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Dr. Bernard Kaiman

Dr. Bernard David Kaiman, 94, of Jonesborough died on Saturday, April 27 at the Johnson City Medical Center.
He was born to Abraham and Bertha Kaiman on March 30, 1919, in Omaha, Nebraska.
When he was a young child, the family moved to Wisconsin. Bernard pursued a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Tennessee. He then spent his career as a psychologist at the Mountain Home VA Medical Center.
On May 4, Bernard and Audrey Loa Kaiman would have celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.
He had a special passion for dance – especially International Folk Dancing and Scottish Country Dancing – that earned him the nickname, “Dr. Dance.” Every kind of music and dance interested him—Greek, Israeli, Mexican, Scottish, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Polish, Norwegian, the list goes on and on—just as Bernard did!
He also had a special love for the town of Jonesborough. He was one of the early leaders of the town’s historic preservation movement. Bernard was one of the survey team that identified Jonesborough’s most significant structures which should be restored which led to Jonesborough being put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. He wrote a regular column in the Jonesborough’s Herald & Tribune called “Restoration News and Views” and was the first president of the Jonesborough Civic Trust. Under his leadership both Jonesborough Days and the National Storytelling Festival were created and the Christopher Taylor Cabin was saved from demolition.
He was an active member of the Jonesborough Kiwanis and for many years was the very persistent champion ticket salesperson for the annual Kiwanis spaghetti dinner for which he will long be remembered.
Bernard and Audrey traveled extensively, enjoying the dance, music, costumes, and foods of many countries around the world. Often these excursions would also find Bernard scuba diving (including on the Great Barrier Reef and in an underwater Israeli archaeological dig).
Bernard lived a full and fascinating life. He was truly one of a kind, and we’ll be telling Bernard stories for a long, long time. Audrey wrote a sweet note to him following his death—“ ‘As they say, there is a time to live and a time to die.’ Have a pleasant journey.” He has truly had a grand journey thus far.
Memorials may be donated to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy or to the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia in Jonesborough.
A memorial event will be held at some time in the future.
Condolences may be sent to the Kaiman family online at
Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Jonesborough, TN 753-3821