Born Dec. 1, 1926 in Winnipeg. Died Feb. 25, 2019 in Loulé, Portugal. Beloved father of Sandra, Tamara and Mariam Bernstein. Loving Zaida to Miranda and Cinna Baran.
Predeceased by his soul-mate, wife and partner of sixty years, Zita Bernstein, his parents Sara and J. Maurice Bernstein, and his dearly loved sister, Babs Asper. Survived by nieces/nephews David Asper (Ruth), Gail Asper (Michael Paterson) and Leonard Asper (Susan) along with the many members of his large extended family; Zita’s relatives, with whom he enjoyed a particularly close relationship; Joan Baragar, his friend and companion of recent years; and the many friends around the world with whom he maintained frequent contact and about whom he cared deeply.
A proud graduate of Queen’s University’s department of engineering chemistry, Mark spent most of his working life in the family business, Phillips Paint Products, which he bought from his father and uncle in 1968. His long career, first in the lab and later management, was marked by both technical excellence and unwavering integrity. Many of his employees worked with him for decades; he was respected for his business acumen, and loved for the genuine care he had for those with whom he worked. He served as the president of the Canadian Paint Manufacturers’ Association, among other volunteer positions in his industry.
Mark felt a strong bond with the Jewish community both in Winnipeg and in Israel. He supported projects from the Rady JCC in Winnipeg to Magen David Adom in Israel and served on the board of Technion Canada. He loved travelling, especially to London, Italy, and the Algarve, and cherished time spent at Caddy Lake for over fifty years. A passionate supporter of the arts, he frequently attended concerts, plays and operas. He read voraciously and widely almost to the end of his life, displaying remarkable intellectual acuity that belied his age. His marvelous sense of humour, no-nonsense approach to life, and the great wisdom he acquired in his life will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
The family wishes to thank Mark’s doctors and nurses, notably Dr. Alexander Singer and Michelle Allard in Winnipeg, and all the caring staff at the Hospital de Loulé; as well as all the aides who helped him so much in the difficult final phase of his life, with particular mention of Valerie Pohl, Mikko Ignacio, and Ola Adeyemi, who were with him from the beginning of his decline.
Mark’s funeral was held on March 4, 2019. Pallbearers were David, Gail, Max and Ruth Asper, Sam Brask, Murray Palay, Jonathan Paterson and Michael Shnier. Honorary pallbearers were Leonard Asper, Per Brask, Michael Paterson, and Michael Susser.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, designated for the Mark Bernstein 90th Birthday Youth Enrichment Fund at the Jewish Child & Family Services in Winnipeg; The Mark A. Bernstein (Science ’48) Prize in Engineering Chemistry at Queen’s University at Kingston; or the charity of your choice.