The Times West Virginian


November 27, 2013

Sylvan Berman

Reverend Sylvan Jerry Berman, 79, of Rock Lake Community, passed away Sunday (Nov. 24, 2013) at Monongalia General Hospital.

He was born Nov. 1, 1934, in Williamson, the son of the late Harry and Clara Rowe Berman.

He was a graduate of Williamson High School, Alderson-Broaddus College of Philippi and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. He was ordained and licensed to preach at First Baptist Church in Williamson in 1958, accepted as a Probationary Member and Deacon of the Western PA Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1969, and approved as a Full Member and received Elders orders in 1972.

Reverend Berman served at Tory Creek Baptist Church, Laurel Forks, Va., from 1959 until 1960; as Chaplain at Woodville State Mental Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa., from 1964 until 1968; served as pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Erie, Pa., from 1968 until 1969; Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church, New Brighton, Pa., from 1969 until 1974; First United Methodist Church, Clairton, Pa., from 1974 until 1983; Center Avenue United Methodist Church, Pitcairn, Pa., from 1983 until 1989; First United Methodist Church, Apollo, Pa., from 1989 until 1995; First United Methodist Church of Charleroi, Charleroi, Pa., from 1995 until 1997; Epworth United Methodist Church, New Castle, Pa., from 1997 until 1999; and at First United Methodist Church of Monongah, Monongah, from 2002 until 2010.

Reverend Berman is survived by his wife, Sue Ann Martin Berman of Rock Lake Community; his mother, Clara Rowe Berman of Akron, Ohio; a daughter, Dr. Sylvia and Ted Senften of Wheeling; a son, David L. and Krista Fauss Berman of Williamstown; four sisters, including his twin sister, Eva June Stepp Fankhauser of Akron, Ohio, Nancy and Joe Blackburn of Hardy, Ky., Carolyn and Ronald Spangler of Big Sandy, Texas, and Loretta and Mike Lowe of Turkey Creek, Ky.; three grandchildren, Rebekah Hawranick of Athens, Ohio, Christopher Berman of Williamstown and Emma Berman of Williamstown; as well as several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his father, Reverend Berman was preceded in death by a grandson, Michael Hawranick III.

Reverend Berman was a member of the Rock Lake Club and enjoyed coin collecting. He was also a handwriting analyst and an expert on the history of the Hatfield and McCoy Feud, which began in Williamson. He was a fan of the Steelers and WVU football teams, as well as an avid golfer and fisherman.

Memorial contributions may be made to the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee of Relief), 475 Riverside Drive, Room 1520, New York, NY 10115; or to the First United Methodist Church of Monongah-Children’s Program, Pike Street, Monongah, WV 26554.

The family will receive friends at Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel, 201 Columbia St., Fairmont, from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. A Celebration of Life service will be held at First United Methodist Church of Monongah, Pike Street (U.S. 19 North), Monongah, at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, with Reverend Ellis Conley and Reverend Thomas Funk officiating. A private committal service will be held for the family at a later time.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

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