Henry Quenk (born Henryk Puc) died on October 27, in Sarasota Florida after a long illness.
Henry was born on February 2, 1926, in DobrzechÀw, Poland and came to the United States in 1938 with his mother.
He enlisted in the United States Navy as a sailor in World War II. After the war he was employed until 1955, by Stanley Works in Connecticut. From 1955 until his retirement in 1988, he worked in Stratford, Connecticut for the Sikorsky Aircraft Company in the engineering and design department building helicopters like the SH-3D that serviced the Apollo moon missions, the C-54 “Skycrane,” and UH-60 Black Hawk. In 1990, Henry moved to Sarasota, Florida to enjoy his retirement.
Henry was a deeply devoted son and took care of his mother, Bertha Quenk, until she died in 1984. As long as his health allowed, he enjoyed driving to visit immediate family members in Connecticut, New York, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, and Vermont. He also traveled often to Poland, even when under Communist rule, to visit his cousin Wladyslawa (Wanda) Niemiec and her family. He invited several of her children and grandchildren for vacations in Florida and traveled with them around the United States.
During his recent protracted illness, two of Wanda’s daughters, Krystyna (Kristina) and Malgorzata (Margaret) came from Poland to care for Henry until he moved into an assisted living facility and then to a nursing home. Long time and devoted friends Mimi and John Speers helped to care for Henry while he was still living at his home and afterwards in the care facilities. Henry’s family is very grateful to Mimi for her help, heart, and friendship she gave to Henry.
For many years, it had been a ritual for two of Henry’s nephews, Steve and Ted Lehr, to spend part of the summer with him in Sarasota or travel together to Poland, reminiscing about his past and learning about the world through his stories about the old country and the family. Henry introduced Ted and Steve, to Poland and to the family there. It is because of him that the family ties were formed between the younger generations across the ocean. Henry liked to boast, justifiably, that because of those trips, Ted happened to meet his Polish born wife, Joanna, in Pittsburgh while in college together. In the most recent years, Steve accompanied and helped Henry in his last 9 visits to Poland.
Henry is preceded in death by his parents, John and Bertha Quenk, three sisters (Mary Orzechowski, Julie Bayusik, and Helen McBride) and three brothers (Joe, Stanley, and Alex).
He is survived by sister Ceil (husband Joe) DeMalta of Bolton Landing, NY; by Susan (husband Marvin) Lehr of Austin, TX; by sister-in-law Naomi Quenk of Cape Elizabeth, ME; by cousin Wladyslawa Niemiec of Dobrzechow, Poland; and by numerous nieces and nephews in the United States and Poland.
Remembrances and private services will be held in Lake George, NY this month and in DobrzechÀw, Poland next summer. Henry’s wish was to be buried in DobrzechÀw, in the cemetery by the church that one of his relatives helped to build before World War II.
The remembrance in Lake George will be on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 3pm at the Holiday Inn Resort, 2223 State Route 9, Lake George, NY 12845, phone number: 518-668-5781.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Henry Quenk, c/o Steve Lehr, 4781 Big Hollow Rd, Starksboro, VT 05487.