Barbara S. Bernstein
Barbara Ann Schneckenburger Dirlam Bernstein died peacefully in Wellsville, NY on November 15, 2021, at the age of 91.
Barbara is survived by her son H. Kier (Lisa) Dirlam, Sister Lorma Gilbride, five grandchildren: Erica (Keith) Manry, Barbara Smith, Robert (Helen) Clark, Dylan Dirlam and Samantha Dirlam and eight great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Melvin H. Bernstein, ex-husband H. Alan Dirlam, children H. Arne Dirlam and Erion A. (John) Clark, Brother-in-Law John Gilbride, great grandchild Isaac Manry and parents Evelyn and Howard Schneckenburger.
Barbara was born on June 24, 1930, in Warsaw, NY to Howard and Evelyn (Chase) Schneckenburger. She grew up in Nunda as the daughter of a country Doctor with his office in their house and often riding with her father on his house calls on the dirt roads of the Great Depression and WW2 era. A fond teenage memory was traveling to New England Music Camp in Maine for summers in the 1940s. She graduated from Nunda Central School in 1947, attended Genesee Junior College that was located in Lima, NY specializing in music (voice, clarinet and piano) and graduated from Alfred University with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1952 in English and a Master’s Degree in 1953 in English. She also took numerous other classes including four years of Russian at Syracuse University.
She married H. Alan Dirlam in 1952. They had three children together. One of the major losses of her life was the death of her son Arne at the age of 9. They divorced in 1971. In 1974 she married Dr. Melvin H. Bernstein with whom she shared many good years until his passing in 1995. During her life she lived in Nunda, Pultneyville, Williamson, Alfred and Alfred Station. She taught English and History at different schools including Pultneyville, Wayne Central School, Alfred-Almond, SUNY Geneseo, Alfred University. She wrote thousands of poems in her lifetime and was published in a variety of literary magazines in the 1960’s and 1970’s. She was a school board member at Alfred-Almond in the late 1960’s. She was also on the Town of Alfred Board for 18 years in the 1980’s and 90’s.
In retirement, she continued her interest in Genealogy by doing extensive research on the family where she visited libraries, cemeteries, and town halls across New York and New England. Her collection of genealogy related books and data includes over 15,000 names and histories in a family computer database. She was an extensive and voracious reader from childhood on and collected books and had approximately 9,000 at one point. She worked at the Hinkle Library at Alfred State College and volunteered at the Box of Books Library in Alfred in the 1990’s. She was a member of the Forsieth Wilson Club, the Wee Play House, Hornell Book Club, Almond Library, Baker’s Bridge Historical Society, and the Allegany County Historical Society. She supported numerous charity organizations in the area including the local historical societies, libraries, food pantries, hospitals, cancer research, Alzheimer’s research, and many other local charities. She set up a fund through Alfred University in her late husband Melvin H. Bernstein name to assist students in the English/History and Humanities study with tuition assistance. She and Mel took a stand for the future of Allegany County during the anti-nuclear “Bump the Dump” fight of 1989 and 1990 in a support role for those who stood on the front lines with mailings, phone calls and other less obvious but needed roles.
In her later years she enjoyed travelling to Europe, Mexico and South America. An immense joy was spending time with her family including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Peigh Manry Feulmer, Josiah Manry, Benjamin Manry, Claire Manry, Ethan Foreman, Kadence Smith, Kaelen Clark, Jaydyn Clark, Jordyn Braley, and Jaymi Clark.
The family would like to thank all those involved with her over the course of her long battle with dementia who helped her live a long time at home including Home and Health Care, Hornell, Joy Stuart, Allegany County Office for the Aging, and then with much assistance at Manor Hills Assisted Living staff in Wellsville, Highland Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, Jones Memorial Hospital, Dr. Call and so many others. You all gave her great service and we couldn’t have done it without you.
Friends wishing to send a remembrance to the family, please visit www.brownandpowersfuneralhomes.com or on Facebook @brownpowersfh. The family is being assisted by Gerald R. Brown, Director.
The family will be present to receive friends on Saturday (Nov. 20, 2021) from 1 until 4 PM at the Bender-Brown & Powers Funeral Home, 354 Canisteo Street in Hornell.
A memorial service is being planned for next year to be announced. As she supported so many charities it would be hard to choose just one [many listed above]. So, in lieu of flowers, please send donations to your favorite charity in her memory. Condolences can be sent to brownandpowersfuneralhomes.com.