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December 9, 1938 – September 16, 2018

Michael Bander
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"We are pleased to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home

Obituary for Michael Bander

ST. GEORGE - Michael Alan Bander, a 45 year resident of Miami, a leading lawyer and one of the deans of the immigration bar, died suddenly at his summer home in Spruce Head, ME on Sunday, September 16th at the age of 79. He was recognized in publications such as Best Lawyers in America and through his membership in IMMLAW, the consortium of outstanding U.S. immigration lawyers providing services in port cities throughout the U.S. that he helped organize. Most importantly, he was a devoted husband to JoAnne Bander for almost 49 years and father to Stephen M. Bander and Deborah R. Bander and active member of the community.

Michael was born in Haverhill, MA and raised in Chevy Chase, MD. A graduate of Bethesda Chevy Chase High School, 1956, University of Virginia with honors in 1960 and University of Virginia School of Law, 1963, he was a committed fan of UVA and the Washington Redskins. Following law school he served in the US Army Medical Service Corps in Vicenza, Italy raising to the rank of Captain. He returned to Washington and joined the US Department of Justice where a legal case took him to Paraguay and resulted in him and JoAnne spending two and a half years with the Agency for International Development there. With his mastery of Spanish and knowledge of Latin America a relocation to Miami, the Capital of Latin America was a logical next step.

Michael served as President of the local chapter of the American Immigration Bar Association, National Board of the Immigration Bar, President of American Jewish Committee, South Florida Chapter, Board member of the Florida Bar Foundation, Board member of Prologue Society, member of the Coral Gables Pension Board, Member of the Governor’s Commission on Affordable Housing and Board Member of Gables Cinema. His devotion beside to his family was to helping thousands of individuals from all parts of the world who had come to South Florida attain US residency and citizenship and contribute to its growth. Hanging over his desk was a print by Robert Indiana of The Statue of Liberty—with a tear. He helped organize and finance a successful effort in 1994-96 era to help prevent a Proposition 187 anti-immigrant referendum effort in Florida parallel to California’s. He was a founding member of the Miami Book Fair and founding subscriber of New World Symphony and could be found in the front rows of Chapman at the Book Fair; at some 15 New World concerts seasonally; and chatting with his Doctors Hospital exercise group at the Coral Gables Farmers Market. He was an avid reader of history.

Michael is survived by his wife, JoAnne; children, Deborah and Stephen, sisters-in-law, Natalie Fisher Guerin and Anne Grimsley Bander; nieces Liz Bander and Ari Bander; nephews, David (Deborah Fisher) and Jason Fisher and great nephews, Gabriel and Jacob Fisher and many friends and grateful clients.

A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Sunday, September 23 at Temple Israel of Greater Miami at 137 NE 19th Street, Miami. There will be a memorial service in Maine at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to American Jewish Committee, 9200 S Dadeland Blvd Ste 500, Miami, FL 33156 or Americans for Immigrant Justice, 3000 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 400 Miami, FL 33137.

Maine arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.

Memorial Service Information

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 11:00am
Temple Israel of Greater Miami
137 NE 19th Street
Miami, Florida