Leon Russell Bornstein, 94: entrepreneur, family man

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PORTLAND—Leon Russell Bornstein, 94, known as “Russ” died unexpectedly Nov. 2 at the Osher Inn at Cedars. He was born in Boston, Mass. on Oct. 11, 1918, the son of Lillian and Nathan Bornstein. He was a graduate of Brighton High School and Wentworth Institute in Boston.  

He started ABC Electric Co. in 1945 out of the backseat of the family car. ABC Electric still endures after Bornstein turned over the keys to his son-in-law, Norman. He taught his children to be in control of their own destiny and be their own bosses. As such, his three children are all independent professionals and business people. He taught his family much about perseverance and old-fashioned hard work. He also taught his children and grandchildren love of their Jewish heritage and for his adopted state of Maine.  

Over the summer, he was able to spend quite a lot of time with family at his beloved cottage in Old Orchard Beach. Even more recently, he was able to join his family for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. After dinner, he sat on the porch holding his son, Joe’s, hand.  

He put his skiing talents to use through the Maine Handicap Ski Program, now known as Maine Adaptive Sport & Recreation, at Sunday River. There, he was a guide for children with all sorts of physical abilities.

Bornstein was predeceased by his wife of 66 years, Beatrice Lane Bornstein and his sister, Rita Bornstein Binder.  

He is survived by his three children, Joseph L. Bornstein, Deborah L. Bergeron and Bruce E. Bornstein; a son-in-law, Norman J. Bergeron; a daughter-in-law, Deborah A. Bornstein; and six grandchildren, Aaron, Nathan and Tyler Bergeron, and Ilana, Benjamin and Gabriel Bornstein.  

Contributions in Bornstein’s memory can be made to: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, Massachusetts 02284 or Maine Adaptive Sport & Recreation, 8 Sundance Lane, Newry, Maine 04261.

Funeral services were held Nov. 4 at Temple Beth El in Portland. Rabbi Moishe Wilansky and Rabbi Carolyn Braun officiated. Interment will be at Mt. Sinai Cemetery on Hicks Street in Portland. Shiva was observed on Nov. 4-6  at Osher Inn at Cedars. Arrangements by The Jewish Funeral Home, Portland.

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