PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Richard Bornstein passed away on April 13, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Richard was born in Providence, the son of Ethel and Harry Bornstein. His family owned Miller’s Delicatessen, one of the landmarks of the East Side. He attended Providence Hebrew Day School and Classical High School, in Providence, where he lettered in basketball.
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Richard worked with his father in the family business. In his mid-twenties, he met the love of his life, Sandra Koffler. They married, and he happily became Sandra’s husband and stepfather to Jo-An, Scott and Terri. He instinctively took on the role of parent and taught the children sports, helped them with their homework and created order in their lives.
Soon after, Richard joined his father-in-law’s business, American Tourister. In the company, he was known as “the kid” because of his youthful appearance and exuberance. Years later, when American Tourister was sold, Richard created The Koffler Group, a family office that became one of the top real estate development companies in New England. Richard hired a talented team and grew the company for the next 30 years. Under his leadership, The Koffler Group won numerous awards and developed some of the pre-eminent properties in the region.
Richard was an optimist by nature and generous in his dealings with people. He and Sandra supported many charitable organizations in the state and nationally. Richard was active in the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island (now the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island); Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County; Temple Emanu-El, of Providence; Morse Senior Living, in Florida; Kravis Center for the Arts; United Way; The Miriam Hospital; Brown University; Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; University of Rhode Island; Classical High School; Wheeler School and Bryant College; and he served on many of their boards. Richard, along with Sandra, helped establish The Koffler Bornstein Families Institute of Jewish Studies at Temple Emanu-El, in Providence, and the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center, in Providence.
Richard was an avid sports fan and often attended Patriots, Bruins and Red Sox games. He played golf with his friends every chance he could. He shared his father-in-law’s passion for sports cars and could often be seen on the weekends driving his convertible red Ferrari with the top down, golf clubs poking up from the back seat.
During his free time, Richard doted on his family. Most holidays he could be found manning the grill and soon after sitting at the head of the table, enjoying the family banter as if it was the most important conversation in the world.
Richard had many friends and was elected to many social and community roles. He was active in country clubs in both Rhode Island and Palm Beach. He was president of both Ledgemont Country Club, in Seekonk, Massachusetts, and High Ridge Country Club, in Palm Beach, Florida. He was on the board and served as golf chairman at Palm Beach County Club, in Florida.
Richard had a passion for travel and loved to go abroad with his wife and friends. His favorite trips included Europe, Israel and Egypt.
Richard touched many hearts and minds. He leaves behind his wife, Sandra; Jo-An and Paul Kaplan; Scott and Mary Chernick; Terri Chernick and Charles Meyer; and his grandchildren, Kyle, Elissa, Jack, Sydney, Rachel, Allison and Seth and was predeceased by his granddaughter Elissa. We will miss him greatly.
Contributions in his honor may be made to Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906.