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1954 - 2018

Jeffrey Bernstein, M.D. (S ’86)

Jeffrey David Bernstein, M.D., a loving husband, father, and brother, and a dedicated vascular surgeon, passed away at home surrounded by his family on March 14, 2018. He had been diagnosed with brain cancer sixteen months prior. He was born in San Francisco on January 21, 1954, and grew up in the East Bay cities of Pittsburgh and Piedmont. He was the son of Samuel and Etty Bernstein. As a child he was an avid competitive swimmer and Eagle Scout. He then proceeded to Stanford and the Chicago Medical School. He began his surgical career at the Mayo Clinic, where he completed a general surgery residency, before heading to Louisiana State University in New Orleans for a vascular surgery fellowship. At a Club Med in Mexico, he met Ruth Sessler, who would become his loving wife Ruth Bernstein. In a fitting reflection of his aquatic passions, they met in the ocean.

Jeff and Ruth moved together to Silverdale, where Jeff joined The Doctors Clinic. He spent twenty-seven years there before finishing his career at the PolyClinic in Seattle. Jeff’s non-medical interests included scuba diving—in which he received a number of advanced technical certifications—bike riding, swimming, music, and spending time with his family. He also gave generously with his time and money, including spending a term as president of Congregation Beth Hatikvah and volunteering his surgical services for the United States Army at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

The Bernstein family is deeply grateful to the community for their support during this difficult time.  Jeff spent his final months surrounded by friends and family, and was never at a loss for a dinner partner, a swim buddy, or someone with whom he could share a bowl of ice cream. He is survived by his wife Ruth, his sons Zachary and Ethan, and his siblings Jessica Sacher and Josh Bernstein.

In lieu of flowers, we are asking for donations to be made to the Haselwood Family YMCA, which has been a source of daily solace for Jeff during the course of his illness, or to Congregation Beth Hatikvah. For the YMCA, please make your donations out to the Haselwood Family YMCA, attn. Jeffrey Bernstein Memorial Fund, at 3909 Northwest Randall Way, Silverdale, WA 98383. Checks can be made payable to the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties. For Congregation Beth Hatikvah, please make your donations out to the Jeffrey Bernstein Memorial Fund.