Peter McDermid Bernays, 88, of Dallas, died peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, on October 9, 2012, after a short illness. Peter was born February 23, 1924, in West Orange, N.J.; however, his arrival into the United States actually took place 8 months before his birth when his family arrived at Ellis Island aboard the ship,The Pittsburgh, on June 12, 1923.
The son of the late Lewis Edward and Alida McDermid Bernays, Peter was also preceded in death by his older brothers Robert Lewis Bernays and William Richard Bernays, as well as his wonderful first wife, Lois Hair Bernays.
Peter is survived by his very beloved wife of 31 years, Sally Anderson Blalock Bernays, 4 devoted daughters–Sally Blalock Seidel, Patti Blalock Tinnin LeFevre (and husband Byron), Carol Blalock Arnold (and husband Stephen), and Lyle Blalock Beatty (and husband Croom). Peter loved his large and extended family, especially his 13 grandchildren: Emily Seidel; Anthony (and wife Jennifer), Stephen (and wife Allison Brim), Robert and Jacob Tinnin; Whitney (and wife Lucy), Stephen, Anna and Lyle Arnold; and Croom, Alex, Will and Claire Beatty. Much to his joy, Peter’s family continues to grow, and he was the proud great-grandfather to 6, with another great-grandchild eagerly anticipated in March 2013.
Peter had an international upbringing; his mother was born in Winnipeg, Canada and his father in Moscow. His father, who spoke 8 languages, was Consul-General for England, and Peter attended elementary schools in Geneva, Switzerland and Brussels, Belgium but returned to the United States as a teen when his father was named British Consul to Chicago. Peter’s college education at Northwestern University was interrupted by the onset of World War II when he proudly joined the US Navy and served in the Pacific Theater, rising to the rank of Lt. Commander. Following his war service, Peter returned to his studies, graduating in 1948 from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management with a Bachelor of Business Administration and membership in the Phi Kappa Psi honors society.
After receiving his degree, Peter relocated to Dallas, where his father had been transferred as the British Consul-General. In Dallas, Peter began his career as a realtor in 1949 and was honored to be a past president of the Greater Dallas Association of Realtors. A member of Highland Park Methodist Church since 1950, Peter also became actively involved at Highland Park Presbyterian Church after his marriage to Sally in 1981, and especially enjoyed participation in Friday Fellowship and Senior trips. He was a loyal and devoted member of the Park Cities Lions Club and regularly attended their twice-monthly meetings.
Peter was not just a “gentleman”; he was truly a gentle man, a loving, jolly, optimistic soul who will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. His family offers a very special thanks to his personal assistant Lindy Tinnin for her loyalty, love and friendship, and loving thanks also to devoted caregivers Paula LeJay, Teresa Winfrey, Emma Locke, Margaret White, and Linda Massey.
Burial is Friday, October 19, 2012 at 10:30 a.m., at the DFW National Cemetery with full military honors. A Celebration of his life will follow at 1:00 p.m. at Wynne Chapel at Highland Park Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (Alz.org) in honor of his precious wife Sally or to the Park Cities Lions Club.