Linda C. Berman Obituary, Death – In the summer of 2003, Linda Berman and her son David were looking for a way to get involved in politics when they saw a notice for an organizational meeting for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in a coffee shop on Elmwood Avenue. The meeting was being held to organize volunteers for the campaign. David stated that it was the first time they had met. “There were only three of us: my mother, myself, and Mark Poloncarz,” I said. During the entirety of the Kerry campaign, Mrs. Berman volunteered her time to work alongside Mr. Poloncarz. In 2005, she joined the Amherst Democratic Committee and, along with her son and Poloncarz, was one of the founders of WNY Democrats for Progress, where she served as secretary. In addition, she became a member of the Amherst Democratic Committee.
She worked as a volunteer on a variety of campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels, chairing events, managing phone banks, and serving as a zone leader. She was an essential member of Poloncarz’s campaign team in both 2005 and 2011 when he ran for county comptroller and county executive, respectively. In 2012, she attended the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a delegate thanks to a nomination she received. In 2016, she was given the title of Woman of the Year by the Amherst Democrats, and she also received recognition from the Erie County Legislature and from Representative Brian Higgins in the House of Representatives.
Mrs. Berman passed away on November 20 at the Weinberg Campus in Getzville, New York, following a battle with Parkinson’s disease that lasted for 17 years. Her age was 79. Following Linda’s passing, Poloncarz issued a statement in which she said, “Linda was a fierce advocate for women’s issues and the Democratic Party.” “She and her son David were some of my earliest supporters, and she took on any task asked of her, no matter how small or large it was, with a dedicated zeal to help our efforts,” I said about her. “She took on any task asked of her, no matter how small or large it was, with a dedicated zeal to help.”
She was one of two girls and the only child of her parents when she was born in Fort Erie, Ontario with the name Linda C. Banatti. She spent her childhood in Crystal Beach. As a result of her father’s purchase of the Waverly Hotel, which is located in close proximity to Waverly Beach, her family relocated to Fort Erie. She started working in the Buffalo office of an insurance company after graduating from Ridgeway High School and then Fort Erie High School. She had previously attended those schools.
In 1970, she tied the knot with Bernie Berman, relocated to Amherst, and started working as the office manager for his company, Masterline Hair Products, which was located on Sheridan Drive in Amherst. After he passed away in December 1985, the company was sold, and she went on to work as an assistant in the business office of the Williamsville Central School District for 15 years until she retired in 2008. Her first job after that was at the Buffalo Jewish Center, where she remained for five years.
Mensa International, which is an organization for people with high IQs, counted her as a member. Margo Banatti, who was the older of the two sisters, remarked that “her mind was incredible for math.” “While she was still in elementary school, she worked as a math tutor for high school students. When she was 11 years old, she began working as a bookkeeper for a hotel.” She was given a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in 2005, and she had been living on the Weinberg Campus ever since 2018. David, her son, and Margo, her sister, are among the people who survived her. The services will be confidential.