Bernie Lemonick (February 13, 2015)

BERNARD “BERNIE”,  LEMONICK on February 13, 2015. Husband of Felicia (nee Steiner); father of James E. (Leslie) Lemonick, John D. (Karen) Lemonick and Julie A. (Scott) Feldman; brother of Seymour (Eileen) Lemonick and Ruth Lemonick; grandfather of Lindsay Cohen, Benjamin Murdoch, Michael Lemonick, Sarah Murdoch, Josh Cohen, Jacqueline Lemonick, Hilary Lemonick, Mark Feldman and Elizabeth Lemonick.

Relatives and friends are invited to Memorial Services Friday, February 20th, 12 Noon, at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 650 N. Broad St., Phila. PA. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Penn Athletic Development Office, 235 S. 33rd St., Phila. PA 19104. Checks made out to the Trustees of University of PA, In Memory of Bernie Lemonick, or Penn Home Care and Hospice Services, 105 Monument Road, Ste. 300, Bala Cynwyd PA 19004.


A Philadelphia Inquirer article on February 17th:

Bernie Lemonick, 87, of Jenkintown, a Penn football all-American who returned as defensive line coach to help Penn win its first Ivy League title in 1959, died Friday of Alzheimer’s disease at his home.

“We are incredibly saddened by the loss of such an iconic member of the Penn football family in Bernie Lemonick,” current Quakers coach Ray Priore said on the Penn football website.

“Bernie had illustrious careers both as a player and coach, and continued his unparalleled support of Penn football as an alum. Bernie will forever be remembered as someone who lived and breathed the Red and Blue, and we could not be more thankful for that.”

Mr. Lemonick was considered to be one of the nation’s best linemen from 1948 to 1950, his seasons at Penn, the website said. He was named to several all-American teams after his senior season and played in the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game (against the Cleveland Browns), according to the website.

He was chosen by wire services as national lineman of the week, once in 1949 (against Dartmouth) and again in 1950 (against Wisconsin). In 1985, he received the Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Mr. Lemonick returned to Penn in 1955 as an assistant football coach for five seasons.

After his coaching career, Mr. Lemonick cofounded and served as head of the Mungermen, the varsity football letter-winners who had played under legendary head coach George Munger from 1938 to 1953.

Penn classmate Pete Sigmund said Mr. Lemonick was responsible for placing both a statue of Munger and a plaque listing all the Mungermen on a building at the west end of Franklin Field.

Mr. Lemonick was inducted into the inaugural class of the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996, and also received the 1996 University of Pennsylvania Alumni Award of Merit in recognition of outstanding service to the school. He was inducted into the state of Pennsylvania’s 1995 Sports Hall of Fame City All-Star chapter.

A Philadelphia native, Mr. Lemonick was an all-Public League guard in 1945 who played for Olney High School. At Penn, he graduated with honors in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He was named class president in 1951.

“He was a real gentleman and a strong leader of the class,” Sigmund said.

After graduating, Mr. Lemonick did advanced study at Temple University in real estate and went on to own and operate the Kennebec Camps in North Belgrade, Maine. After 14 years, he sold the business and made his living as director of business development for Jackson-Cross Co., the realty company in Philadelphia. He received the firm’s Ronald K. Porter Award for outstanding achievement.

Active in civic affairs, he supported the Philadelphia Board of Education’s Corporate Adopt-A-School Program; raised funds for the United Way and the Boy Scouts of America; and was a member of the board of the Abington Art Center and the USO.

Although a fierce competitor on the playing field, he was known for being kind, gentle, and an attentive family man in private life.

He was married for 58 years to Felicia Steiner, whom he met at a Penn-Cornell game. In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Jim and John; a daughter, Julie; and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at noon Friday at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St., Philadelphia. Burial was private.


 Another article in the Philadelphia Daily News:

BERNIE LEMONICK was a hard-hitting lineman for the University of Pennsylvania football teams of the late 1940s and early ’50s, an era many old-time alumni and fans think of with teary-eyed nostalgia.

