Harold Grotenstein passed away in his home on October 26th. Born in 1925, he would have celebrated his 94th birthday on February 9th.
Always the optimist and rarely angry or able to hold a grudge, he led an interesting life. At 18 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and became a navigator on B-24's. Though he never got to serve overseas since the war ended before he could get there, the experience of the service and flying was a memorable part of his life. He always commented that there was never an invasion in Texas, California, or Idaho where he trained and was stationed! He went on to get a degree from City College, was a CPA and CFO at a number of companies including J. Walter Thompson and Ruder & Finn. He then switched careers and became a stock broker until his retirement at 80!
He loved the Mets, the Jets, and the Nets and tortured a friend in Maryland the year that they beat all the Baltimore teams. He became a major Duke Blue Devils fan when his son Jonathan attended Duke- he said that was a gift. His other passions were the NYT crossword (in ink) and politics, he closely followed ever evolving world issues until the day he died.
He also loved his bourbon. Everyone knew his drink order; either Pappy Van Winkle (when it was available) or Jack Daniels Reserve with a splash of seltzer, crushed ice and a lemon peel. It was his go-to every evening until very recently.
Most of all he loved his family; his wife Linda (married 50 years this December), his children David, Caroline (and Randy), Ellen, Jonathan (and Kristen) and Jessica; his grandchildren, Alec, Laura, Joe, Emma, Sam, and Jack. Everyone who knew him had a "Harold story" that would bring a smile. He will be missed. There will be a memorial service at a later day. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
Bnai Keshet, 99 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042
Atlantic Home Health & Hospice, 465 South Street, Suite 100, Morristown, NJ 07960
Montclair Ambulance Unit, 95 Walnut Street, Montclair, NJ 07042