In the words of his HLAA family:
Bernie was known to practically everyone on this list as he was a staple at HLA-LA meetings and events. His kindness, generosity, and humor will be sorely missed. Bernie was a dear friend to many of us.
-Malik El-Amin, President, HLA Los Angeles Chapter
It’s hard to believe that we’ve lost somebody so dear to all of us but Bernie lived life to the fullest and was an such a wonderful example of a positive outlook. Even when his new Cochlear Implant suddenly failed him, he took the bump in the road and was looking forward with excitement to his scheduled [reimplantation] on this coming Monday. He didn’t go around feeling sorry for himself and as “why me??” It makes me sad to think that he spent his last days not able to enjoy all the new sounds he was so thrilled to experience but I don’t believe for one second that he would have complained.
We all are better for having known him.
I remember the first time I came to a meeting and met Bernie…He was so nice and asked about Janis. Always had the nicest things to say to me. One of the last memories I have of him was shortly after my back surgery the 4th of July party at his house. That was the FIRST time I was out and able to go to a get together. Bernie made sure I was comfortable and asked me if I needed anything. He even offered to get a chair for me. He really went out of his way and made me feel so welcome.
I can’t believe this news. Bernie is like an uncle to me and I will miss him very much. Bernie is one of the most loving men I have ever known. We were buddies and I valued his friendship dearly. He was affectionate which is rarely seen in a male friendship these days. He would give me a hug and tell me he loved me.
He loved this chapter and thought of us as family. We gladly returned the sentiment!
He was as pleasant as could be and so much fun to be around. Had a great sense of humor.
Bernie will always be on our mind, in our thoughts & in every little thing that we do. He was an epitome of enthusiasm, very lively & a very humble person. My interactions with him were very brief, as I met him only recently but the little time I spent with him, at the meetings, at the garage sale and at the walk, he was a complete pleasure to be with.
Even though I have only been a member of this group for a few months Bernie was already one of the most recognizable and friendly faces — he was one of the first people to make me feel welcome here and one of the principal reasons I chose to become a part of HLA-LA.
It was an honor having known him. We will never forget [him].
Even though I knew him for a short time, he was such a good person–what I liked about him was he was vibrant about life and was helpful and always carried a cheerful spirit.
I remember meeting Bernie for the first time at the HLAA leaders training workshop in Feb 2010 in Lakewood, CA. One topic was electronic communication. I spoke about how I had just joined Facebook and was finding it to be a wonderful way to communicate with others; whether they be hearing, hard of hearing, late-deafened, or deaf-cultured. Bernie was curious and wanted to know more about it. Several of us, including myself answered his questions. Someone promised to help him join FB. The next thing I knew, Bernie friended me on FB about 2 weeks later. I was happy to accept his friendship. I enjoyed chatting with him in FB. I could tell Bernie is certainly a “people-oriented” person. He loved to be with people.
Bernie was full of life and love, and that is how HLA-LA will remember him. As we went around the room and shared memories of Bernie, one thing became clear: he was loved by us all and made a positive impact on all of our lives. For new members who had never met Bernie, I’m sure they got a good sense of what a wonderful human being he was. He will be dearly, dearly missed.
Thank you to members of the HLA Los Angeles family for sharing stories about Bernie.