eNews Edition: Spring 2020
Contributed by Gina Flores
We are deeply saddened over the recent loss of Bernice Haber, a longtime friend and supporter of the Oviatt Library and the CSUN community. Bernice passed away in January at the age of 92. As a volunteer at CSUN since 1991, Bernice was a beloved Friends of the Library board member. She once shared, “Volunteering enlarges my own life, and keeps me connected to the campus and young people. Promoting education and the arts rounds me out as a person.” Having served two terms as the Friends of the Library President, Bernice was admired for her wise counsel and willingness to take on new projects and share fundraising ideas. She was dedicated and thoughtful about her role in shaping the success of the organization.
In her native state of New York, Bernice met and married her husband Leonard. After living in Galveston, Texas, and San Francisco, while Leonard finished his medical residency, the Haber family moved to the San Fernando Valley in 1959. Bernice enrolled in California State University, Northridge (then known as San Fernando Valley State College) in 1961, studying art, with an emphasis on ceramics and sculpture. She became a working artist, producing ceramics at a shared studio, and in 1981 ran a gallery called “The Workhouse” with other artists. Bernice served as the president of the American Ceramic Society Design Division from 1986 -1987.
Bernice mourned the loss of her husband in March 2016, after an emotional journey as a loving caregiver throughout his progressive illness. In Leonard’s illustrious career, he served as Chief of Medicine and Cardiology at Olive View Medical Center, and later the Director of Cardiology at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.
As a dynamic couple, Leonard and Bernice shared a passion for the Oviatt Library, creating an endowed study room and generously supporting the Library Student Employee Scholarship Fund. Leonard found the perfect home for his James Joyce collection, donated to the Oviatt Library in 2010.
Bernice had a fruitful social life. She generously supported and attended theater in the Los Angeles area, and participated in the CSUN Arts Council. She enjoyed close and enduring relationships with family and many dear friends. She is survived by her daughter, Deborah, her son, Kenneth, and his wife, Barbara. The Oviatt Library family extends our deepest condolences to Bernice’s cherished family and friends.