M. LOUIS BERNELL passed away in Houston, Texas, on Thursday, the 3rd of December 2009, after a valiant and courageous twenty-three year fight with Parkinson's disease.He was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1919, where he graduated from St. Louis Country Day School.While growing up in St. Louis, he was very proud to have become an Eagle Scout. Louis was an ardent camper and counselor at Camp Androscoggin in Maine for many happy summers.He graduated in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University in New York, and then entered the U.S. Navy as an Ensign, where he served as an Admiral's right hand man in Washington D.C. for two years, before heading to the Pacific theatre, where he became a Lieutenant Commander and led a PT boat squadron. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1946.Before being sent into the Pacific theatre, he trained in Galveston, and while visiting Houston met the love of his life, Betty Ann, to whom he was married for sixty-five wonderful years. Louis and Betty Ann traveled extensively and Louis particularly enjoyed his green house and garden, art, music and family photos. However, his biggest joy was spending time with his family.Louis was a former Director of the Continental Bank of Houston and the Bank of Santa Fe as well as Chairman of a number of Texas country banks. He was a former Board of Director of the Houston Area Parkinson Society and also an ex member of the board of the Greater Houston Builders Association. Louis was a builder and real estate developer in Houston, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Las Vegas and New Orleans. His smile and energy will always be remembered. He lived by the principle that "IT CAN BE DONE".He is predeceased by his dearly loved mother, Esta Beecher, and his father,Sanford Bernheimer, as well as his mother-in-law, HildaLowenstein, his sister and brother in law, Mary Jane and Julian Frachtman, and his uncle, Harry Ziegler and his wife Leticia. He is survived by his three devoted children: sons, Laurence Hill Bernell, and Ronald Louis Bernell and his wife Carolyn, and his daughter, Lisa Bernell Rostad; his nephews, Dr. Richard Frachtman and his wife Anne, Dr. Robert Frachtman and his wife Sherrie, and Michael Frachtman and his wife Norma; first cousins Liz Ziegler and her husbandNelson, and Fran Ziegler and her husband, Ali. The family wishes to extend special thanks to Drs. Ray Verm, Joseph Jankovic, Kim Bloom, and Rahid Chacko, as well as to his devoted care givers Rosetta Shepherd and Rashanda Baltimore. A funeral service is to be conducted at half-past noon today, Sunday, the 6th of December, in the Gordon Chapel at Congregation Beth Israel, 5600 North Braeswood in Houston, where Rabbi Mark Miller is to officiate. Honored to serve as casket bearers are his beloved grandchildren: Andrew, Ben, Michael and Phillip Bernell, Brent and Katie Bernell, and Marcus and Laura Rostad. A graveside service and interment will follow at Beth Israel Cemetery, 1101 Antoine Road in Houston. Later this evening, friends and family will gather at six o'clock, at a venue to be announced during the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Louis' name be directed to the Houston Area Parkinson's Society, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Suite #284, Houston TX, 77098, or to the charity of one's choice. -->
Published by Houston Chronicle on Dec. 6, 2009.