Bernard J. Taracevicz June 16, 1934 - March 13, 2021

Fiercely proud of his Polish heritage, his college athletic career as a two-way,  two-year starter for the Holy Cross football team, his military service as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Marines, his profession as a well-respected executive in the spirits industry, his long-time involvement as a member at Wollaston Golf Club, his 62-year marriage to his beloved wife, Barbara, his devotion as a father and provider to his four children, and of the adoration of his eight grandchildren, Bernard John Taracevicz passed away on March 13, 2021, peacefully at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, surrounded by family, after he was stricken by cardiac arrest. He was 86 years old.

Born in Cambridge, Mass., on June 16, 1934, the youngest of five children to immigrant parents from Poland, Fabian Sr. and Katarzyna (Smiarkowska) Taracevicz, Bernie was raised in Malden, Mass. He was eight years old when his mother died of bone cancer in 1943, leaving him to be raised by his three sisters — Edna, Adele and Joann, the oldest two of whom were married shortly thereafter – and the generosity of the mothers of his boyhood chums who kept him well fed and clothed.

Bernie attended Malden Catholic High, where he captained the Lancers football team, played basketball and ran track. It was the springboard to a college education at Holy Cross, where he received a football scholarship to play for the Crusaders as an offensive lineman and linebacker. Bernie graduated in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.

After his college graduation, Bernie, who had trained three previous summers in the Marines Platoon Leaders Class, went to Officer Training School in Quantico, Va., where he also played football for the Quantico Marines before his honorable discharge in 1958.

Bernie met Barbara during his senior year in high school, rekindled their friendship while he was home for the holidays from college and she was working as a clerk at the US Post Office in Malden. Their relationship later blossomed into a romance that led to their marriage in 1959.

Bernie put his polished social skills, keen business intellect, and gregarious personality to work in the spirits industry, rising up the ranks of the Seagram’s organization in the 1960s-70s from a merchandising representative in Massachusetts, to assistant state manager in Western New York, to Connecticut state manager of the company’s Eastern Division, forging countless lasting friendships and valuable business contacts along the way.

Although he later retired from the spirits industry, Bernie kept his hand in the business, developing with his late partner, Jack Buckley, a formula for “an uncommonly thick” Bloody Mary mix they took to market as the cleverly-named, “Jack and Bernie’s Bloody Mary Mix,” which can be found to this day on supermarket shelves.

Bernie was one of the more beloved members at Wollaston Golf Club in Milton, where he enjoyed summer rounds of golf with his dear friends, delighting in astonishing opponents with “Bernie Pars,’’ fashioned from impossibly unsalvageable long-distance putts or improbable par-saving chips from the rough. Of the 19th hole, though, Bernie was the undisputed champion, where his legion of admirers at the club often gravitated to his magnetic personality.

Off the course, Bernie was an avid devotee of Boston professional and college sports. He devoured newspapers, magazines and books and was a voracious reader of historical biographies, spy novels, and thrillers. He loved to watch “Jeopardy,” often with a Manhattan bourbon cocktail, and beat his chest when he solved the answer to the Final Jeopardy question.

He and Barbara loved — and lived — to entertain guests for dinner at their lovely home in Milton, Mass., where good spirits where often shared as well as imbibed and a good meal was always enjoyed by all. Their hospitality was the touchstone of every memorable family gathering during the holidays, a roundup which he always marked with a solemn prayer at the start of proceedings.

Bernie, who was a parishioner at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Milton, was predeceased by a 5-year-old brother, Fabian Jr., in 1929, his mother in 1943, his father in 1969, his sisters Adele (Neumyer) in 1998, and Joann (O’Brien) in 2018, with his eldest sister, Edna (Carroll), the sole surviving sibling at 99 years old.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara (Lauro), of Milton, their four children (and spouses):  Deirdre Taracevicz-Berg (Robert)  of Milton; Steven Taracevicz of Jupiter, Fla,; Barbara Vega (Michael) of Milton; Bernard Taracevicz Jr., of San Francisco, Calif; and eight grandchildren: Trent and Ava Berg, of Milton; Victor Taracevicz, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., James Taracevicz, of Los Angeles, Calif., Misha and Luca Taracevicz, of Basel, Switzerland; Natalia and Noel Vega, of Milton.

Visitation will be Thursday, March 25, from 4-8 p.m. at Dolan Funeral Home, 460 Granite Avenue, EAST MILTON SQUARE; Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, March 26, at 10:30 a.m., St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, 350 Reedsdale Road, Milton, Mass.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial donations can be made to Malden Catholic High School, 99 Crystal Street, Malden, MA 02148.

Mass of Christian Burial
Friday March 26, 2021 at 10:30 AM

Saint Elizabeth Church
350 Reedsdale Road
Milton, MA 02186

Visiting hours:
Thursday March 25, 2021 from 4-8 PM

Dolan Funeral Home
460 Granite Avenue
EAST MILTON SQUARE

Condolences(8)

  1. REPLY
    Joe & Meg Sweeney says

    To the Taracevicz family,
    We are so very sorry for your loss. Bernie was such a wonderful gentleman! We shared many laughs together over the years. Semper Fidelis Bernie
    Respectfully,
    Joe & Meg Sweeney

  2. REPLY
    Brian and Bill Halowack says

    Our prayers tonight will be for all the memories of his kindness and humor. He was a pure Gem of a man.

  3. REPLY
    jennifer drain says

    We are saddened to hear of Mr. T’s passing. He was a wonderful man who i will always hold in my heart. Thinking of you all with love,
    Jenn and Tim

  4. REPLY
    Donald K Schultze Jr says

    Honored and blessed to have known Bernie and the tremendous giving and welcoming Taracevicz family, a family that he and Barbara never stop growing, including anyone lucky enough to find themselves in their orbit with their extreme love and generosity. While saddened by Bernie’s departure from this earth, I know he is far from done here, with all of you, and all of us, his influence will be doing great things every day. I hope all of you are finding a fraction of the strength you give to others, because just a little of it, should be enough to carry you through even the most difficult times. With so much love, Deke, Suzanne and family

  5. REPLY
    Richardc says

    To the Taracevicz family,
    We are very sorry for your loss and will remember Bernie in our prayers.
    We watched many of the grand children’s youth basketball games together over the past 10 years
    and will always remember how proud you were of their accomplishments and how decicated
    you were and rarely miss the game.
    The Cadigans and the Ducharmes

  6. REPLY
    Bill and Alice MERCER says

    Our prayers and sympathy are with all of you at this sad time.

    Sincerely,
    Bill and Alice Mercer (Home, Inc.)

  7. REPLY
    Ron Cote says

    My Prayers and Sincere offering of condolences to Barbara and Her Children. Met Bernie in 1952 on my first day at Holy Cross. He was one of my Seven Roommates in Campion Hall. All Football players and Me.. Last saw Him at our 50th Reunion in 2006. Have pictures if any interest. Will miss our periodic interaction. He was a great guy

  8. REPLY
    Diane says

    Barbara, Deidre and Family,

    No matter the number of days we have with loved ones, we always want more. Praying your wonderful memories of time with Bernie will bring peace to each day.

    Sincerely,
    Frank & Diane
    Agostino

Leave a Condolence

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bernie's name may be made to:

Malden Catholic High School
99 Crystal Street
Malden, MA 02148
Please put Bernard Taracevicz 1952 in the Memo line.