Constance Beresin, 78, nonprofit manager

Constance G. Beresin
Constance G. Beresin
Posted: April 04, 2014

Constance G. Beresin, 78, of Swarthmore, a manager of nonprofit organizations, died Wednesday, March 19, of respiratory failure at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Born in Philadelphia, Ms. Beresin lived in Swarthmore before moving in 2010 to the Quadrangle, in Haverford Township. Even in retirement, she was known for packing her days with activity.

"Mom was one of those people who you can't imagine when they slept," her family said in a tribute.

Ms. Beresin graduated in 1974 from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in sociology, and three years later earned a master's degree in social work from Bryn Mawr College's Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. Her specialty was nonprofit management.

She used her training starting in 1977, as a casework supervisor in the Family Day Care Department of Children and Youth Services, Delaware County, in Media.

For the next five years, Ms. Beresin held management roles with the Delaware County Division of the Resource Center for Human Services. In 1983, she became director of the YWCA of New Castle County in Wilmington.

She went from a job as president of Women's Way in Philadelphia in 1992 to Jewish Employment and Vocational Services (JEVS), where in 1995 she became associate executive director and, later, chief development officer.

Under her leadership, the organization's budget grew from $28 million to $70 million, and JEVS established several programs tailored to low-income and disabled Philadelphians.

She climbed the career ladder while raising four children, doing volunteer work, and speaking at national forums on nonprofit management.

“We used to joke we don’t think she ever watched a soap opera. She thought it was a waste of time,” said her daughter, Marta Beresin.

After retiring in 2006, Ms. Beresin immersed herself in writing poetry, some of which was published in various literary journals. She also drew and painted, rarely going anywhere without a sketchbook.

Ms. Beresin maintained a second home in Mount Holly, Vt., where she loved to kayak, hike, garden, read, and spend time with her family.

She took care of her husband of 59 years, Carl, before his death in February.

In person, she was "intellectually curious, intense, disciplined, warm, positive, upbeat, welcoming, supportive, and open to new experiences," her family said.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by sons Michael, Neil, and Hank; 13 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Services are past.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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