Born in Hartford on January 17, 1913, Judge Simon Bernstein died at his home in Sarasota FL on May 27, 2013, in his 101st year. Judge Bernstein is survived by his beloved daughters, Judith S. Kahn (Steven Rosen) of St. Petersburg, FL, Sara L. Bernstein (Judge Joseph M. Shortall) of Bloomfield and Risa B. Sodi (Stefano) of New Haven. He also leaves his twin grandsons, David and Alexander Sodi, of New Haven. Judge Bernstein was predeceased by his wife Muriel Carten Bernstein in 1989 and his wife Mary Ann Hytken Bernstein in 2012, each of whom he loved dearly. He leaves as survivors his stepchildren, Paul Hytken (Susan Binion) of Pewaukee WI, Alice Elam of Waukesha WI and Betsy Kaplan (Paul) of Princeton Junction NJ, as well as numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, and his brothers in law, William Teweles (Nicole) of Milwaukee WI and Robert Teweles (Karen) of Princeton, NJ. Judge Bernstein was one of ten children of Saul and Ettie (Rudel) Bernstein, three of whom survive him: Ruth Duboff (Len) of Bradenton FL, Shaye Rosenfield (Norman) of Bloomfield and Irving Bernstein (Natalie) of West Hartford. He was predeceased by his brothers Leo Berns (Julie) and Fred Berns (Millie) and his sisters Eve Black (Louis), Rose Dunn (Lewis), Beatrice Cherlin (Al) and Ann Libman (William). Also surviving are Judge Bernstein’s many nieces and nephews and their children. Judge Bernstein went to Hartford Public High School and, at age 16, Trinity College, followed by Harvard Law School. In addition to maintaining a private practice of law in Hartford, he was active in civic and Jewish affairs, serving on the Hartford Board of Alderman for several years and, after his move to Bloomfield in 1950, he served on the Board of Education there for many years. Judge Bernstein was law clerk to the Judiciary Committee of the General Assembly from 1949-51, and the Deputy Secretary of State from 1960-1963. Judge Bernstein served as a judge for 27 years, from the Bloomfield Town Court to the Connecticut Superior Court. He was chief judge of the Connecticut Assembly of Municipal Court Judges from 1958-60. His intention as a judge was always to make those who appeared before him feel comfortable in court and to know that it was their court. Judge Bernstein was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1965. He considered his most important professional achievement his successful effort, over strong opposition, to have the Convention adopt an amendment to the Connecticut Constitution that guaranteed free elementary and secondary education for all of Connecticut’s children. That amendment has been the basis of recent Connecticut Supreme Court rulings that all children in Connecticut have the right not only to a free education but also to both an equal education and a quality education.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Sunday, June 2, 2013, in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT, with Rabbi Gary Atkins officiating. Interment will follow in the Emanuel Synagogue Cemetery, 1361 Berlin Turnpike, Wethersfield, CT. A memorial period will be observed Sunday following the interment at the home of his daughter Sara Bernstein at 117 Vista Way, Bloomfield, CT and on Monday, June 3, from 7:00-9:00 PM at the home of his daughter Risa Sodi at 100 Cleveland Avenue, New Haven, CT. For further information, directions or to sign the guest book for Judge Bernstein, please visit online at www.weinsteinmortuary.com/funerals.cfm.