Mr. Michael Bernstein was born Oct. 29, 1947, to Jacob and Mary Bernstein in Nassawadox and raised in Chincoteague.
He graduated from Chincoteague High School in 1965 and a year later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Michael served as a photography lab technician with the 548 RTG (Recon Group). It was here that his lifelong passion for photography began.
Michael attended and graduated from Salisbury State College (Class of ‘74), where he met his best friend and later wife, Carole “Terry” Bernstein.
Michael was working in his family’s garment business and teaching photography at Salisbury State College before starting JMB Manufacturing Inc. in 1979. Over the years, the business would transition from contract sewing manufacturing to screen printing (Bernco Inc.).
In 1993 he opened what would become Purple Pony Shirt Company in his hometown of Chincoteague. It was there that he was happiest. He loved sitting behind the counter and talking to everyone who came through the door. This was the catalyst to many friendships that remain to this day. In his retirement, he enjoyed being a part-time driver for LWRC International, LLC.
Community service to others was important for Michael. He was involved with several local organizations including Pocomoke Rotary (past president), Salisbury Rotary Club, Chincoteague American Legion, Accomack Lodge No. 243, AF & AM (brother), Chincoteague Chapter No. 75, Royal Arch Masons (companion), Boumi Temple (shriner), Eastern Shore Shrine Club (past president), and Eastern Shore of Virginia Shrine Club (noble). Michael was also proud to be an honorary member of Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Co., Inc.
Survivors include his wife, Terry; sons, Justin and Jarred (Laura); and grandchildren, Lucas, Addison, Jonah, and Elijah; siblings, Daniel (Peggy), Joseph, Richard (Ellen), Faith, and Nicholas (Judy); and sister-in-law, Linda.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Mary; brothers, Barry and David; and sister-in-law, Alice.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales, 535 Riverside Drive, Salisbury, MD 21801. Visitation will be held an hour prior.
Interment will take place at Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Crownsville at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made in Michael’s memory to Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 691, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336.