Richard Berkowitz — an attorney whose involvement for more than 50 years in politics, sports, civic organizations, and much more helped shape Westport into what it is today — died peacefully on New Year’s Eve. He was 80 years old.
He practiced law here until his death, most recently “of counsel” at Berkowitz, Trager & Trager. He represented high-profile individuals, leading executives and members of the media. He was a president of the Connecticut Bar Association.
But his impact spread far beyond his profession.
In his 55 years in Westport, Dick was elected to the Planning & Zoning Commission and Representative Town Meeting (RTM).
He served as president of the Westport Kiwanis Club, Westport Bar Association and Birchwood Country Club, and was a board member of Staples Tuition Grants and the Westport National Bank.
He was a director of Project Renaissance, a drug treatment project; the Dartmouth Clubs of Westport-Weston and Fairfield County, and the Temple Israel Brotherhood.
In 1970 — 3 years after Berkowitz (then 29 years old), his wife Carole and children moved to Westport — 1st Selectman John Kemish appointed Dick to be chair of a new commission on youth and human relations activities. It was the forerunner of today’s Youth Commission.
He was a longtime assistant basketball coach at Staples High School, working with head coach Brian Kelley. For many years he coached Pop Warner football, Little League baseball and youth recreational basketball. He was also an avid member of the Compo Beach Irregulars, an “informal group of enthusiastic athletes.”
Rooms have been named in Dick Berkowitz’s honor at Temple Israel, and the Roth Center for Jewish Life at Dartmouth College.
He graduated from Dartmouth, and earned his law degree at the University of Connecticut.
He is survived by his wife Carole; children Jody, Emily, Suzy and Adam, and several grandchildren.
Information on services on memorial contributions will be announced soon.