American Patriotic 10


Melvin D. Brownstein

1926 - 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

Plant a tree in memory of Melvin by clicking here.
To send flowers to Melvin's family, please visit our floral store.


A service summary is not available

An environmentally-friendly option

Whelan Schwartz Funeral Home, Inc

444 N 9th St., Reading, PA

Tribute Wall

Share a memory of Melvin D. Brownstein
  • Photos
  • Video
  • Candle
  • Sentiment
Plant a tree in memory of Melvin
An environmentally-friendly option

1 tree planted in memory of Melvin


There is 1 photo available in the gallery

Julie Mckay

May 26, 2021 2:49 PM

So sorry for your loss, and thank you for putting this in the Barton Chronicle. It was always nice to see Mr and Mrs Brownstein come in the store when they were in Glover for the summer. Keeping you in my prayers ❤️

John & Marion Mattes

May 14, 2021 11:54 AM

We remember Mel as a good friend at Phoebe. He was a devoted husband to Muriel and was never the same after he lost her. Now he can be reunited with her in eternal life.

bill sedlis

May 13, 2021 5:51 PM

i have known mel for many  years  - my wife was especially close to him  - it would be hard to imagine a kinder more committed more involved human being than mel - he fought every day for his beliefs - his passion to make the world a better place to live in - his love for all humanity
he was a remarkable citizen

bill sedlis

Randy Newnham

May 13, 2021 1:23 PM

Mel often attended the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County in Reading for a number of years, and he will be missed by a number of his UU friends!   Our condolences to his family.

Lee Castelli

May 13, 2021 7:51 AM

I did not know this man, but after reading about him., I wish I had known him. What a wonderful tribute to a person we should all aspire to be.

Plant a tree in memory of Melvin

An environmentally-friendly option Plant memorial trees
© 2021 Whelan Schwartz Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy