The Group Against Smog and Pollution is mourning the loss of our longtime friend and ally, Bernard “Bernie” Bloom – an environmental engineer and stalwart air quality advocate who not only helped usher in Pittsburgh’s clean air movement but also helped GASP find its footing in our infancy.
Bernie died May 19 from stomach cancer. He was 76.
Bernie’s obituary can be read in its entirety here, but we wanted to share an excerpt that spoke to our hearts:
“He believed love is action. From cleaning up the steel mills of Pittsburgh to helping to build the International Space Station; from gleefully sharing literature to championing local parks; from mentoring younger generations to bonding with new friends late in life, he made the world a better place. His intelligence was fierce and his love was abundant right to the end.
It never occurred to Bernie Bloom not to care. Nobody who met Bernie Bloom will ever forget him.”
We know we certainly won’t forget him.
We last saw Bernie back in October for our 50th-anniversary gala. We had the pleasure of interviewing him about GASP’s humble beginnings.
He told us: “GASP changed my life. It gave me a purpose.”
We say: Bernie was just as instrumental to GASP’s mission and purpose.
“GASP was so fortunate to have a friend in Bernie. It was heartwarming to see him reminisce about the old days with Karenlin Madoff – our founder Michelle Madoff’s daughter – at the gala,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini said. “GASP owes a great deal of gratitude to Bernie for his help, passion, and grit in those early days.”
GASP President Jonathan Nadle agreed.
“It was a pleasure getting to know Bernie through our email exchanges and his letter on GASP’s beginnings,” he said.“ It was a true honor meeting him in person at our 50th-anniversary party.”
Because of COVID-19 social distancing and other safety measures, Bernie’s family is celebrating his life with a live online memorial at 2 p.m. this Saturday, June 6. You can join family and friends in saying goodbye by tuning in here. Those who would like to honor him are invited to plant a tree in his memory – one that will benefit a forest in need.