Joseph Bernardini

Obituary of Joseph A. Bernardini

Joseph A. Bernardini Greenwood Lake, NY June 19, 1935- October 24, 2020 Joseph "Joe" A. Bernardini passed away at his home on Saturday afternoon, surrounded by close family members. He was 85. The son of Gussie Feldman, an immigrant from Belarus, and Alfredo Bernardini, an immigrant from Italy, Joe grew up in a very culture rich household; opera was played often, books were at his disposal and he listened intently to the political conversations that his mother and her friends would have. A writer, a jazz and classical pianist, a baseball and tennis player, a baseball coach, a photographer, an excellent driver, a political junkie, a beach bum, a parent and spouse with a great sense of humor; Joe was a modern day renaissance man. Those that were fortunate enough to have known Joe, knew him to be part genius, part great parent and husband to his wife Jane, and part maniacal jokester. He could seamlessly go from talking about French literature to the Yankees and then shifting the conversation to politics and then onto jazz pianists and finish with a story about one his many adventures behind the wheel of a car. He said that Frank Sinatra once said, "The definition of a cool person is that when they walk into a room, the rest of the room knew that they had arrived." Everyone knew when Joe was present. Although born in Manhattan, Joe grew up in the Bronx where he remained a resident for the next 54 years of his life. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School and went on to graduate from NYU with a degree in English Literature. Throughout his childhood, early adulthood and into his senior years, literature was always close to his heart. While continuing to write and read after college, he took on a job as a social worker for the Harlem Welfare Center. During this time, he would work mostly days and sometimes nights and then would drive back to the Bronx where he found time to coach his son Jimi's Little League team and was heavily involved in his daughters Deidre and Gabrielle Theresa's ballet aspirations. As well as their piano lessons. A lot of his time was also spent walking one of his best friends his first dog, Louie in Pelham Bay Park and Orchard Beach in the Bronx. In 1976 while walking Louie and his newly acquired dog Sheba, Joe met his wife Jane, with whom he would spend the rest of his life with. Together they would share many dogs, two children and over forty years of memories. Over those years they grew closer through their shared loved of each other, art, music and literature. Even though he enjoyed his work as a social worker he decided in 1980 to pursue his first love, writing. Joe took a leave of absence to begin work on a novel. Three years later that book was published. Its' entitled Singapore: A Novel of The Bronx. It received a positive review in the New York Times Book Review. Over the years its has garnered attention from producers in Hollywood and New York. The book was dedicated to his mother and his future wife Jane. During this time Joe had begun renting a house in Greenwood Lake for the summers. Eventually Joe and Jane decided to move upstate full time and in 1989 they took their sons Jesse and Jodi to grow up there. With his second group of children he was just as involved in their education and activities. He became a legend at the Little League fields, with his knowledge of the game that he had acquired over the years. Never pushing but always encouraging his children to find a balance between academics, athletics, the arts and a social life. Whether it was in the Bronx or in Greenwood Lake, friends of his children and people in the neighborhood or town in general would seek his advice on a variety of topics. This continued even when the children became adults and had families of their own. Joe is survived by his beloved wife Jane and his children: Deidre of Tom's River, NJ, Jimi of Milford, PA, Gabrielle Theresa of Bayonne, NJ, Jesse of the Bronx, NY and Jodi and his wife Katherine of San Francisco, CA. As well as the many friends whose lives he affected. The Bernardini family and friends will be holding a memorial from 4-6 P.M. on Thursday October 29th. At the Strong-Basile Funeral Home, 4 Oak Street, Greenwood Lake, NY 10925. Please be aware that FACIAL COVERINGS and Social Distancing rules are in effect. Arrangements by Strong Basile Funeral Home 477-8240 or
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Visitation at Funeral Home

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Strong Basile Funeral Home
4 Oak Street
Greenwood Lake, New York, United States
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