Murray H. Berger of Shelter Island Remembered as Dedicated Civic Leader

Murray Berger
Murray Berger

Murray H. Berger of Kew Gardens and Shelter Island died March 20, just shy of his 99th birthday and only one month after the loss of his wife of 69 years, Carol.

Murray and Carol first vacationed on Shelter Island in the 1950s and ultimately purchased their home on Sandpiper Road in 1969. For many years, Murray was active in the Shorewood Civic Association. A regular Friday night passenger on the summer “Daddy Ferry,” he also enjoyed many weekends and holidays throughout the year with his family on the island.

An effective negotiator, his perseverance, friendly nature and teamwork resulted in many accomplishments. A longtime Kew Gardens community leader, he was the personification of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, serving as its president, then chairman, and then executive chairman. Until recently, he continually sent out emails to its members and NYC’s influencers, keeping the community and city officials abreast of events and issues impacting Kew Gardens homeowners. He also co-founded the Kew Gardens Council for Recreation and the Arts Inc. and served as its president and treasurer. He served on the Land-Use Committee of Queens Community Board 9 and was a member of the Community Preservation Coalition. Through the years, Berger received a number of awards for his service.

Professionally, Berger was a printer and business owner, beginning his printing career in NYC in 1947 at The Comet Press. There, as production manager, he met his wife-to-be, Carol Winfield, and they married two years later in 1955. In 1972, he became president of Howard O. Bullard Co., a major NYC typography firm. He was also vice president of Graphic Arts Management Corporation which included his consultative work for the U.S. Government Printing Office. Later, he was the owner of two NYC printing companies, Reehl Litho Inc. and General Offset Company Inc.

He was active in many printing trade organizations, often in executive roles: The Navigators, Printing Estimators and Production Men’s Club of New York, Printing Industries of Metropolitan New York, and Typographers Association of New York. For many years, Berger was a regular at NYC’s City Club meetings.

Berger attended NYC’s PS 149, 158, 182 and JHS 149. He graduated from Townsend Harris High School in 1940, and from City College of New York in 1947. In WWII, he served in the U.S. Army in North Africa and Italy, attaining the rank of technical sergeant.

With an unusually strong will, Berger remained completely “with it” and active in his volunteer work throughout his home hospice experience, which began in December 2021. He is survived by children Madeline Berger and James (Kathryn) Berger, grandchildren Collin (Clarissa) Berger and Miranda (David) Köröndi, a great grandson, his brother Arthur and other dear family and friends. In lieu of flowers, a gift to the Shelter Island Public Library, 37 N. Ferry Road, Shelter Island, NY 11964 would be most appreciated.

Berger was buried on Shelter Island.