Penn was a powerhouse of collegiate football in those years, playing some of the biggest schools in the country, and easily filling the 75,000 seats at Franklin Field for every Saturday home game.

Legendary coaches and players strode the corridors and sidelines, their cleats grinding on the concrete, the fans delirious with their flags and pom-poms and full-throated cheers.

Philadelphia football at that time was Penn. The Eagles were playing, to be sure, but it was Penn that packed in fans and stole the headlines.

And Bernie Lemonick was part of it. He was thought of as one of the best linemen in the country, named to several All-American teams and picked to play in postseason bowl games.

Bernard Lemonick, who returned to Penn as a coach for a time after his playing career, owner of a boys’ camp in Maine, an executive of a Philadelphia real-estate firm and an Army veteran, died Friday of complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 87 and lived in Jenkintown.

“We are incredibly saddened by the loss of such an iconic member of the Penn football family,” said Penn head football coach Ray Priore. “Bernie had illustrious careers as both player and coach, and continued his unparalleled support of Penn football as an alum.

“Bernie will forever be remembered as someone who lived and breathed red and blue, and we could not be more thankful for that.”

“He was the most wonderful, gentlest person you could imagine – if not on the football field,” said his wife, the former Felicia Steiner. “He was humble and gentle. He was beloved by everyone.”

Bernie graduated with honors from Penn’s Wharton School in 1951.

In an era when newspaper wire services chose national players of the week, Bernie was picked twice as National Lineman of the Week, in 1949 after a game with Dartmouth and in 1950 after a game with Wisconsin.

Bernie was drafted by the New York Giants but opted not to play in the pros. His wife said it was because the Giants didn’t offer him enough money.

After his playing days, Bernie returned to Penn as an assistant football coach for five seasons and was the defensive line coach of the school’s first Ivy League championship team in 1959.

He was also line coach for St. Joseph’s Preparatory School for a time.

Bernie owned and operated Kennebec Camp for Boys in North Belgrade, Maine, for 14 years.

For a time in the 1980s, he joined Eagles Hall of Fame defensive back Tom Brookshier in a sports talk show on WCAU, taking fans’ questions about football.

Bernie worked for the Jackson-Cross real-estate firm, where he became vice president, and was named Man of the Year before illness forced him to retire.

Among Bernie’s most satisfying activities was as leader of the “Mungermen,” a group of former players and coaches under another Penn football icon, the late George Munger, head coach from 1938 to 1953. The group held annual reunions, always before a Penn game.

Munger’s teams led the nation in attendance between 1938 and 1942, with 1.78 million fans. “The Munger era represented the heyday of Quaker football,” the Daily Pennsylvanian once wrote.

Among Munger’s great players was Chuck Bednarik, the “60-minute man” who played center on offense and linebacker on defense and later starred with the Eagles. He was a senior at Penn when Bernie Lemonick was a sophomore.

Among Bernie’s classmates was the late Francis “Reds” Bagnell, All-American tailback at Penn. Bernie was president of the Class of ’51.

Bernie received numerous honors over the years, including being inducted into the inaugural class of the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996. He also received the 1996 University of Pennsylvania Alumni Award of Merit.

Bernie was born in Philadelphia to Samuel and Mary Lemonick. He graduated from Olney High School, where he was an All-Public guard. He entered the Army after high school and served stateside, playing football on Army teams.

He married Felicia Steiner on July 30, 1957.

Bernie was a passionate skier. He and Felicia and later their children hit the slopes at Steamboat Springs in the Colorado Rockies, among other ski destinations.

He was also a world traveler, taking trips nearly every year to sites in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

“Other players said Bernie always made them feel valuable,” Felicia said. “He never looked down on anyone. And he loved his family.”

Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, James E. and John D. Lemonick; a daughter, Julie A. Feldman; a brother, Seymour Lemonick; a sister, Ruth Lemonick; and nine grandchildren.

Services: Memorial service noon Friday at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 650 N. Broad St.

Donations may be made to the Penn Athletic Development Office, 235 S. 33rd St., Philadelphia 19104, or Penn Home Care and Hospice Services, 105 Monument Road, Suite 300, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.