Crash victim Harreen Bertisch was a ‘light in every room,’ helping Legal Aid serve those in need

Harreen Bertisch, the director of development for the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, is seen here in September 2005, checking out items up for auction at the 'PJs with a Purpose' fundraiser run by The Lord's Place. Bertisch died Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in a crash in West Palm Beach.

Harreen Bertisch, the director of development for the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, is seen here in September 2005, checking out items up for auction at the ‘PJs with a Purpose’ fundraiser run by The Lord’s Place. Bertisch died Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in a crash in West Palm Beach.

WEST PALM BEACH — In the words of a longtime colleague, Harreen Bertisch was proof that people are inherently good.

A giant in the legal community of Palm Beach County, Bertisch dedicated her career to making the judicial system equitable and accessible as the director of development for the Legal Aid Society.

Though the bulk of her work was done behind the scenes, the Palm Beach Gardens resident’s sudden death last week, and outpouring of grief that followed, has shone a light on the career of a woman known best for her unrelenting kindness.

Harreen Bertisch

Harreen Bertisch

“She was the kind of person who could restore your faith in humanity,” said Mariano Garcia, former president and current trustee for Legal Aid.

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With hugs and grins, Harreen Bertisch raised millions to help those in need

Bertisch, 76, died Oct. 12 in a crash in downtown West Palm Beach. A train struck her SUV as she crossed the Florida East Coast Railway tracks at Fern Street, city police said. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Temple Israel on Flagler Drive.

Her death leaves a gaping hole at the Legal Aid Society, a nonprofit where she and her husband, Robert, have spent decades working to provide free legal services to disadvantaged communities

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