Biography of Bernard Siegel

Prepared by Eleanor Gloyn Siegel

Bernard Siegel was born May 8, 1923 and died February 8, 2013. Bernard was the sixth child of Jacob and Rebecca Solomon Siegel and a big surprise to his 47 year old mother. He had four older brothers who achieved success as a dentist, an anthropologist, a violinist with the Chicago symphony and a professor of Psychology at Penn State University. He was probably closest to his older sister, Kitty, who was his life-long friend. Bernard grew up in New York City where his mother owned a restaurant. The children helped out in this family business. This helped the family weather the Depression and his mother often provided meals to the homeless.

After elementary school, Bernard took an exam and was admitted to an accelerated program at Stuyvesant High School where he graduated at 15.

After high school, Bernard joined his mother who had moved to Los Angeles for her health. Bernard and Kitty worked for a while at Max Factor Cosmetics in Hollywood. In January 1943, he was drafted into the Army.

In the Army, after basic training and a course for medics in Denver, Bernard spent the war years working in the San Francisco Army Hospital. This was probably the start of his interest in medicine.

Bernard attended Los Angeles City College and Cal Berkeley on the G.I. Bill. His academic curiosity was far-ranging. Although his bachelor's degree was in social studies, he took many courses in chemistry and biology. He spent an additional year as a graduate student in Med School.

Two of Bernard's passions were science and travelling. By carefully saving his earnings as a chemist in Los Angeles and using low-cost hotels abroad, he was able to take two world trips. He visited Europe, Japan, Russia, India, Africa, the South Seas and South America.

In 1969, Bernard decided to become a licensed medical laboratory technologist. After a year-long internship at Kaiser Hospital, he passed the state exam and began working at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. In October 1971 he married Eleanor Gloyn. They welcomed Joanne Rebecca in 1975 and Robert John in 1981.

Children's Hospital proved to provide a long and rewarding career. He worked for Dr. Ken Shaw who was studying metabolic diseases of children including PKU(phenalkeytanuria). This job included both biochemical research and clinical lab testing for patients. He retired in 1988.

In his retirement years, Bernard enjoyed his friends and family, movies, baseball games and more travelling. He added Australia, China and South Africa to his "bucket list." With his family, he visited the Oregon and California coasts, Mount Rainier, Grand Canyon, the Sierras, Alaska and Hawaii.

First picture is Bernard, Kitty, Rebecca, Frances, Jay and Sid in 1941

Second picture is Kitty, Rebecca, Jay and Bernard in 1942