Henry Weinstock, 87, died after a brief illness at his home in Jericho, VT on October 2, 2021, surrounded by his immediate family. Henry was born in 1934 in Antwerp, Belgium, to Eugene Weinstock and Yolande Lövi. He was a Holocaust survivor, narrowly escaping deportation in 1942. He was sheltered by the Committee for the Defense of Jews, an interfaith group affiliated with the Belgian Resistance that was tasked with saving the lives of 3,000 Jewish children. While in hiding in the Ardennes countryside, he witnessed some of the fiercest fighting of World War II, during the Battle of the Bulge. He eventually reunited with his father who survived imprisonment in Buchenwald. In 1946, Henry and his father were among the first war refugees to arrive in the United States and described what they witnessed in his father’s published memoir, Beyond the last path. More recently, Henry was interviewed about his experiences for a Vermont Public Radio podcast called “The Luck and the Kindness of Others.”
As a teenager in New York, Henry worked many odd jobs, including messenger, cabin boy, and taxi driver. Drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he served as an X-ray technician at 2n/a Evacuation hospital in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. During holidays, he traveled on his Zündapp scooter to Paris, where he found his passion for French language and literature. From an early age he also spoke Flemish, Hungarian, English and German, and acquired other languages while traveling extensively across North America, Europe, the Middle East and East Africa. In a hostel in Denmark, he met Joanna Smith, whom he married in 1969. Henry studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, the City College of New York, New York University and SUNY in Albany, where he obtains a doctorate in French. Literature. He taught French and English as a second language for many years at Rockland (NY) Community College.
In 1984 the family moved to Jericho, where Henry became well known for his love of French and cycling, often combining the two with “centennial” rides in Quebec and back. He was active in French conversation groups, peace and justice activities and shared his war experiences with school groups, always with the aim of promoting dialogue, understanding and compassion. He was also a fan of opera and classical music, and was happiest on his bike, chopping firewood, tinkering with his vegetable oil truck, reading French philosophy, and meeting people wherever he went. During his retirement, he continued to travel and supported Joanna in her work as a doctor in Alaska, Arizona, China and Vermont.
Henry is survived by his wife, Joanna Weinstock of Jericho, VT; son André (“Jamie”) Weinstock (Michelle Hewitt) of Somerville, MA; his daughter Katherine (“Kait”) Armstrong (Kent) of Andover, NH; three grandchildren: Scout, Helen and Patch; a brother, Albert, of Hungary; and extended family and friends around the world.
Henry and his family are deeply grateful for the wonderful care he received while hospitalized at UVM Medical Center. A celebration of his life is planned for next summer. Contributions in Henry’s memory may be made to www.Localmotion.org, “to build a better Vermont through bicycling and walking”.
Arrangements are in the care of Ready Funeral Home South Chapel 261 Shelburne Rd in Burlington. Please visit www.readyfuneral.com to submit condolences online.
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