Obituary of Richard Berkowitz
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NAPLES, FL Attorney, philanthropist, coach and mentor Richard (Dick) Berkowitz died on New Year’s Eve, after a hard-fought battle against a rare blood disease. He was 80 years old. A longtime resident of Westport and Lenox, Mass., and recent resident of Naples, Fla., Berkowitz is survived by his greatest accomplishments — his wife of 58 years Carole (Chasnoff); sister and brother-in-law, Jane and Eddie Brandwein of Chicago, Ill.; children, Jody and Joel Beck of Westport, Emily and Ken Sandberg of Woodbridge, Suzy and Michael Weksel of Edgemont, N.Y., and Adam Berkowitz of New York City; nine grandchildren, Sam, Zack, Rachel, John, Jack, Mia, Henry, Carina and Ben; three granddogs, Buddy, Bella and Eric, and one great-granddog, Beau. He also leaves beloved cousin/brother Judge Stanley Novack of Stamford, and countless family and friends. Born on June 28, 1941, to humble beginnings in New Haven, Dick’s parents, Elihu and Ruth Berkowitz, were hard-working members of the community. He spent his days playing football and basketball, working as a short-order cook at Chuck’s Luncheonette on Whalley Avenue, and selling pennants and banners outside of Yale Bowl. Berkowitz attended Hillhouse High School before heading off to his dream school, Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H. After becoming the first in his family to graduate from college in 1963, he continued his education and graduated from UConn Law School in 1966. Dick and Carole were high school sweethearts, meeting their sophomore year and, two years later, he mustered up the courage to ask her out. After graduating from college, Carole worked as a public health nurse to help pay for law school. Subsequently, he opened his own firm in Westport, where he practiced for 55 years and represented multiple high-profile individuals, leading executives and members of the media. Dick spent many years as managing partner of Berkowitz, Trager & Trager. Over the years, he was involved in many philanthropic endeavors, including: president of the Kiwanis Club of Westport, member of the Westport Representative Town Meeting and member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. He was also a past president of the Westport Bar Association and past board member of the Westport National Bank. In 1970, he was appointed by the first selectman of Westport to chair a new commission on youth activities. In addition, he was a mentor at Champions for Learning in Naples, Fla., and a founding and passionate supporter of New Heights Youth, a New York-based nonprofit. Among his many accomplishments, Dick has been recognized and honored as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for over 25 years. He was a past president of Birchwood Country Club in Westport and a class president and Alumni Council representative for Dartmouth College. Additionally, he has classrooms named in his honor at the Roth Center for Jewish Life at Dartmouth and at Temple Israel in Westport. Dick was a longtime assistant basketball coach at Staples High School, a board member of Staples Tuition Grants and a regular at football, basketball, tennis, field hockey and softball games. He spent long hours instructing various game officials on the fine points of their respective sport. For many years, he coached Pop Warner football, Little League baseball and softball, and recreational basketball in Westport. While he was incredibly accomplished, his ultimate legacy is that he was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, brother, confidante, and friend to many. He had a light that shined bright and he touched so many throughout his life. He was a mentor to young people and many of his clients also became his closest friends. But family was the most important thing in his life and it is his family who will miss him most of all. Interment was held privately at Willowbrook Cemetery, 395 Main Street, Westport, Conn in the family plot. Contributions can be made to two charities that were dear to him: New Heights Youth and the newly established Richard Berkowitz Student-Athlete Award through Staples Tuition Grants.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Berkowitz, please visit Tribute Store
INTERMENT - PRIVATE
395 Main Street
Westport, Connecticut, United States
Section 14-Jewish, Row 10, Grave No. 14
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