William Frost “Bill” Berkowitz

TOPSHAM – Dr. William Frost “Bill” Berkowitz died peacefully at his home on Jan. 7, 2020.  Bill was born in San Antonio on Dec. 28, 1935 to Sidney and Rosalie (Dalsheimer) Berkowitz. 
Sidney Berkowitz was president of Frost Bros., the family retail store and Rosalie was a well-known artist. In 1947, the family moved to Woodstock, N.Y. where they established an artist community and Bill went to school in a two-room schoolhouse.
Two years later, he followed his older brother Harry and enrolled at Phillips Andover Academy. Bill went onto Antioch College in Ohio where he graduated third in his class in 1958. In 1963, he received his doctorate in organic chemistry from M.I.T. under the mentorship of Herbert O. House. 
After a brief post-doctoral stint at Sloan-Kettering Institute in Manhattan, he joined Queens College of the City of University of New York to teach chemistry. During his time at CUNY, Bill was a highly respected and loved professor by both students and colleagues. As a member of the of the Graduate Center of CUNY, he mentored 16 doctoral graduates and published numerous papers. 
After 35 years of dedication to education, he retired as a tenured professor in 2000. He remained engaged in the scientific world in retirement through continued research and contributions to publications. In particular, he was hired by the acclaimed Prof. Sam Danishefsky of Columbia University to search the chemistry literature for papers of particular relevance to his research interests. During that period, he published two chapters in Organic Reactions (vols. 78 and 92, the latter with Stuart McCombie), with a third in 2019, with co-author Bjorn C. G. Söderberg.   
While living in Manhattan in 1967, Bill was invited to a poker game where he was introduced to Nancy Walsh. A romance quickly blossomed and turned into a wonderful life together for over 40 years. He often said that he didn’t remember who won the poker game, but he sure won the jackpot. In retirement, Bill and Nancy moved to Topsham and became part of the Highlands Community. The couple continued to enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, and playing golf.   
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy, and his brother, Harry. 
He is survived his niece, Ann Berkowitz of Alexandria, Va., his nephew, Edward Berkowitz of Franklinton, N.C., his nephew, Peter Berkowitz of Wilmington, N.C.; and many cousins and great-nieces and nephews. 
The family would like to thank the people of at The Highlands for their community and friendship and the staffs of Cadigan Lodge, Aging Excellence and CHANS/Hospice for their loving care and support of Bill during his final months. 
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 7, 2020 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Georgetown Parlor in the Maine Lodge at The Highlands, 30 Governors Avenue, Topsham, ME. 
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Queens College of CUNY or The Highlands Residents Assistance Fund.