Obituary: Bernard Schwam

Bernard Schwam
Bernard Schwam

It is with great sadness that the family of Bernard Schwam announces his passing on July 25, 2021, at the age of 89.

Bernard died peacefully at his home with his family after a long and prosperous life full of good deeds. He will be remembered by his wife, Susan; his three sons, Neil, Adam, and Jonathan; his granddaughters, Allie and Ava; and scores of nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends.

Bernard was known to all as kind, generous, patient, and a teacher to all – a real mensch — and as a product of the old world, he valued honesty and modesty. He had a career of 47 years with the New York City Transit Authority and was respected by his colleagues for his diligence and reliability.

He was a devoted husband to Susan for just short of 57 years, raised a family, and was an active member of the Malverne Jewish Center community since moving to Long Island in 1968.

As a trained engineer from a generation raised to value hard work and a do-it-yourself mentality, Bernard could fix anything that had a wire and a power source. Though not adventurous in the traditional sense, he indulged in a motorcycle as a hobby. In addition to leaving a family and lifetime of memories, his legacy includes a garage full of tools and assorted machinery in various states of repair. A principle of Jewish tradition is tikun olam (“repair of the world”), and Bernard’s devotion to his faith and his habit of constant repair embodied this tradition profoundly. His actions and ways are worthy of emulation.

His life was celebrated by those he touched at the home of his son Adam between July 27 and July 29.

Bernard was a man of modest means who nevertheless was a lifelong supporter of various charities. For those interested in honoring his memory, a donation may be made in his name to the Jewish National Fund at jnf.org. Bernard’s family is grateful and honored to have enjoyed his presence in life, and now to honor his memory. May his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life.