Bernie, William

Bernie, Dr. William A.

William A. Bernie, M.D., 85, of Dayton, OH and Naples, FL died on November 20, 2023 after a long struggle with illness.

Bill was born in Dayton on October 1, 1938, to Dr. David and Helen Bernie, the first of eight children. Bill's father was a devoted medical practitioner, and Bill likewise developed a passion for medicine. After graduating from Fairview High School, he attended Miami University in Oxford, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1959. He attended medical school at the University of Cincinnati, followed by an internship at the University of Indiana in Indianapolis. His training was interrupted by a tour of duty in South Korea from 1964 to 1966 as a captain in the medical corps of the U.S. Army, where he served with distinction. Upon Bill's return from military service, he completed a four-year surgical residency at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown. He followed that with a surgical oncology residency at the famed Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. In 1972, he started his life in private practice with Gem City Surgical Associates in Dayton, serving on several hospital medical staffs. He practiced as a skilled and highly in-demand surgeon for 20 years. In 1992, he retired from active surgery and started a second career as an executive in the Ethicon division of Johnson & Johnson in Cincinnati, where he was a pioneer in developing minimally invasive surgical techniques and related equipment. His second career in research and development lasted over 20 years and he was devoted to the mission of transforming patient care through education and technology. Bill's entire working life was dedicated to saving and improving the lives of patients and helping other physicians.

When not performing surgery, developing new medical equipment and techniques, or lecturing, Bill devoted time to his many passions. These included ham radio, photography, scuba diving, motorcycles, boating, worldwide travel, and opera. He immersed himself in these hobbies with the same level of commitment he showed in his medical practice.

Bill was committed to his Jewish faith and traditions and took several trips to Israel. He also supported the causes important to him as a philanthropist, particularly for medical education. He was a founding father of the medical school at Wright State University, where he has an anatomy lab named after him. He gave generously to Wright State, Miami University, and the University of Cincinnati Medical School, among many other charities. In 1994, he was the bone marrow donor for his sister Marianne, helping her overcome leukemia and adding to his legacy of saving lives.

Bill is preceded in death by his beloved parents Dr. David and Helen Bernie and his brother-in-law Dr. Harley Ellman. He is survived by his brothers Dr. Stephen Bernie of Cleveland, OH, Dr. Jan (Peggy) Bernie of New York, NY, Dr. Howard (Kay) Bernie of Estero, FL, and Dr. Bruce (Vicki) Bernie of Charleston, SC; his sisters Marianne Ellman of Dayton, OH, Dr. Vicki (Ronald) Portnoff of Indian Wells, CA, and Karen (Sanford) Wolfe of Dayton, OH; and many nephews and nieces.

The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Beth Abraham Cemetery Chapel, 1817 W Schantz Ave., Dayton, OH 45409. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Bill's memory be made to either (a) the Helen K. and David Bernie Scholarship Fund at The Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, or (b) the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, The Glickler Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

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Funeral Home Information

Glickler Funeral Home & Cremation Service

1849 Salem Ave

Dayton, OH