Bertram Spagat Nusbaum

by | Jan 8, 2016 | Obituaries

NORFOLK—Bertram Spagat Nusbaum, Jr., 91, played his final round of life on January 2, 2016, with his loving family in the gallery.

Born in Norfolk, Va., May 11, 1924, Bert was the son of the late Bertram Spagat and Cilla Guggenheimer Nusbaum. He graduated from Maury High School and The University of Virginia, where he was a member of the ZBT fraternity, of which he later served as a chapter trustee. He served his country with distinction as a radio operator aboard the USS Intrepid during World War II.

He married the late Lois Silberman in September 1951. For more than 58 years, they forged a great team in life and business. They established S. L. Nusbaum Insurance Agency, a leading independent agency still flourishing after over 60 years.

Bert served the insurance industry with distinction on many local and national advisory boards. He was one of the original founders of the CPCU Society chapter in Tidewater and a co-founder of the ODU Insurance and Financial Services Advisory Board. He helped create and write the first errors and omissions policy endorsed by the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia. He served as an expert witness for over 20 years. He was a name and member of Lloyd’s of London. He was a strong proponent of meticulous professionalism and lifelong self-improvement; his word was his bond.

He learned the meaning and value of community at an early age, earning Eagle Scout status and later serving as Boy Scout Troop 11 Leader for many who became his lifelong friends.

His athletic prowess and passion were reflected in his participation in many sports, his presidency of the Norfolk Sports Club, his tireless support of area and regional professional and school teams and countless hours invested as a volunteer youth coach.

He demonstrated the patience of Job as a teacher, coach, and mentor, providing counsel about life, sports, and business and had the ability to carve and completely reassemble a holiday turkey. A quiet Southern gentleman, he had unflappable inner strength and poise. His ability to listen and analyze was cherished by his family, peers, and community.

He had three passions: dancing, golf, and the beach.

He and Lois were Master Square Dancers. His love of all forms of dance is his legacy that has been passed on to his next three generations.

He loved the game of golf. He was a tenacious competitor and student of the game. He enjoyed its intrinsic challenge and camaraderie. He took particular pride in having shot three holes in one and his age numerous times.

At the beach especially at the family’s 87th St. home, he could be found fishing, surf casting, pitching horse shoes, body surfing, or playing ping pong with his lifelong friend of over 85 years, Harry Pincus.

He leaves his daughter Beth Curtiss (Rand) of Shaker Heights, Ohio, his son Charles S. Nusbaum (Nancy) of Norfolk, five grandchildren, Laura Curtiss Feder (Kevin) of New York City, Cathy Curtiss (fiancé Ben Volin) of Boston, Michael (fiancée Rachael McKenzie) and Stephen Nusbaum of Nashville, Amy Nusbaum of New Orleans, two great-grandchildren, Jonathan and Lilah Feder, his brother Charles G. Nusbaum (Blanche) of Virginia Beach, his brother in-law, William J. Silberman of Jupiter, Fla. and many caring cousins and dear friends.

He was a lifelong member of Ohef Sholom Temple, of which his family is in its seventh generation of membership, serving as president and in many other leadership capacities.

Burial took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery followed by a memorial service at Ohef Sholom Temple with Rabbi Roz Mandelberg and Cantor Wally Shachet- Briskin officiating. Memorial donations to Ohef Sholom Temple, InMotion, a nonprofit center devoted to the health and well-being of those affected by Parkinson’s disease, or charities
of donors’ choices. H. D. Oliver.

There was no quit in Bert in anything, down to his last breath.