Henry (“Hank”) Fenster, was born in Philadelphia, PA, on November 11, 1924 to parents Rose and David who had emigrated from Lithuania. His father developed a terminal illness as a young man, leaving Hank to help raise his two younger brothers, Abner and Jay, with whom he remained close throughout his life. Described in his youth as tall, lanky, and quiet, Hank was a top student and star basketball player at Philadelphia’s prestigious Central High. With the start of World War II, he was drafted into an officer training program, and met the love of his life, Blossom Lichtenstein, while on leave. When D-Day necessitated fresh troops, his training abruptly ended, and Hank was shipped to France as a mortar carrier for the US Infantry. Wounded in the back by exploding shrapnel, he received an honorable discharge and Purple Heart.
Hank and Blossom wed in 1946, and attended Penn State together, living in a small rustic trailer on campus. Hank was the calm, quiet counterbalance to Blossom’s vivacious and outspoken personality, and he was her steadfast, loving and devoted husband for 74 years of marriage. They raised two children, David and Batsheva, in Springfield, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he was active in the Conservative Jewish community. After David emigrated to Israel, Hank and Blossom made many trips there, visiting their son and his wife Risa, their six grandchildren, and later, their 27 great-grandchildren.
A trained chemical engineer, Hank worked for RCA in the pioneering design of micro miniature integrated circuits, and became a sought-after professional in his field. He was passionate about sports, enjoying volleyball, tennis, and swimming throughout his life. He was also an avid photographer and videographer, documenting family events and his many trips with Blossom to destinations around the world. Keenly interested in current events, he enjoyed discussing the news, and his curiosity and interest in technology continued through his later years, when he learned how to use a laptop, ipad, and cell-phone as a nonagenarian.
Hank was respected by all who knew him for his intelligence, dedication, humility, and his calm and thoughtful presence. He was beloved by his Israeli grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who called him Zeyde. His children, David and Batsheva, have been so grateful that their father was always there for them, and will miss him dearly. Blossom, who says she won the jackpot when she met Hank, gives thanks for their 74 years together. Hank passed peacefully on April 8, 2021. His memory is our blessing.
Contributions in his memory may be made to Kanfei Ruach, a non-profit for special needs children in Israel, that is run by Henry’s grandson, Aharon Tzohar.
Checks should be made to the Central Fund of Israel, with a note included stating that funds should be directed to Kanfei Ruach.
Mail checks to:
The Central Fund of Israel
461 Central Avenue
Cedarhurst, NY 11516
BERSCHLER and SHENBERG