SARASOTA, FLA. — Elliot Steven Bernstein died suddenly at his home here on November 26.
Elliot is survived by his wife, Maureen Bernstein; children, Emily Bernstein and son-in-law Noam Paransky and Annie Bernstein and son-in-law Greg Metzger, all living in Sarasota; mother, Sarah (Sunny) Bernstein of Siesta Key; three brothers, Jerry, Harvey and Joel; loving in-laws; nieces; nephews; and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Emanuel Bernstein. Elliot loved and enjoyed his family very much. He recently had the joy of seeing his family grow and thrived on being a grandparent to Aiden, Riley and Mila.
Elliot was born March 2, 1950, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was raised in Massapequa, N.Y. He went to college in Boston and that is where he met his partner for life, Maureen. After college they moved to rural western Massachusetts and started a family. Elliot was a self-proclaimed hippie in his youth and remained true to his idealistic views throughout his life. He was full of entrepreneurial spirit and was an avid picker, antiques dealer and auctioneer. Elliot loved the collector’s lifestyle and could often be found set up at the markets in New York City.
In 2003, Elliot and Maureen relocated to Sarasota to enjoy all that Florida had to offer. From the white sands of Siesta Key Beach to the many golf courses he played, he thought Sarasota was a wonderful place to live. He also pursued his passion for antiques and auctions in Sarasota, opening an auction gallery that served many loyal clients for more than ten years. As an experienced auctioneer, Elliot provided certain wisdom on the merchandise he was selling as well as an entertaining banter that his audience would enjoy at his well-curated auctions every other Sunday for many years. He believed auctions were a liberal-minded way to recycle goods. Elliot faced many physical challenges over the past few years, but remained active with his business until this past year.
Elliot was an avid athlete and loved sports. He was passionate about golf and enjoyed swimming. Elliot had a magnetic personality and was loved by so many. Throughout his illness, he remained unshakably positive and optimistic. Elliot believed in the power of the intellect and said as long as he had his mind, he was free. While Elliot faced a very difficult disease over the past few years, he never let ALS define him. He inspired many people with his enduring generosity of spirit and his indomitable love for life.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request that all donations be made to Answer ALS (www.answerals.org) or Project ALS (www.projectals.org), both research organizations working to find a cure for ALS.