Bernard Blum
Bernard Blum, of Bloomfield, formerly of West Hartford, died Wednesday, (October 8, 2008) at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Many people felt like they lost a father when they learned that Bernie Blum passed away. He was a rock to his family and friends, to his clients and colleagues, to his profession and his faith. You could not go out with him in publiceven in airports or restaurants around the countrywithout bumping into someone who would greet him warmly, "Bernie!" When people looked for help, he was there without asking. When people looked for leadership, they looked naturally to him. Born in Hartford, he was the son of the late Benjamin and Yetta (Chorches) Blum. He graduated New York University in 1943 (B.S.) His CPA practice, which began in 1946 and became Blum Kaplan & Company ten years later, is today Blum Shapiro & Company, PC, Connecticut's largest regional accounting, tax and business consulting firm. Bernie amazed everyone with his ability to perform complex calculations in his head, faster than any technology. He served his profession, on the Board of Governors of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants; on the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; as a member of the Advisory Panel to the State Tax Commissioner; and as President of the Estate and Business Planning Council of Hartford, where he was the recipient of its first Service Award. He chaired both the CPA Society's Federal and State Taxation Committees. In 1984 Bernie's peers recognized him with the CSCPA Annual Service Award and in 1986 the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants honored him with its Meritorious Service Award. He received the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Distinguished Service Award in 2001. He was president of the Greater Hartford Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), as well as an IMA national board member. Bernie served his community as both the Executive Committee of the Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Red Cross, and on the Boards of Directors of several charitable institutions. He served his faith as a past president of Beth El Temple (1972-73) of West Hartford. He was a Director and former treasurer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and vice-chairman of its finance committee, a member of Level Sequin Lodge No. 140 A.F. & A.M., the Jonathan Lodge I.O.O.F., and Ararat Lodge No. 13 B'nai Brith. Bernie was Chairman of the Hebrew Home & Hospital Trust Fund, and he served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center in West Hartford. He was a former president of the Double "8" Club. At an age when many think of retirement, Bernie began the arduous course of study to become a Certified Financial Planner, one of the first in Connecticut to earn the designation. He also held the designations of Accredited Estate Planner, Personal Financial Specialist and Registered Investment Advisor. Bernie was mentor to many young accountants, and advisor to leaders in both parties, appointed by Governor Ella Grasso to the State Board of Accountancy and reappointed by three succeeding Governors, serving two terms as Chairman. In the 1960's, he began jogging every day. His running partners kept count: at one point, Bernie had run half way around the equator. The milestone didn't stop him. He kept running, and when he could not run, he walked, and he'd be running today if he could. He never greeted any challenge without optimism, a smile, and the confidence that things could be turned for the better. That was how he lived his life to the very last. He could have worked in any profession, but people would have told you the same thing: "Here was a man you could count on." Bernie will be missed forever by his wife, Helen (Karotkin) Blum; by his sister Anne Honiberg; by his seven grandchildren, Alexis Maislen, daughter of Alan Maislen and Mara Blum Maislen of West Hartford; Noah, Joshua and Ariel Blum, children of Dr. Jerrold E. and Arlene Blum of Bloomfield; and Keith, David and Matthew Blum, sons of Steven Z. Blum and Beth K. Blum of West Hartford. Funeral services will be held Friday, October 10 at 2 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford with Rabbi James Rosen, Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler and Cantor Joseph Ness officiating. Interment will follow in Beth El Temple Cemetery, Jackson St., Avon. Shiva will be observed at his home, 132 Balbrae, Bloomfield, Friday until sundown, Saturday evening at 7 p.m., Sunday from 1-8:30 p.m. and Monday from 1 p.m. until sundown, because of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bernard Blum Fund, established by his firm to award scholarships to accounting students, c/o Lori Rabb, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 10 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06106. Arrangements are entrusted to Weinstein Mortuary, Hartford. For further information, directions, or to share memories of Bernie with his family, please visit online at www.

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