Erik David Berstein
August 29 1965 - May 10 2016 - Age 50

Erik David Bernstein, beloved husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend, died suddenly from a vehicular motorcycle accident on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 on Angeles Crest Highway, his favorite refuge for many years. He was a generous soul with a gentle spirit, a passionate conqueror of the outdoors who touched the lives of all who knew him.

Erik was born on August 29, 1965 in Los Angeles, California to Lily Greenwood Kaptuch of East Paterson, New Jersey and Bram Henry Bernstein of Montreal, Canada. He grew up the oldest of three children and was a lifelong resident of California, having lived in LA, Mammoth, San Diego, and most recently Pasadena. Erik met his true love and soul mate, Jennifer Christine Ooton, in San Diego, and they were engaged in Morocco during the filming of "Charlie Wilson's War." Jennie and Erik were married on October 6, 2007 at their family home in Pasadena where they shared a strong and fun-loving bond filled with countless, cherished memories.

Erik was a 21-year member of IATSE Local 728, Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians, and his career encompassed major motion pictures, television productions, commercials, and music videos. He was an inspiration and mentor who earned enormous respect and admiration from all those privileged to work with him. His colleagues describe him as the kindest, most resilient, and hard working person on set, always promoting the betterment of others and the highest of work ethics. Erik's warm smile, sense of humor, and "let's get it done" attitude will be sorely missed.

Erik was an avid and skilled outdoorsman, car collector, racecar enthusiast, mountain biker, motorcyclist, snowboarder, skier, and surfer with expertise in everything electrical and mechanical. His religion was pure and pragmatic. Erik's church met on the slopes of Mammoth, a raft on the Kern River, the top of Mount Wilson, the waves of the Pacific, and the racetrack at Willow Springs. His altar was his treasured garage filled with pride and joy, and his hymn was the sound of his BMW M3 and '76 GMC truck. Erik rejoiced in God's creation in a way that those caught up in complicated philosophies can only envy.

Erik will be deeply missed by those he leaves behind: his loving wife Jennie of Pasadena; mother Lily Greenwood Ellison of Los Angeles; father Bram (Bonnie) Bernstein; sister Kirith Bernstein Prady (Bill) of Toluca Lake; brothers Stuart (Katie) Bernstein of San Clemente and Brett Bernstein of Los Angeles; nieces Stella Prady and Alexis Bernstein; nephews Asher Prady, Zachary Bernstein, and Dominic Vugrincic; great uncle Walt (Joy) Kopesky of Newtown, CT; aunt Linda Kaptuch of Hoschton, GA and cousins James (Virginia) and Justin (Paige) Kaptuch. Other family members include mother-in-law Nanci Shaw of Beijing, China; father-in-law James Ooton of Sarasota, FL; sister-in-law Kellie (Chedo) Vugrincic of Austin, TX; grandfathers-in-law Donald Shaw of Boone, IA and Eldon Ooton of Effingham, IL; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Erik was preceded in death by his precious dog Bella, niece Clara Prady, and uncle Michael Kaptuch who inspired his passion for adventure.

An intimate family service was held on Sunday, May 15, 2016 in Toluca Lake, and Erik's ashes will be scattered in the places he loved most. A celebration of his extraordinary life will be held at Jennie and Erik's Home in Pasadena, California on Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Erik Bernstein Memorial at:

Pasadena, CA (current)
Los Angeles, CA (birthplace)

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