Bernard “Bernie” S. Coppersmith

PORTLAND – Bernard “Bernie” S. Coppersmith, passed away peacefully on May 21, 2022 at the age of 94. He was born May 7, 1928 in Portland, a son of Abraham and Anna (Simansky) Coppersmith.

Bernie grew up and attended schools in Augusta and Portland.

Bernie was in the U.S. Coastguard and in 1955 he joined the Portland Police Department. In 1969 he was appointed one of the 1st Drug Enforcement Detectives. In 1973 he became Sergeant and retired in 1975. He never really talked about his years on the police force until recently. All of his stories would have been a best seller had they been written down.

After retiring he put up antennas, worked at Fotomat, bought a variety store in Portland called “Ocean Ave Variety” and later another store in Falmouth called “Bernies Variety”.

Bernie also had a lobster boat at one point and loved spending time on the ocean.

Despite his years in professions meant only for the tough he had a soft heart. He enjoyed plants and flowers; he had quite the green thumb and could grow almost anything from a small clipping. Bernie also really loved animals. He created a great bond with his daughter’s cat, had dog bones for when his great-granddog would visit and loved to feed and watch for birds. He definitely was not a fan of technology and was quite happy when he recently discovered HSN and QVC and loved ordering things on the phone for his daughter, Nancy, for things “she needed”. Anything from sandals, ice cream makers, grass seed and even a pole saw… Nancy never knew what was coming in the mail next.

His sister, Hilda Offenberg passed away in November, but prior to that they spoke every Sunday. They would talk about the stock market, politics, weather and family. Sometimes a good debate on heated topics would arise, said his daughter Nancy, “They would each tell their side and I’d agree with them both to keep them happy” And then it would start all over the next Sunday. He loved trips to Florida, card games and an occasional trip to Las Vegas.

Bernie loved to help others in any way he could, but never wanted to be the person to receive help in return.

In 2019 he was diagnosed with severe blockages of the heart and was told there was nothing they could do. He thought he was leaving the hospital to die. At a recent visit before this last hospitalization, they were amazed he was still living on his own, and doing most things himself. He had a will to live and certainly did. He was absolutely amazed that his license was renewed for another four years!

He is survived by his children, Bill Coppersmith (MaryAnn) of Windham, Bob Coppersmith (Paula) of Windham, Dave Coppersmith (Karen) of Portland, and Nancy (predeceased husband Walter “Bill” Brown) of Standish; and many grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

He had a very special relationship with his grandson, Walter Brown and granddaughter, Jennifer Coolbrith.

Bernie was predeceased by his parents; a brother, Gilbert Coppersmith; his son, Michael Coppersmith in 2011; and his grandson, Kevin Coppersmith in 2015.

Visiting hours will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday June 3 at A.T. Hutchins Funeral Home in Portland, where a service will be held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., with a burial following at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland at 1:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.

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