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Bernard R. Brogan

Bernard R. Brogan, a strong gentle husband, father, brother, and friend, died peacefully on the evening of November 16, 2021 of heart failure.

Bernard was born on October 31, 1951, the seventh of ten children, in the Bronx, New York. He was fuller than life as evidenced by his adventurous spirit, his engaging humor and his many successful accomplishments. First and foremost, Bernie was a family man who deeply loved his wife, his daughters and each and every one of his many siblings.

Bernie is survived by his wife Deborah Mathis, his daughter Blair Brogan, her husband Ben Bolz and his grandson Bodhi, his stepdaughter Nora Gierloff, her husband Emil King and his grandson Hayden. His devotion to his siblings defined what it means to be a brother. He loved his sisters Mary (m. Bob Carrington), and Anne (m. Tim Donohue), his brothers Joseph (m. Kathy Kowalik), Walter (m. Mary Jo Grdina), Harold (m. Mary Ann), Francis (deceased) and Anthony (m. Maureen) and all of his nieces and nephews.

Dr. Brogan received his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Wisconsin in 1990. An expert in administrative leadership, school choice and outcome-based education, he was for many years a professor and charismatic teacher in the school of education at Widener University. After graduating with a BA in History from Northern Illinois University, Bernie began his teaching career in Dickeyville, Wisconsin before taking a position for six years as a beloved social studies teacher and highly successful football coach at the Frankfurt American High School (DODDS) in Germany. Returning to the United States in 1983, Bernard became the Director of the Arizona State Board for private post-secondary education before accepting a fellowship to pursue a doctorate in education in Madison, where he also worked on the governor’s Commission on Schools for the 21st Century. Bernie was a gifted educator and an inspiration to generations of his students. Bernard Brogan was a talented writer as can be seen in his many publications, but perhaps most of all in his poem "Notice Well" that he wrote in Dallenwil, Switzerland in 1977. The poem ends with a stanza that so reflects Bernie’s spirit: “Tell the world your heart’s aswell, for on this day you noticed well.”

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Philabundance or a local charity of your choice.


Hi enjoyed Bernie's quick wit and our intellectual musings at the shore house in sewell , NJ. I was a DOD educated kid in the 70's . To bad we never touched on that topic. Bernie and Debbie and "Molly" were always so nice to and we stopped by frequently when camping with biscuit.
Good summertime fun 🤩
RIP Bernie…

James Day Dec 5 2021 1:25 PM