Alan L. Bernstein, 73; longtime principal with Moneta Group

Alan L. Bernstein

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Alan L. Bernstein, longtime principal with the Moneta Group, and a Lifetime Member of the Insurance Industry’s Million Dollar Roundtable, died Thursday, Nov. 29 after a five-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 73 and a lifetime resident of the St. Louis area.

Mr. Bernstein was born in St. Louis on Dec. 27, 1938, the son of Hyman Bernstein and Ruth Shulman Bernstein. He graduated from University City High School in 1956, and received a bachelor’s of science degree in business at Washington University. He served as a medic in the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.

Mr. Bernstein married the former Nancy Rosenkranz on February 11, 1962. They had two children.

A longtime and respected leader in the insurance industry, Mr. Bernstein was principal with the Moneta Group. He won several consecutive Million Dollar Roundtable Awards for his accomplishments in sales and was a Lifetime Member of the prestigious group. He served as a mentor and friend to many local insurance executives, including Alan Silverberg who told the Jewish Light that Mr. Bernstein was a “friend and role model to countless of us in the insurance business. He set the highest standards in his personal conduct.”

Mr. Bernstein was an active member of Congregation Shaare Emeth and formerly served on its board of directors. Rabbi James Bennett, who officiated at Mr. Bernstein’s funeral service last Sunday, praised his devotion to the synagogue and for his role in lending his expertise to the congregation’s insurance program decisions.

Nearly every seat in the spacious Stiffman Sanctuary at Congregation Shaare Emeth was filled at the service. Words of gratitude and tribute were offered by his daughter and son, and Jonathan and Jordan, two of his six grandchildren (on behalf of all of them), and by a lifetime friend, Alan Kraus, in addition to Rabbi Bennett.

In her remarks, Mr. Bernstein’s daughter, Julie Bernstein Schack, recalled, “just over a week ago, we gathered around our dining table to enjoy what we knew would be our last Thanksgiving together as a family. It was our tradition…to ask each guest to take a turn to say what they were thankful for. But not this year…because for most everyone it would have been the same response — that we were thankful to be there — with you.”

In his remarks, son David Bernstein said, “What’s plainly clear—even as I look out today—is how high you set the bar. A devoted husband for 50 years, a successful businessman, a great father and friend. But when we write the epitaph for you, Dad, one thing is more distinct than any other. You were a great fighter.

“When you were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer five years ago, your immediate thought was, ‘Everyone has to die from something Nan.’ You never asked why me? You never complained about the disease. You just looked at what was in store and said ‘Game on!’ And what a game you played.”

Kraus, a friend of more than 70 years, said, “When Alan came back from a trip from Phoenix and reminded me he wanted me to speak at his funeral, I tried to resist. But he said, ‘Can’t I even plan my own funeral? You have no choice in the matter.’ And so we can laugh, which is just what Alan would have wanted us to do.”

Rabbi Bennett told of seeing Mr. Bernstein a couple of weeks ago while a repairman cleaned the furnace and Nan Bernstein ran a few errands. “Alan was sitting in the family room, chatting about his illness, his family, his life,” the rabbi recalled. “He told me of Moneta Group and his career, he talked about his family and how much it meant to him. . . He said how lucky he felt, how blessed he was, how ready he really was to accept the fate that he was not going to live more than a few months, and how he wasn’t afraid of death, just that he would rather not die and leave all of you.”

Burial was at the Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Cemetery on Ladue Road.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Nancy Rosenkranz Bernstein; a daughter, Julie Bernstein Schack (Marty), of St. Louis; a son, David Bernstein (Michele) of St. Louis; a brother, Mitchell (Melanie), of St. Louis; and six grandchildren.

Contributions may be made to PANCAN, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, Calif. 90266, or the charity of the donor’s choice.