Dr. Bernard E. Rothman, 81, optometrist, Mason

April 06, 2003

Dr. Bernard E. Rothman, a retired Silver Spring optometrist who was active in Masonic affairs, died of congestive heart failure Monday at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville. He was 81 and lived in Silver Spring.

Dr. Rothman was born in Baltimore and reared on Ellamont Street. After graduating in 1938 from Forest Park High School, he studied optometry at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Elkins Park. He graduated in 1942.

He enlisted that year in the Army and served as an optometrist in France and England. He was discharged with the rank of lieutenant in 1946, and remained active in the Army Reserves until retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1966.

He established his optometry practice in 1946 on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, moving in 1967 to Spring Street. He retired in 2001.

Dr. Rothman was head of a clinical instruction team at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, and a safety eyewear program at the Naval Surface Weapons Center in White Oak. He served for 16 years as president of the state Board of Optometry Examiners.

A 33rd degree Mason, Dr. Rothman was master, treasurer and secretary of the Blue Lodge. He had also served for 23 years as president of the Board of Grand Inspectors, and most recently, had been Sovereign Grand Inspector of the Scottish Rite for 11 years.

He also oversaw the expansion and growth of the Scottish Rite Speech and Language Center on North Charles Street, which serves low-income families from throughout the state.

He was also a member of the Shrine's Almas and Boumi temples, and a founder of the Silver Spring Kiwanis.

Services were Thursday.

Dr. Rothman is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Elaine Keroes; three daughters, Dr. Wendy Rothman of Rockville, Jill Rothman of Washington and Jan Rothman of Kensington; and a sister, Shirley Rudo of Baltimore.

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