Salute to Fellow Nonagenarians: Dr. Hal Bornstein Jr.
Honored to be in the company of these amazing 90(plus)-year-old donors
|Hal and Maureen Bornstein. Photo Gerald Wenner
If you want to see evidence of the adage “to stay young, stay active,” you don’t have to look any further than Dr. Harold (“Hal”) D. Bornstein Jr. Hal is a Yale School of Medicine graduate (Class of 1953) whose North Haven pediatric practice spanned five decades. During that time, he also served as medical advisor for the North Haven schools and was a steady figure on the sidelines of school football games. In addition, Hal has been part of the Winchester Chest Clinic, specializing in pediatric tuberculosis, and for more than 50 years was a medical consultant to administrative law judges for the Social Security Administration.
Philanthropy has been an integral part of Hal’s life. His philosophy is, “There are no pockets in caskets. You can’t take the money with you.”
Together with Maureen, his wife of 47 years (pictured) who died in 2015, Hal has contributed to countless organizations in the community. In his eulogy of Maureen, Hal described the shared value system which guided their lives and giving.“We had discovered that our value systems were identical and this, combined with our intense love which permeated every day we shared together, made for a magnificent marriage. We went everywhere together. When you saw one of us, you saw the other.” Their togetherness also extended to volunteerism, from putting on parties for kids in homeless shelters to organizing clothing drives.
The couple established 15 charitable gift annuities (CGAs) during their life together, and Hal has established four more since Maureen's passing to benefit Elm Shakespeare Company, Connecticut Food Bank, Connecticut Children’s Museum and Youth Continuum. CGAs appealed to the Bornsteins because through CGAs, the donor receives income from the gift that eventually starts a fund for a favorite organization. “It’s a win-win,” says Hal.
A spry 93-year old, Hal now lives in Hamden's Whitney Center and his home is filled with photos of Maureen and their four sons. Also on display is a spider plant, a reminder of his passion for growing the plants. Hal did so well with the plants that he started donating them to charities, and eventually became known as “The Spiderman.”
The Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine, where he served as president from 2009-2011, recognized Hal with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award. The Hezekiah Beardsley Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics also honored him with The Martin Sklaire School Health Service Award for his great dedication to the health and wellness of school children.
New Haven Register columnist Randall Beach wrote a feature story on Hal in 2016 entitled, “Have No Fear, Dr. Hal is Still Here.” We share that sentiment, and are glad Hal is part of The Foundation family.
Celebrate The Foundation’s 90th anniversary through stories like the Hal’s. Take our “From the Start” trivia challenge for a chance to designate $250 to your favorite nonprofits!
This story is part of our series: 90 Years of Being There "From the Start."