David Berman - In Memoriam



            David Berman, 82, of Belmont, passed away at home on June 22, 2017, after battling cancer for several months.  He was born on September 11, 1934, in New York City, and was raised in Hollywood, Florida.  After attending public schools, he enrolled at the University of Florida, receiving a B.A. with honors in 1955.  He undertook graduate study in English at Johns Hopkins and then worked in the Boston area for four years as a technical writer and editor.  In 1960 he entered Harvard Law School and received his J.D. degree in 1963.  

He was licensed as an attorney the same year and clerked at the Supreme Judicial Court for Justice Spiegel.  From 1964 to 1967 he was an assistant attorney general under Edward Brooke.  From 1967 until his death he was in private practice, with an office in Medford for over 45 years and since 2014 in Woburn.  He had a general practice with an emphasis on business litigation.   He loved the law, and was a zealous and learned advocate for his clients.  

David had a parallel career as a poet.  While working in Boston in the late 1950s, he took Robert Lowell’s poetry seminar at Boston University.  As a law student at Harvard, he was permitted to enroll in Archibald MacLeish’s poetry course.  David published a number of poems over the years and his favorites were collected in David Berman’s Greatest Hits 1965-2002 (Pudding House Publications).  

He is survived by his beloved wife, Margaret; children Susan O’Rourke, Chickie Olson, Mark Bell and Chris Stanford,  grandchildren Michelle, Nicole (DeRose)  and Derek O’Rourke, Elizabeth and Anna Olson, and Jarryd Bell; great grandchildren Ava, Elijah and Milo O’Rourke and Mason DeRose; cousins Dr. Bonnie Hersh of Newton and her husband Dr. Michael Rabin, Rosalie Tunis of Ottawa,  Mavis Dreifus of  Mequon, Wisconsin, Dr.David Bercovitch and his wife Mimi of Montreal, and other close cousins; and many friends, colleagues and clients.  He was predeceased by his loving and devoted mother Sophie Siegel, and many dear friends.  

In addition to practicing law and writing poetry, David loved music and fine food and wine.  He was a trustee of the Cantata Singers for thirty years, and Vice Echanson and Vice Concelier Gastronomique Honoraire of the Boston chapter of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs.  He was also a member of the Harvard Club for half a century.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Cantata Singers; the New England Conservatory of Music; the Massachusetts General Hospital; or Harvard Law School.  Arrangements are private, and a public memorial service will be held at a later date. 


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