Richard Stephen Berman, drug abuse counselor, 63

December 05, 2004

Richard Stephen Berman, a counselor for those abusing drugs or alcohol, died Tuesday of complications of kidney disease and a fall at his California home. He was 63 and had a second home in Pikesville.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Bancroft Road, Mr. Berman was a 1959 City College graduate who earned a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

From 1975 to 1982, he owned and managed Woodlawn Day Nursery on Dogwood Road.

After moving to California about 20 years ago, he became certified as a drug and alcohol abuse counselor. He volunteered with Progress House, a center for the treatment of chemical dependency in Placerville, Calif.

"He was always positive, encouraging and vibrant," said Lauren Miner, a Progress House coordinator.

Mr. Berman received the 1994 Normadene Carpenter Award in Placerville as Volunteer of the Year.

"Richard was a bright star in any setting and always provided vitality, originality and verve," said his brother Dr. Irwin R. Berman of St. Simons Island, Ga. "He was open-minded and accepting."

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Sol Levinson and Brothers, 8900 Reisterstown Road.

Survivors include his mother, Jean Roll Berman of Bal Harbour, Fla.; another brother, Leslie M. Berman of North Miami, Fla.; three nieces and a nephew. A marriage ended in divorce.

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