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Bernard Michael Pisani

2022-03-20

Bernard Michael Pisani died Sunday evening, March 20, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Shelden Ogilvy Pisani, three of his four children, Michael, David and Laura - his youngest child, Alice Pisani (Hurdle), having tragically predeceased him – his daughters-in-law, Nicole Falconer Pisani and Jennifer Corzine Pisani and son-in-law, Joseph Junkin, his seven grandchildren, Madelaine Pisani, Katherine Pisani, Oliver Hurdle, Dylan Pisani, Ryan Junkin-Pisani, Sabrina Junkin-Pisani and Graham Pisani, his three brothers, Anthony, John and Christopher, and their families, and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews, all of whom now miss him terribly.

Dad cut a joyful, loving, mischievous and philosophical swath through life, making the most out of what life offered and sweating no part of what it didn’t – save another title or two for the Rangers and Giants, or, as to the latter, even just a winning season. Of late, in his grandfatherly years, the spectacle of his unbridled happiness with his grandchildren, each in their own rite, was absolutely beautiful and confirming of the hopeful, positive life view he insisted upon.

Born in New York City and raised in Englewood, NJ, son and nephew to a paternal family of physicians and a maternal force of nature, Dad’s intended path to medical school derailed auspiciously when he parlayed a modest graduation gift into a then tidy sum in the market. Thus encouraged, he opted for a position with a small Wall Steet firm, Stevens, Rothchild & Co. In time, he led that firm to combine with the then OTC powerhouse Troster Singer & Company, becoming its managing partner and eventually selling it to and becoming a limited partner in Spear, Leeds & Kellogg. Still a young man, seeing things in his own unique way, he created the bespoke life of private investing, gentleman pentathlete (tennis, squash, golf, backgammon and chess), constant host, perpetually willing mixologist and aspiring chef by which he is most commonly known. His beloved coterie of partners would have us add Silver Life Master in contract bridge to the above list.

Through an exceptional cascade of happenstance, the kind face of fate placed in his way the love of his life, Shelden, to whom his devotion, while distinctly of his own design and sort, was boundless. Their caring for each other through forty-five years was unfailing and their enjoyment of each other never diminished. It is the most sacred undertaking of his surviving family to surround Shelden in this hardest of times with the love and care Dad would have asked.

There is solace in the fact that Dad enjoyed a strong faith his entire life. Not a dogmatic or doctrinal one but a carefully examined, prolifically read, enthusiastically practiced, and grinningly shared one. His very curious, frequently proclaimed enthusiasm for the Prodigal Son story chaffed his two sons by implication but, taken fairly, epitomized the vastly caring and forgiving nature with which Dad exercised his faith. In his final moment, if he had an instant to assess, Dad would have been deeply comforted and at peace through his trust in God.

There is no reason not to suppose that the warm light that was Dad is dispersed now into the larger light of our universe and that any time you are warmed by that universal light, a little part of it is Dad warming you as he always hoped to do, while with us, whenever he smiled at you.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on June 4th at St. Rose of Lima in Millburn, N.J. with reception to follow at The Short Hills Club, Lakeshore Drive, Short Hills, N.J. Those inclined to remember Dad should share a good bottle of wine or (Shelden says) sparkling water with your loved ones and toast his memory. Those bound and determined to commit coin of the realm would be much appreciated if they did so for the benefit of Greater Newark Conservancy, 32 Prince Street, Newark, NJ 07103(www.citybloom.org). ~ for his family.

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