Obituary of Werner Neuburger
Werner Neuburger, of Pompton Plains, formerly of West Nyack, NY, died at home in the care of his family Sunday, September 5, 2021, just two days shy of his 95th birthday.
Born in Battenberg, Germany, Werner was the son of Louis and Helene Neuburger. The family owned a general store in their small town, but were forced out of their home and their livelihood under the Nazi regime. After his father's death, the family escaped Germany, and Werner was brought to England by the Kindertransport program. Just a pre-teenager at the time, he was separated from his mother and sister until they were reunited in the United States a few years later.
Once Werner was stateside, he proudly volunteered to enlist in the United States Army. He served in the Philippines during World War II, and was stationed at the Pentagon after the war, helping to translate German documents.
As a handsome man in uniform, Werner caught the eye of Henrietta Alexander, who had also immigrated to the United States from Germany. "Henny" caught his eye as well, and he asked her out on a date the first time they met. The two quickly fell in love, and on December 25, 1950, they married.
Werner and Henny settled first on Riverside Drive in New York City, and Werner earned his degree in Engineering from CCNY. He spent his career working for Lester Associates in West Nyack, and was one of the principal engineers on an enormous model of New York City, which was displayed during the World's Fair in Flushing, Queens in 1964/65 ~ and can still be seen in the museum today.
Werner and Henny were blessed with three sons, and though they loved their life on the Upper West Side, decided to move the family into their dream home in West Nyack, New York. Werner's skills as a "Mr. Fixit" came in handy there, and he kept himself very busy all around the house. He was so knowledgeable on all types of machinery, and would work and rework every appliance in the house to make sure it was running perfectly. When Henny was ready to upgrade their kitchen, he decided to build their kitchen cabinets himself. Henny was delighted by all the easy drawers and pullouts he incorporated in to the design.
Despite the horrors of his youth in Nazi Germany, Werner remained an optimistic man throughout his life. He was always smiling! When his granddaughter Erica was born, he was given a grandparent book. This inspired Werner to write his memoir, "Dark Clouds Don't Stay Forever." Published in 2005, the book became a principal primary source at high schools in Germany, recounting the experience of Jews during the Holocaust. His retirement years were spent lecturing at spaces throughout the U.S. about his childhood, and he would spend his time encouraging peace between people.
In 2008. Werner's hometown of Battenberg, Germany invited him and Henny to visit, and welcomed them with a great celebration. He spoke at the town hall, and was honored by the townspeople there. It was a very special trip, and once again, Werner held no hate for his history in Germany. He promoted peace, commonality, and kindness.
After 55 years in Nyack, Werner and Henny moved to Cedar Crest Village in Pompton Plains in 2015. Their light-filled apartment quickly became home, and they very much enjoyed being a part of the Cedar Crest community. Werner was very active with the Railroad Club at Cedar Crest, where he was titled "Engineer." Building model railroads with his friends brought him much joy in his later years.
Werner was a special man, and was dearly loved by his family. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Henny; his sons, David and his wife Marilyn, Jonathan and his wife Kate, and Daniel and his wife Ann; his grandchildren, Rebecca, Mark, Sonia, Owen, Erica, Amanda, Melissa, and Joshua; and his great-grandchild, Jonathan Bailey. He was predeceased by his sister, Inge Brown.
A funeral service will be held 12:30 pm Thursday at the Cedar Crest Interfaith Chapel, 1 Cedar Crest Drive, Pompton Plains. Burial will follow at Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus.
In lieu of flowers. donations to the Cedar Crest Benevolent Care Fund, 1 Cedar Crest Drive, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444 or to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Werner's memory would be greatly appreciated by his family.
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