Barry Allan Bornstein
July 24, 1942 – May 13, 2020
It is with great sadness that the family of Barry Bornstein announce his passing on May 13, 2020 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
An exceedingly warm and kind man with a huge heart, he was unfailingly generous, had a playful and affectionate sense of humor, a twinkle in his eye, and an indefatigable sense of integrity. He was fiercely intelligent and creative. He loved nothing more than to be surrounded by his family, his many friends, and his dogs. He possessed boundless optimism and belief in himself, in capacity for growth, and in the ability to direct his destiny. He was resolute in his determination to overcome the many challenges of Parkinson’s Disease despite there not being a cure. His Herculean efforts to maintain strength and independence over the years were marveled at by all those who came to know him. He was an inspiration to all.
Born in Philadelphia to N. Herman and Shirley Bornstein (Dembow), he was raised in Germantown, attended Germantown Academy and Central High School, where he played on the football team, and Villanova University. When circumstances demanded, he assumed leadership of the family firm, B. Bornstein and Son Construction. He would go on to build and manage projects throughout the Philadelphia, southern New Jersey and Delaware areas. These ranged from the commercial (construction of Sears, Macy’s, Gimbel’s, and Strawbridge & Clothier’s Clover department stores) to the public (the Philadelphia Bulk Mail Center; Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW); the Atlantic County Courthouse in Atlantic City, NJ) and private sectors (The Wistar Institute at the University of Pennsylvania). These are but a few of many successful projects that bore the company’s mark.
Over time he would successfully pivot the company into a home inspection and consulting firm, applying his years of experience, comprehensive knowledge of construction, and sharp analytic mind to the meticulous examination of residential homes, sprawling office complexes, and commercial towers. He was known to root out defects that escaped notice by others in order to protect many a devoted client. He was sought out for advice nationally; his client list extended from New England to Florida, and its composition and breadth led one news outlet to refer to him as the ‘Inspector to the Stars’. Expert in his field, Barry was a modern-day David going up against Goliaths, but never allowed pressure to influence the straightforward and honest reporting of facts. His reputation brought countless court appearances as an expert witness. He also enjoyed leading historic property restoration projects throughout Philadelphia. He belonged to many professional associations.
Barry’s upbringing provided him with a strong sense of his heritage. He would often recount that his great-grandfather was known as a builder of churches in Russia. His grandfather and father followed suit as builders of synagogues including Beth Sholom in Elkins Park, PA, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and designated a National Historical Landmark. Beth Sholom was the family’s place of worship in which Barry, like his father and grandfather before him, was deeply involved. Barry continued honoring his heritage in his commitment to Beth Shalom in Brigantine, NJ, or as he referred to it, the “Little Shul by the Sea.”
Barry loved life and living it to the fullest. Each day was a new adventure for him. He traveled to many wonderful places in the world with dear friends and family. He loved art, music, and theater! He was an avid sports fan, always eager to cheer on any and all Philadelphia teams, especially his beloved Villanova Wildcats. He enjoyed fishing and would talk of falling asleep on the dock behind his condominium in Brigantine, only to be awakened by the tug of a fish at the other end of the pole, and then going across the way to a Chinese restaurant where they would cook his catch of the day. He gave back to his community, always helping and generous to those less fortunate, and instilled in his children a desire to do the same. He was active at Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, PA.
Barry was an amazing son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, friend, colleague, and leader. He had a wide circle of friends who loved him for all of his wonderful qualities and character. He was authentic and lived wholeheartedly and will be profoundly missed by all who knew him! Barry was preceded in death by his father, N. Herman Bornstein. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Fran Dratch, mother Shirley Bornstein (Dembow), brother Steven Bornstein (Susan Lynch), daughters Jennifer and Elizabeth Bornstein (Scott Hinckley) from his first marriage to Vicki, granddaughter Naomi Hope Hinckley, and many other beloved and adoring family members.
If you wish to make a donation in Barry’s memory, please consider Temple Beth Shalom 4419 W. Brigantine Avenue Brigantine, NJ 08203, seashul.org; The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014 Hagerstown, MD 21741, michaeljfox.org; or a charity of your choosing.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Barry Allan Bornstein
June 3, 2020
Barry was the inspector I would use for many of my inspections when I wanted to make sure I was protected. Sellers would always be concerned when Barry was selected by a buyer to inspect because they knew he would find all the issues.
But Barry was also a very nice person. We had many talks over the years. I truly respected and admired his work and his integrity.
He was an icon in our profession. May he Rest In Peace.