Dr. William Francis Bernhard, 93, Cardiovascular Surgical Pioneer

FRAMINGHAM – William Francis Bernhard was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1924, son of William Bernhard (Whitestone, L.I. New York) and Helen Bernhard (Conroy).

Bill graduated from Williams College in an accelerated 3 years as WWII got underway and served in the Pacific from 1944-1946.

After the war, he graduated from Syracuse University Medical School and married his beloved wife June Horne, a nurse, in 1948. Together, they raised 10 children.  Bill completed several thoracic and cardiovascular surgical residencies before settling at Boston’s Children’s Hospital for most of his professional surgical work.

Bill was known as a cardiovascular surgical pioneer.  He pursued both pediatric cardiovascular surgery and research on new surgical techniques and devices. His published hundreds of papers that defined both the cardiovascular medical problems of infants and novel solutions for those problems.

He introduced techniques using hyperbaric oxygenation, as well as development of the left ventricular assist device (LVAD) without wires leading to the Heartmate artificial heart device.

Throughout his life, he maintained his passions for sailing, jazz and classical music, cats, sports cars and spending time with family.

Dr. William Francis Bernhard died Monday, October 29, 2018 in the presence of his loving family at his home, after a brave battle with cancer.

Though he has left us, we will never forget his brilliant mind, wry sense of humor, and his willingness to do all he could for his family.

He is survived by his wonderful wife of 70 years, June Bernhard, and leaves four beloved daughters, five beloved sons:  Susan (Peter) of California, MA, Christine (Les) of Michigan, Margaret of Ohio (deceased), Catherine (John) of New Hampshire, Ann (Kevin) of Virginia, and sons Bill (Patti) of Massachusetts, John of Massachusetts, Robert (Marjorie) of Massachusetts, James of Massachusetts, Peter (Betsy) of New Hampshire.  His grandchildren are:  Dakota, Emily, Randy, Shannon, Becky, Ava (Great Grandchild), Lucy, Hazel, Alex, Jen, Chris, Kate, Andrew and Sarah, Martinique and Michelle.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend his funeral Mass on Friday, November 2, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Bridget Church, 830 Worcester Road in Framingham.

Burial will follow in Edgell Grove Cemetery in Framingham.

In keeping with his wishes, there will be no funeral home visiting hours.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Norton Funeral Home in Framingham.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Little Sisters of the Poor; 186 Highland Ave., Somerville MA 02143

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

Leave a Reply