Greenstein, Harold ALBANY It is with great sadness that the family of Harold H. Greenstein announces his passing on Saturday evening, May 25, 2013, in the comfort of his own home surrounded by his loving family. Harold was born on October 10, 1924 in New Britain, Conn., the youngest child and only son of Edward and Sarah Wellins Greenstein. His sisters Lucile and Mabel are both of blessed memory. Harold graduated from New Britain High School in 1942, where he was one of only two Jewish students who played football. His childhood was tarnished by the death of his father when Harold was seven years old. He was very shy as a child, as the youngest in a family with three women. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Purdue University. After two years studying to become a chemical engineer, Harold was drafted into the U.S. Navy to serve in World War II. He chose to be educated in meteorology because the station in Lakehurst, N.J. was the closest to his home. After completing his training, his orders sent him to Pearl Harbor, attached to CINPAC (Commander in Chief Pacific) on Admiral Nimitz's personal staff. He was discharged from the Navy in 1946. Two days after his discharge, his uncle Sam Greenstein went to New Britain, Conn. and told Harold he was opening a wholesale liquor distributorship in Albany. Harold thought about the G.I. Bill of Rights, which would pay to send him back to school. His mother said, "You're going with Uncle Sam." He would later recall that it turned out to be the greatest advice he'd ever received; he moved to Albany not knowing anyone there. The liquor enterprise, Ramapo Wine and Liquor, did very well. His career as salesman and sales manager spanned 42 years. But his best moment was yet to come-- when he met Beverly Goldstein. They were married for more than 53 years until Beverly's death in 2004. Harold wrote, "My luck was the best ever in Albany." Mayor Corning, who held office for 40 years, looked to Harold to run for the first elected school board. He was the first Jewish person to ever serve on the school board. Mayor Corning then suggested Harold run for the Albany Common Council. He is the only Jewish person to ever win election to the Council in its 300 year history. He served as alderman of the 14th ward for 20 years, was the majority leader and was head of the law committee. He would later serve the city of Albany as chairman of the Civil Service Commission, a Freedom of Information Appeals officer, purchaser in the Albany County Purchasing Department and as a court attendant at the Albany County Courthouse. He served under mayors Corning, Whalen and Jennings. All the while, Harold made sure he was home every night for dinner. Aside from being a loving and devoted family man, Harold was a coach, a mentor and a best friend. He will always be remembered for his wit and wisdom. Harold is survived by his children, Edward (Cynthia), Dr. Neal (Cindy), Michael and Nancy (Barry); as well as his grandchildren, Joshua (Allyson), Adam (Robyn), Jeffrey, Marcus (Myriam), Eric and Matthew (Erica); several nieces and nephews; brother-in-law, Dr. Arthur Goldstein (Sheila) and his special companion Claire Brandt. Harold was a member of the Jewish War Veterans, Knights of Pythias and Congregation Beth Emeth. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 12 noon at Congregation Beth Emeth, 100 Academy Road in Albany. Friends and relatives are respectfully invited to call at Beth Emeth commencing at 10:30 a.m. Interment to follow at Temple Israel Cemetery, Western Avenue in Guilderland. The period of mourning will be observed on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 19 Milner Ave. in Albany. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to remember Harold in a special way may make a contribution to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 5 Computer Drive West, Albany, NY 12205, Congregation Beth Emeth's Fund for Jewish Education or to a
. For directions or to sign the online guestbook,please visit, levinememorialchapel.com
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in Albany Times Union from May 27 to May 28, 2013