Marion Bernstein, 90

Bookkeeper

August 08, 2008|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN

Marion V. Bernstein, a retired corporate bookkeeper and secretary who was also a longtime volunteer, died of multiple organ failure July 27 at the Lorien Nursing Center in Columbia. She was 90.

Marion Valentine Rigney - she got her middle name from being born on Valentine's Day in Pittsburgh - was a 1935 graduate of Pittsburgh's Taylor Allderdice High School.

After marrying William Cary Barnes, an accountant with the Continental Can Co. in 1937, the couple settled in Baltimore's Pimlico neighborhood, where they raised their four children. He died in 1963.

From the early 1950s until 1980, when she retired, Mrs. Bernstein was a bookkeeper and secretary for Kalus Construction Co. in Woodlawn.

In 1965, she married Nathan Bernstein, and the couple lived in Woodlawn until moving to Garden City, S.C. He died in 2001.

"It was while living in Garden City that she used her organizational skills and business acumen to help settle estates and fill out income tax returns, and volunteered for the Murrells Inlet Rescue Squad," said a daughter, Nancy Saari of Columbia.

In 1990, the couple moved Ellicott City and then to Harmony Hall in Columbia, where Mrs. Bernstein volunteered registering voters, attending residents' meetings and playing the organ for church services.

In 1987, Mrs. Bernstein was selected Volunteer of the Year by the Howard County Board of Elections for her work in registering Harmony Hall residents.

"It was stated that thanks to her efforts in the 2004 presidential election, over 96 percent of registered Harmony Hall residents voted, compared to 81 percent countywide," her daughter said.

Mrs. Bernstein, who enjoyed playing the violin, had performed with the Baltimore Parks and Recreation Band and the Goldenaires at the Florence Bain Senior Center in Columbia.

Services for Mrs. Bernstein, who left her body to the State Anatomy Board, are private.

Also surviving are two sons, Robert W. Barnes of Perry Hall and Ronald Barnes of Millers; another daughter, Marjorie Barnes of Taneytown; a sister, Lillian Pferdeort of Bel Air; eight grandchildren; and seven great-children.

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