cancer Center were honored by the naming of the center's entrance road William F. Bernart Circle. He was an associate professor of medicine with the Community Hospital Program of the Medical College of Virginia.

For 50 years, he was a communicant and lay reader at Hungars Episcopal Church in Bridgetown Va. and served on several committees of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. He was active in the local American Heart Association chapter and a member of the Eastern Shore Community College Foundation. Dr. Bernart served on the board of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Habitat for Humanity, including as president. A Habitat house was named in honor of the doctor and his wife Cynthia.

He was on the boards of the Eastville Bank, the Northampton County Schools for nine years, and the Barrier Island Center in Machipongo, Va. His favorite outdoor activities included fishing, birdwatching, playing tennis, removing trash along the roadways with his wife Cynthia, and competitive sailing with the Warehouse Creek Racing Association. The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce honored him as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1990.

He is survived by Cynthia Wallace Bernart, his wife of 62 years, of Raleigh; daughter Sarah Bernart and her husband Stephen Barnes of Raleigh; four sons: William Bernart and wife Cynthia of Charlotte, N.C.; Matthew Bernart and wife Elizabeth Hanna of Springville, Utah; Christopher Bernart and his partner Jose Bravo of Raleigh; and Douglas Bernart of Hockessin, Del.; one granddaughter, and eight grandsons. Dr. Bernart is also survived by his sister, Sally Haaren and husband Peter of Keene, N.H., and his brother, Bryan Bernart and wife Marilyn of Pittsboro, N.C.

A memorial service will be held in the auditorium of the Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community, 1500 Sawmill Road, Raleigh at 3pm on Sunday, April 9. A second service will be held at Hungars Episcopal Church in Bridgetown, Va. on Sunday, April 23 at 3pm.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Eastern Shore of Virginia Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 1299, Exmore VA, 23350 or the Springmoor Endowment Fund, 1500 Sawmill Rd., Raleigh, 27615, or the .
Published in The News & Observer on Apr. 7, 2017
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