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1926 Melvin 2021

Melvin Brownstein

May 21, 1926 — May 8, 2021

Wernersville, PA

Melvin D. Brownstein, 94, of Wernersville, passed away Saturday, May 8, 2021 in Phoebe Berks Health Care Center.  He was the husband of the late Muriel (Apfelberg) Brownstein who passed away January 31, 2014. Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Brownstein was the son of the late Alex and Anna (Horenstein) Brownstein.  He served in the United States Navy during World War II. He highly valued democracy and especially First Amendment right, fully supported the fight against Fascism, yet his aversion to killing led him to serve as a medic, rather. than a soldier. .

His passion for social justice, led him into Social Work, in Jewish Community Centers in Philadelphia and Chicago, into community organizing with street gangs on the southside of Chicago and eventually to teaching as a professor of Social Administration at Temple University where he worked for 20 years before retiring in 1990.

He was passionate about life and learning, was insatiably curious about the world, reverenced nature, human dignity and education. His children tell of the many kitchen lessons about life, philosophy and the world, hard-bound encyclopedias strewn around the dinner table after the dishes were cleared. He loved snow-shoeing, ping-pong, classical and jazz music, poetry, Jewish and political history, travel with Elder Hostel and ice cream. He was an avid supporter of racial justice and the peaceful side of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He is survived by his children Ted M. Brownstein, husband of Christine Brownstein of Lake Worth, Florida; Carl B. Brownstein of Shelton, Washington; Ruth M. Brownstein, spouse of Loretta Pellissier of Olympia, Washington; 6 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.  Mr. Brownstein was preceded in death by his son Andrew D. Brownstein.

Whelan Schwartz Funeral Home, 444 North 9th Street, Reading is in charge of arrangements and online condolences may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melvin Brownstein, please visit our flower store.


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