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March 17, 1923 – April 11, 2020
Bernie Bloom was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Lucy and Morris Bloom, both of whom were born and raised in one of the hundreds of small Jewish shtetls (villages) in Poland. His parents met in the United States in 1921 and married in 1922. Bernie was born a year later. His wonderful sister Rosalind was born in 1928 and died in 2016. His father’s family emigrated to the US early in the 20th century, but his mother’s large family chose to remain in Poland. Bernie, his mother, and later his sister made two long visits to Poland in 1927 and 1938 to visit his mother’s family but, tragically nearly all of that family were later victims of the Holocaust. He lost his grandmother and except for one uncle, all eight of his aunts and uncles died. All but one of his ten first cousins died as well. His surviving uncle Jacob Korn lived in Israel, died in 1972 and brought into being our beloved family in Israel. Bernie’s surviving cousin Bronia settled in Lyon, France after World War II until her death in 2006.
Bernie was 97 and died of old age. Family was the most important thing in his life, and he showed it in many ways. Bernie loved his wife, Joan, and he was dedicated to blending their two families into their lives.
After beginning his college education in 1941, Bernie served in the Army Air Corps in the Aleutian Islands as a high-speed Morse code operator. He married in 1945 and was the father of three daughters; Claire, Paula and Davida. After his discharge from military service, he resumed his university education with support from the GI Bill. In 1952 he received a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Connecticut. His first professional position was as a clinical psychologist at the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Boston.
Bernie was with the VA for four years after which he served for five years as the Chief Psychologist and Director of Research at the Hawaii Territorial (later State) Hospital. He left that position in order to take part in a one-year public health training program at the Harvard School of Public Health (again with generous support from the Federal Government) and from 1962-1965 served as a mental health research analyst with the National Institute of Mental Health in the Denver Regional Office of the US Public Health Service. He was recruited by the Psychology Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1965 and held that professorship until his retirement in 1994. His research and teaching were devoted primarily to the application of public health concepts to the field of clinical psychology.
Bernie was President of the Division of Community Psychology of the American Psychological Association in 1970-1971; received the award for distinguished contributions to that division in 1977; was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on Mental Health in 1977-78; and in 1983 received the award for distinguished service to psychology of the Colorado Psychological Association. During his last two years at the University of Colorado he directed the Clinical Psychology Training Program.
Bernie’s community activities included terms on the Human Relations Commission and on the Board of Directors of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he was a splendid jazz pianist which endeared him to a host of fans and friends. He had a jazz band called The Balding Turks. He also played at The Blue Note in Boulder.
Bernie’s first marriage ended in divorce in 1965. He married Joan Anbuhl Rowland in 1967 and began the exhilarating process of combining their two families. Together they had the honor of raising seven children. Bernie is survived by his wife Joan, and by their children Claire Bloom (Keith Launchbury), Jaye Zola (John), Davida Bloom, Tracy Rowland (Dan Muhs), Peter Rowland (Julie Harris) and Melissa Rowland. He was preceded in death by his daughter Paula Hartzheim Dhieux. He is survived by 12 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren. Bless them all.
If people would like to contribute in honor of Bernie you can donate to End 68 Hours of Hunger PO Box 676, Somersworth, NH 03878 or to the Anti-Defamation League. There will be a celebration of Bernie’s life when we can again gather in groups in public. Visit www.greenwoodmyersfuneral.com to leave a memory or condolence.