Title: Naval Reserve Force, Ship’s Cook 1st Class, World War I; real estate agent
Birthdate: January 15, 1877
Death Date: October 17, 1958
Plot Location: Naval Section 4, Row 8, Site 9

Screenshot (125)

The Berman family had nine children besides young Nathan under their roof when they left their native Ukraine and boarded a ship for America in 1889. Nathan became a naturalized citizen on September 29, 1899 and got married on October 30. Later in the first year of the new century their first child was born, followed by a second in 1904. The 1900 census lists his occupation as “confectionary” but he soon joined his brother Aaron in his  real estate business and the company’s name was changed to Berman Brothers Inc.

Presumably his first wife died while the marriage was very young, but his next wife was for life when he wed Lottie Trattner in 1908. She was Jewish as well and her parents were born in Austria. Three more children joined the family over the next seven years. When the Great War needed men, Nathan responded even though he was 41 years old.

He joined the reserves, then known as the Naval Reserve Force on May 18, 1918 and was at a Naval Air Station in France through the end of the war in November as a Ship’s Cook, 2nd Class. He was released from active duty on February 27, 1919 as a Ship’s Cook, 1st Class, but he wasn’t given an official Honorable Discharge until May 15, 1922. 

Nathan returned to his home at 436 South 56th Street in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood and returned to selling real estate and raising their three boys and two girls. By this time his brother Aaron was president of  William Penn Title and Trust Co., the company expanded into the home-building business, and built a new building for their home office in 1926.  Times were harder, however, in the 1930s. To survive the tough housing market at the start of the decade Nathan and his wife ran a restaurant to supplement their income. By 1940 he was in his 60s and they were living with their married daughter and her family.

Lottie had a weak heart and a blocked artery that caused her death in 1941. Brother Aaron died in 1947, so by 1950 Nathan moved to the Naval Home on Grays Ferry Avenue. He died there of heart disease and joined his fellow sailors in the Naval section of Mount Moriah.

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

Support the Friends of Mount Moriah

Help us in our mission to restore and maintain the beautiful Mount Moriah Cemetery by donating to our cause or volunteering at one of our clean-up events.