Eleonora Bertin, wife of the late Leonard Bertin and an active member of the National Yacht Club since 1965, died peacefully on Monday June 6 after a long fight with Alzheimer’s. It was the only battle she ever lost.
She was a keen sailor on Tai Tai, the boat that father built, and an active member of the NYC Race Committee for many decades. She will continue to keep a close watch on Walter from wherever she is.
She had a long and active life. She was born in Torino, Italy, into a family of wealthy industrialists. During the war, she helped organize school skiing trips so they could smuggle their “teachers”, usually Jewish refugees, across the Alps into Switzerland under the noses of the German army. Later, she became an ambulance driver on the Italian front. Her co-driver was shot and killed beside her and she had to grab the steering wheel and drive the vehicle to safety.
She met father when he was a dashing Rome correspondent for The London Daily Telegraph and she was a young and naive university student. She moved to England and then Canada where she helped edit and illustrate his six books. She later worked as hospital translator and volunteer.
She was predeceased by Leonard, who died in 1990, and by Max, her Dachshund, who died in late March. We always said they would go together.
A memorial service will be held from 4 to 7 pm on Friday, July 22 in the Chart Room.