Joseph Bernstein, 84

Volunteer cantor, civil engineer who loved the opera

January 12, 2007

Joseph Bernstein, a retired civil engineer who was active in area synagogues, died of pneumonia Wednesday at Sinai Hospital. The Pikesville resident was 84.

Mr. Bernstein was born in Baltimore and raised on North Bentalou Street. He was a 1940 graduate of Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School.

He was a sheet metal worker for a year at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. aircraft plant in Middle River before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1941. He served in the Pacific Theater as a member of a ground crew and later completed pilot's training.

After the war, he returned to Baltimore and studied civil engineering at Polytechnic Institute and the Johns Hopkins University. He worked for 38 years for what is now the city Department of Transportation's engineering and construction division, designing roads and highways, and retired in 1984.

Mr. Bernstein was a founding member of the Randallstown Synagogue Center, served on its board and was its volunteer cantor for 15 years. After moving to Pikesville in 2000, he joined Beth Tfiloh Congregation and was a board member there at his death.

"Joe Bernstein was a wonderful man of great integrity and kindness and he had a tremendous knowledge of our religion," said Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg of Beth Tfiloh.

Mr. Bernstein enjoyed working on home improvement projects, reading, attending the opera, and listening to classical music.

Services were yesterday.

Surviving are his wife of 56 years, the former Eunice Kramer; two daughters, Larraine Bernstein of Owings Mills and Sharon G. Klein of Clarksville; a brother, Harry Bernstein of Owings Mills; and three grandchildren.

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