March 28, 1926 – March 26, 2019
Stanley Bernath (born Zoltan) died March 26, 2019 2 days before his 93rd birthday. He is pre-deceased by his mother Luiza (née Lazar) and father Marton, and wife Arlene (née Weiner).
Born in Carei, Romania in 1926 and raised in Oradea, Romania, he was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. He survived 3 other concentration camps in Austria before being liberated by the American Army May 6, 1945. He would refer to that day as his real birthday because he felt he died the day before and reborn on liberation.
In 1946 he was able to immigrate to the US through New York. He was so grateful to this country for adopting him, he chose to join the US Army and serve during the Korean War, stationed near Frankfurt, Germany. He was trained in special intelligence and loved telling stories of the 4 years served. He proudly wore his veterans cap at every opportunity.
After returning to the US he met and married Arlene, also a Holocaust survivor. They stayed in New York for only a few more years after having their twin daughters, Vera and Lisa, and moved to Cleveland in 1955. He worked hard to provide for his family, which was everything to him. He would remark to people about all his failed businesses and laugh, saying “if one didn’t work, I’d try another one.” He ultimately hit some winners and lived a comfortable life enabling him to provide for his family until his ‘semi-retirement.’ He never felt he fully retired, continuing to work with his favorite son-in-law Ed (his only).
He worked tirelessly as a volunteer at Menorah Park for the past 11 years. He would remind people that he’s selfish, doing it for himself instead of others. He loved helping people as well as the social aspect of his work. He was proud but modest about receiving ‘volunteer of the year’ award, The CJN (Cleveland Jewish News) 2018 ‘18 Difference Makers’, as well as other awards and recognitions.
His grandchildren, Shawn Dunagan, Leah Dunagan and Adam Antelyes were the love of his life. He traveled back to his hometown of Oradea with each of them separately over the past several years, showing them all the places that were meaningful to him as a young boy.
Stanley didn’t talk about his Holocaust experiences for the first 25 years after liberation, wanting to put it behind him and move on. After his niece Judy asked him to speak to her high school class about his experience, he discovered a new purpose, spreading the importance of tolerance and eliminating hate. He called hate a poison invading your body. He has since spoken to hundreds of schools, synagogues, churches and anyone else who would listen. He has recently participated in the USC Shoah Foundation ‘Dimension in Testimony’ hologram technology, which will be on display at the Maltz Museum. This new technology enables him to spread his message forever. He would say, “if I could touch just one child with my story and message, it was worth it.” He touched thousands.
He was proud of being healthy and strong up to the end of his life, working out with weights every morning for the past 25 years and playing tennis well into his 80’s.
His support for the Jewish community was evident in his generosity, as well as with his time. He will be missed greatly.
He is survived by his devoted daughters Vera (Ed) Dunagan, and Lisa Bernath. Cherished grandfather of Shawn Dunagan and Adam Antelyes, granddaughter Leah Dunagan. Loving brother of the late Laszlo and Charles Bernath. Services Friday March 29 at 9:30 a.m. at the Mt. Olive Cemetery 27855 Aurora Rd., Solon. Family will receive friends AFTER SERVICE AT MENORAH PARK UNTIL 3 P.M., SUNDAY 12 NOON TO 6 P.M. AND MONDAY 2-4 AND 6-8 P.M. AT 1824 CARONIA DR., LYNDHURST. Contributions are suggested to Menorah Park or The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.berkowitzkuminbookatzfunerals.com for the Bernath family.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Cindy Glazer Mittman
March 28, 2019
Dear Lisa and Vera. Our sorrow is Heaven's joy .It was a privilege to know your dad. . Cindy Glazer Mittman.
March 28, 2019
The world got a little worse with the passing of Stan. My mom was in Menorah Park for 10 years and whenever I was there visiting you always saw
him visiting and talking to the residents and family members. He was a beacon of light in a very dark place. always pulling people up and out of
a troubling period of life. He will be truly missed and leaves a wonderful memory for his family. May his memory be a source of pride and comfort to you!!