Shera Lee Ellison Berlin and Children

berlin

Edward and Ellison Berlin, their mother and sisters, Dana and Charlye, are proud to give their gift to the Jewish Studies Program in memory of their father and husband, Alwyn Berlin, a man committed to his family, his community and friends. He was a most devoted and loving husband and father whose greatest fault, by his own admission, was never being able to say no. 

Alwyn, the son of Sam and Bertie Livingstain Berlin was born and grew up at 6 Limehouse Street in Charleston. He went through the public school system in Charleston and graduated from Charleston High School. He had two sisters, Bernice Siver (Mrs. Sam) and Shirely Altman (Mrs. Sam) and one brother, Henry. 

Upon graduation, Alwyn moved to New York City to work for his uncle and attended Columbia University at night until he enlisted in WWII. Alwyn was sent to Officers Training School and graduated a Second Lieutenant. He spent the war years oversees and earned a promotion to Captain. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his outstanding service. 

Upon returning to Charleston, Alwyn became a vital part of his father's clothing store. Some time later his brother Henry joined the business and the two bought the clothing store from their father. Building on the store's reputation, they built a style center for the Charleston region. 

Alwyn was highly active in community affairs. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Charleston Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1952 and served as president in 1953. He was also a national director for several years. He was a charter member of the Sertoma Club of Charleston and was a founder of the Sertoma Classic Football Games, which raise thousands of dollars each year for various charities. 

Alwyn was an integral part of the B'rith Sholom Jewish community as well. In 1963, he was selected "Man of the Year" by the congregation and elected president in 1966 for two terms. He received the "Man of the Year" honor from the Jewish Welfare Fund in 1973 and served as president from 1974-1975. Alwyn was a founder of the Charleston Chapter of ORT and a member of the Jewish Community Center board. He also served as board chairman of the Addlestone Hebrew Academy for six years, an integral part of it's building fund drive. 

Above all, he valued his family, his wife Shera Lee Ellison, daughter of Aleck and Etta Clein Ellsion, and his four children Edward, Ellison, Dana, and Charlye. 

Thomas J. Gianatos, a friend of Alwyn's, described him in the following way upon his passing. 

Alwyn was a family man, a religious man, a civic leader, and most certainly he was a friend in the true sense of the word. His friendship extended to those in need as well as the affluent. He was never called on by a personal need or civic cause when he did not respond. When he did respond, it was without fanfare, but with a genuine concern for his fellow man. His wit was keen and many have been on the receiving end, but that was an extension of his friendship. His accomplishments were numerous because Alwyn Berlin was a doer not a talker. He met challenge head-on, be it civic, business, or religious.