Jacquelyn Seidel Bernstein

Jacquelyn Seidel Bernstein died on July 8, 2014, at the age of 88, in Miami, Florida.

Born in Syracuse, New York, on December 5, 1925, Jackie lived with her parents, Lewis Seidel and Sarah Merwitz Seidel, in Massena until her senior year of high school, when the family moved to Syracuse. After graduating from high school in 1944, Jackie continued her education at Syracuse University, where she was a member of Iota Alpha Pi, a sorority of Jewish women.

During her college years, which coincided with the later years of World War II, Jackie worked at Brown-Lipe Chapin Co. in Syracuse, joining a wave of women dubbed “Rosie the Riveter Girls” who labored on assembly lines for the war effort. After receiving her B.S. in marketing from the SU College of Business in 1948, Jackie worked as a women’s clothing buyer for a department store in Syracuse.

While visiting her parents in their new home in Gloversville, NY, Jackie met Isadore Bernstein on a blind date. They married in March 1949, and Jackie joined Iz in Gloversville, where they would live for 60 years. In 1961, Jackie began a new career at the Fulton County Department of Social Services. Her first job was as a caseworker in the Medicaid unit; many promotions followed. When she retired in 1981, Jackie held the position of Commissioner of the Department. She was the first woman to hold that post. During her tenure at DSS she was a registered Republican, as the politics of the time dictated, but in the privacy of the voting booth, Jackie always voted her own heart and mind.

Jackie was a lifelong member of Knesseth Israel Synagogue in Gloversville and a lifetime member of Hadassah. She enjoyed bridge and was an avid traveler. Her favorite trips included visiting family and friends across the country to celebrate happy occasions. Her homemade chocolate chip cookies and brownies were legendary. Jackie and Iz enjoyed winters in Florida, and moved to Miami in 2009.

Jackie is survived by her beloved husband of 65 years, Isadore Bernstein; her son, Ron Bernstein of Miami; and her daughter, Joan Bernstein of Bernardston, MA; her daughter-in-law, Eva Bernstein; and son-in-law, Barry Auskern; four adored grandchildren, Jesse Kommel-Bernstein, Lauren Bernstein, Jeremy Kommel-Bernstein and Talia Bernstein; two dear nieces, Johanna Cohen and Ellen Bildersee and her husband, Bob; nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-grandnephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Clifford Seidel.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Miami Jewish Health Systems, especially Lola Clark, Scotlyn Johnson and Ernie Caines, who cared for Jackie with such love, humor, patience, and kindness.

Donations in Jackie’s memory may be made to Hadassah, Planned Parenthood or the charity of your choice.