A Life Well Lived:
Mary Elizabeth Kromer Bernhard
Bernhard, Mary Elizabeth (Kromer) a resident of Amherst, MA for more than fifty years until recently, passed away on Christmas morning, December 25, 2020 at the age of 102. Born September 10, 1918 in Upper Arlington, OH, she was one of five children of Edward and Mary Kromer. After overcoming a nearly debilitating childhood illness, she was home schooled by tutors and graduated from Upper Arlington High School. She earned a degree in English from City College of New York and then became Registrar for Union Theological Seminary. She met her husband, Winfred Bernhard while in New York City before moving to Amherst where he became a professor of Early American History at the University of Massachusetts. Betty was actively engaged in the Amherst community serving as a town meeting member and on the Amherst Historical Commission. She was also a member of the League of Women Voters, Tuesday Club, The Amherst Women’s Club, and the Emily Dickinson International Society. As a docent (for more than thirty years) at the Emily Dickinson Homestead, Betty was fascinated by the life and poetry of Emily Dickson and, as an Independent Scholar, wrote and lectured about Emily well into her 90’s.
She is survived by her husband, Winfred, daughter, Elizabeth and son-in-law, Bruce Figueroa of Norfolk, MA and two grandchildren, Katherine of Boston, MA and Samuel of Brighton, MA, a nephew and nieces. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Donations may be made to the Emily Dickinson Museum (emilydickinsonmuseum.org) in Amherst or the Jänne Lab (Jannelab.org) the research lab of Dr. Pasi Jänne, Dana Farber Lung Cancer Specialist.
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