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April 8, 1949 – Jan. 11, 2013

Brian D. Berkman, owner of Ronald J. Koch Travel Bureau in Amherst, died Friday from melanoma in his East Amherst home. He was 63.

Mr. Berkman was born in New York City and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a master’s of business administration degree in finance from the Wharton School and served in the Army Reserve.

He was owner and president of Ronald J. Koch Travel Bureau and held financial positions with Creditors Interchange Receivable Management, Ethox International, Griffin Automation, BOC Corp., Standard Oil Co., Masonite Corp. and Container Corporation of America.

Mr. Berkman’s lifelong passion for traveling led him to visit more than 70 countries. He also was a voracious reader and collector of books.

He was a member of the Kenmore Rotary Club and former president of Travel Agents Alliance of Western New York. He also was a contestant on the original “Jeopardy” show.

When his children were at school, he was an active volunteer with the Parent Teacher Organization in the Clarence school district.

Survivors include his wife, the former Sandy Philips; a daughter, Natalie; a son, Michael, and two brothers, Jeffrey, and Steven.

A celebration of Mr. Berkman’s life will be held in April.