Obituary for Bernard (Bernie) Sacks

02 June 2024


Bernard Sacks - S&S Truck Parts

October 18, 1931 – May 23, 2024

It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you of the death of our colleague and friend, Bernie Sacks, who passed away at the of age 92. Bernie passed surrounded by his loved ones and was an integral part of S&S Truck Parts. On behalf of S&S we want to thank Bernie for being the trailblazer that he was, and our thoughts are with him and his loved ones.

From the Chicago Tribune

Bernard Sacks–entrepreneur; adventurer; beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather–died on May 23, 2024.

The first in his family born in the United States, Bernie grew up on the West Side of Chicago with his parents, Pearl and Isador, and older brothers, Abe and Harry. After graduating from Marshall High School, Bernie co-founded S&S Truck Parts. Over the next decades, with partners Stan Saletko and Rick Hoffman, he grew the company into one the largest aftermarket truck parts distributors in North America.

Bernie’s greatest work was the joy and generosity he bestowed upon those he loved. His 42-year marriage to his wife Audrey, punctuated by countless romantic gestures, was the central pillar of his life. He expressed his affection for the rest of his family with grand flourishes. On visitor’s days, he buzzed his kids’ summer camp in his orange Beechcraft Bonanza. On fishing trips, he chartered seaplanes and landed on Canadian waters to enjoy shore-side lunches with his wife, friends, daughters and sons-in-laws. He planned expeditions around the world and brought everyone along. No family member’s birthday would pass without a melodious serenade.

Bernie was quietly brilliant. His recall was precise. His judgment spot-on. He was a polyglot–Yiddish with his parents, French with Audrey, Backwards Talk from the streets of his childhood. He communicated love and care in his own language, too. Generous but uncoddling; supportive but unsentimental; wry with a hearty laugh.

Bernie’s family will remember him as a globetrotter, intrepid eater and prodigious gin-drinker, and as the man who impressed most while trying the least.

Bernie is survived by his beloved Audrey; his children from his first marriage to Elizabeth: Rian Thompson (Darryl Thompson), Ken Sacks (Susan Neiland), and Steve Sacks (Robin Newberger); his stepdaughters whom he raised as his own children: Kathy Schauer (Joel Schauer), Karen Fairweather, Kristin Lueken (Justin Lueken), and Karol Sacks; his grandchildren: Andrew, Frances, Cooper, Samantha, Dorothea, Jennifer, Melissa, Jake, Elizabeth, Brian, Linnea, Annalise; his great-grandchildren: Addison, Blaire, Reagan, Fern and Ethan; and his nieces and nephew Wylie, Whitney, Bonnie and Paula.

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