James K. Berman, of Greenwich, Conn., passed away on Sept. 22 at the age of 89, losing a valiant two-week bout with pneumonia. He was a man of many passions, not the least of which was skiing, which he did until he was 80. His greatest passion was always his wife, Peggy (Tenenbaum), to whom he was married for 62 years.
He was born in New York City on May 10, 1924, to Louis and Marie Berman. He graduated from Fieldston School and earned an engineering degree from MIT in 1949. His college tenure was interrupted by World War II, when he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as part of the Europe weather-forecasting team stationed in Greenland. He married Peggy in 1951, and they had two sons: Chris, born on his father’s birthday in 1955, and Andy, born in 1957.
Jim worked for four decades for Raisler Corporation, a mechanical contracting firm prominent in commercial real estate building in metropolitan New York for close to a century. He retired as executive vice president. He lent his expertise freely—to the Town of Rye, N.Y., where the family lived for a quarter century, to Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, to Congregation Emanuel of Westchester, or later as a volunteer for IESC by advising burgeoning ventures.
He loved the outdoors, most notably in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he maintained a residence in Andy’s home town for the past 25 years. An avid skier, hiker and bicyclist, Jim enjoyed both winters and summers in the Sawtooth Mountains. Earlier, he and the family enjoyed similar activities around Weston, Vt.
He was an avid pilot, which he took up on a whim at age 40 and continued into his 70s. He played tennis and golf, and in his younger days was part of a sailing crew that raced regularly on the Long Island Sound.
Jim especially enjoyed having season tickets for the New York Jets at Shea Stadium, where he and his young sons were ardent supporters of the football team and the AFL. Undoubtedly, those days spurred Chris on to a long career at ESPN.
Jim is survived by his wife, Peggy; his sister, Virginia Slaughter; his two sons, Chris and Andy, and their wives, both named Katherine Berman. He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren Meredith, Doug, Sara and Riley.
A remembrance will be held Friday, Sept. 27, at 11 a.m. at Congregation Emanuel of Westchester in Rye, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Greenwich Hospital, MIT, or the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.
To leave an online condolence, please visit www.leopgallaghergreenwich.com.