Bernard Sherak
(1919 - 2010)

Bernard Sherak

January 24, 1919

May 9, 2010

This site is dedicated to Bernard Sherak.

Bernard (Bud) Sherak, 91, January 24, 1999 - May 9, 2009 died peacefully in his sleep on May 9 after a rich and fulfilling life. He was actively pursuing his friendships and interests in the natural and cultural worlds until the last day. Bud was the first child born to Rose and William Sherak and grew up in Greenpoint and Brighton Beach, Brooklyn where he began a lifelong interest in nature by collecting and cataloging insect specimens found on the then many vacant neighborhood lots. Bud graduated from Cornell University with a BA and MA in mathematics and then received an appointment to Annapolis but later left to accept a commission as a Captain in the Air Corps as a meteorologist, serving in England and France where he helped to determine proper weather conditions for the ongoing invasion of France after D Day. He also served as the commanding officer in several villages in Normandy and around Strasbourg when they had just been liberated. He was deeply moved to return to the Normandy area thirty years later to be welcomed by the “maire de la libération” -- the mayor of the liberation, still alive at that time. On returning from military service, he met and married Gladys Klein, his wife and companion of over 61 years. Bud resumed graduate studies in mathematics, taught at Rutgers University and then joined Kenyon & Eckhardt as one of the first statisticians hired by an advertising agency to develop market research tools. He went on to become their vice president of marketing. He was later recruited by Market Facts Inc., a Midwestern advertising agency to found their New York office and retired as Chairman of the Board of Market Facts and a member of ROC International. He also served terms as the Director and Vice President of the New York Branch of the American Marketing Association.

Bud had a keen wit and wide-ranging intellect. He was an excellent bridge, chess, scrabble, and cribbage player and would regularly win back his train fare playing bridge on the homebound commute. He remained widely read and intellectually engaged throughout his life and enjoyed writing and declaiming light verse. He won a number of the New York Magazine competitions, was published in the New York Times Metropolitan Dairy and, no doubt, would have enjoyed editing this, his obituary.

During the mid 1960s, Bud became increasingly concerned about the impact of the Vietnam War on American society which led him to include questions in market surveys which explored this. The findings supported his concern and he joined with a group of like-minded New York business executives who went to Washington and met with Nixon Administration cabinet members to express their concern for our ongoing military presence in Vietnam. Bud also had a deep and enduring passion for the natural world and enjoyed exploring it and sharing it with his wife and children, in upper Westchester and West Stockbridge, MA, his summer home of more than 30 years. He was an accomplished entomologist, lepidopterist and ornithologist. His interests and background led him to recognize, 50 years ago, that energy use would overtake available natural resources, significant species were endangered, and pollution had a significant effect on the environment and the potential impact of global warming. Bud gave instrumental support to a number of organizations that reflected his interests, including the Xerces Society, the National Resource Defense Council and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Bud enjoyed a long and vigorous retirement. He and Gladys traveled widely, visiting museums throughout the world. As he would often say, “on to the next adventure.” He is survived by his wife, Gladys, his brother Marvin and sister-in-law, Helen, of Santa Rosa, CA, his sister, Janet of Sunnyvale, CA and his children, Donald, a forensic psychiatrist in Brookline, MA and Nina, an Associate Director in Regulatory Affairs of AstraZeneca, wellness coach and dancer in Wilmington DE. A third child, Lucy, an occupational therapist, flautist and composer, died of breast cancer in 1998. He is also survived by two sons-in-law, Todd and Ken and 6 grandchildren, Greg, Gina, Matthew, Raffi, Rachael, and Ben. Those who wish to honor his memory may do so by contributing to the National Resource Defense Council, WNYC Public Radio, Breast Cancer Action or Earthjustice.

We miss you.

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Guest Book (14 entries)
Bud was a true renaissance man. I will miss him and we all know they just don't make them like that anymore. Bud and Gladys truly are, quite simply, a cool couple. You could talk to Bud forever and he never ceased to amaze me with his quiet,quick quips and fascinating stories. These stories were told in the most modest demeanor and of course a stinger at the end. A remarkable man who led a wonderful life and and died an extremely rich man. For the sake of disclosure I must clarify that I mean rich with love!
Vivian Spyropoulos (friend& financial advisor)
June 2nd, 2010
I'm brokenhearted! What a great loss to all of us, yet how blessed we are to have known this remarkable man!
I would use you both as examples when my customers would say "I'm too old to get on the computer!" I'd tell them that I have customers in their eighties who have gotten on.
Thank you both so much for being such a special part of my life...You have truly touched me...
Jill Keogh (Banker & Friend)
June 2nd, 2010
Bud's love of hiking was inherited by Lucy. We would go on long hikes whenever he and Glady's came to California. A hike with Lucy was rarely just a hike. It often included off-trail "shortcuts" through six foot high brush or trails that dead-ended into a steep ravine. Bud always took these hikes in stride. After one particularly challenging hike, we returned home and Bud went into the living room while Lucy and I prepared dinner. When the food was ready, we went into the living room and saw him sleeping on the couch. Bud woke up and Lucy asked whether he had a good nap. Bud smiled and said, "I was meditating". I saw Bud meditate many times over the years.
Ken Fischer (Son-in-law)
May 27th, 2010
A warm smile, a twinkle in his eye, a greeting that made you feel like you were truly being greeted.

Crisp fall days in West Stockbridge, the smell of heating oil in the basement, a good night’s sleep on the horsehair beds, Gina and Greg playing in mounds of leaves. Picnics in the meadow, the view from Windy Hill, an “I Climbed Mt. Sherak” tee shirt arrives in the mail. Bud was so happy to share his beautiful home in Massachusetts.

Canoe trips and hikes, east and west. The Berkshires, Audubon, Tennessee Valley in the Bay Area, Point Reyes beaches and trails. Sure afoot, fit, vigorous, a song and a story, an inspiration to stay active throughout life.

The joy on his face holding his grandchildren shortly after they were born. Stories from Grandpa Bud arrive on cassette, the Ghost stories identified with a scary scrawl, Greg and Gina sitting around the tape player intent on every word, their grandfather, a master story-teller.

Endless games of Scrabble with Greg, Bud’s smile when he realized he met his match. The rest of us watched.

Bud and Gladys arrive for Thanksgiving with the California family. Marvin and Helen, Janet and Phil, all of the cousins, their partners and children, extended family and friends. Bud, the head of the family, always ready with a pun, touché. Laughter, a grand meal, Jenny’s pies, and the post-meal walk. A tradition with a man who valued tradition.

The love for his daughter Lucy, his entire family. Thank you Bud for welcoming me into the Sherak family and making my family your own. You were a wonderful father-in-law and bring a smile to my face when I think about you.

Ken Fischer Son-in-law
Ken Fischer (Son-in-law)
May 24th, 2010
Sherak Family
My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. Nobody will ever understand the depth of your sorrows as it is unique to you, but be patient with those around you that will try to comfort you. May the sweet memories of your beloved Mr. Sherak carry you through the dark. And may you find your peace in the days to come.
Sahira M.
May 19th, 2010
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"The last time I saw Bud,2 weeks before his passing, we talked and laughed out loud for over an hour and a half. I'm 45 he was 91 . A 20 year old girl who was in the room later said she wanted to come and join us because we were having so much fun!"
Vivian Spyropoulos
June 2nd, 2010
"There’ve been too few like Bud in this world. He thoroughly enjoyed the place and very charmingly wished it well. He and Gladys could light up a room or make a walk in the woods a sparkling adventure. Lucky us to have known him! Colta and Gary"
Colta Ives
May 14th, 2010


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