BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Dr. Bernard Wasserman, veterinarian to generations of Brooklyn Heights pets, died last Friday, less than a month after the death of his wife of 54 years, Bernice Wasserman. He was 91.
A graduate of Brooklyn College and Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Wasserman served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Afterward, he was a professor at the University of Rhode Island before returning to Brooklyn to enter into practice and to establish the Heights Veterinary Hospital in the familiar white building with the red doors on the corner of Hicks and Cranberry streets. There he was a trusted physician to animals and a friend to their owners, and was known for his lively personality. He lived with his wife on the floor above the hospital, and it was there that he died.
Heights real estate broker Rosemarie Markgraf recalled that she had fox terriers years ago, and, she said, “I took them to Dr. Wasserman, who knew how to calm them down. He was wonderful,” she said.
Susan Holt, wife of Brooklyn Eagle senior editor Dennis Holt, said they had a big dog in the 1970s, a German Shepherd-Labrador mix, that they took to Dr. Wasserman. “He was great,” she said.
Joy Boyum, who used to take her poodle to Dr. Wasserman, remembered “his nice sense of humor.”
“He was a deeply caring man,” said Dr. Richard Turoff, who worked with Dr. Wasserman for four-and-a-half years before buying the practice in 1985. “There wasn’t a bent bone in his body,” he said.
Dr. Wasserman was also an author and something of an artist, and he enjoyed skiing and tennis. Having retired from his practice, he wrote of his experiences in a well-received book published in 2001, The Dog Who Met the Queen & Other Stories. In it, he related 25 tales of actual encounters with eccentric pet owners, hoarders of animals and unusual pets.
Eagle reporter Mary Frost said Dr. Wasserman, who had a kiln in his apartment, made a charming ceramic owl for her daughter Lisa when she was born.
Dr. Wasserman is survived by sons Harvey and Andrew and grandchildren Jake and Sarah. The family welcomes contributions in his memory to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.