Great Barrington, MA 01230-1821
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Harry Franklin

1920 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Harry Franklin Obituary
Harry Franklin

1920 - 2015 Harry Franklin was born Hermann Harry Hirschbein in Vienna, Austria, November 13, 1920 to Charlotte Frankovitz, originally from Romania and Moritz Hirschbein, originally from Poland. In the United States he changed his name to Franklin, a derivative of Frankovitz, and chose to go by the name Harry Franklin. Mr. Franklin passed away in Lenox, MA on November 14, 2015, one day after his 95th birthday. In Vienna Harry attended gymnasium, equivalent to high school in the U.S. He was handsome, studious, an actor and athlete, interested in arts and politics. He was a Junior Champion in 80 meter hurdles and high jumping and was in rehearsals for William Tell when Hitler invaded. Prior to the invasion, in 1936, Harry was arrested and briefly jailed, falsely accused of being a Communist at a time when Austria was no longer a Democracy and all political parties were banned. As part of his English studies in gymnasium Harry's English teacher gave him an American pen pal, Lillian Wolfram, a non-Jew, whose family offered to sponsor him if he could escape to America. At the railroad station on November 8, 1938, Harry's friends and relatives lined up to say goodbye. That was the last time he saw his parents, crying and waving as the train pulled out towards Holland and the boat to England, then to New Jersey Harbor to meet his American family, the Wolframs. During World War II, from 1942 to 1946, Harry served in the U.S. Army, including a year in Germany. He reached the rank of Staff Sergeant in Military Intelligence and First Lieutenant in the Army Reserves. Later he attended Columbia University on the G.I. Bill, graduating with a B.S. in Economics. He became a C.P.A., a career he loved and practiced successfully for many years to come. Toward the end of his military career, Harry married Evelyn Popper von Podhragy, Viennese and living in New York City, who also had escaped the Nazis. Harry and Evelyn married in 1946 and moved to Long Island, NY. They had two children; a son, Michael, whose death preceded Harry's, and a daughter, Susanne. Harry Franklin's activities include four years in a public accounting firm, being Treasurer and Controller of one and Controller of the other; starting a private C.P.A. practice; purchasing and running an accounting firm; a stint in real estate sales; teaching accounting at a C.U.N.Y. college; taking graduate courses at St. John's University in Queens, New York; and, developing and teaching accounting, as well as German courses at Berkshire Community College. He was a Mason for over 50 years, and Master of a Masonic Lodge in New York City. Mr. Franklin was also President of the Queens B'nai B'rith Council and was a Tanglewood volunteer for more than 10 years. He also loved cooking, crossword puzzles, playing Scrabble, acting, current events, reading, writing, music; he was passionate for all the arts. In 1971 Harry and Evelyn divorced. He subsequently married Harriet Quaker. Harry and Harriet resided in Queens, NY. In 1981 they purchased a summer home in Housatonic, MA where increasing amounts of time were spent over the years. Harriet died in 2007. Shortly after, he moved into Kimball Farms in Lenox, MA. Harry Franklin is survived by his daughter, Susanne Franklin Alexander, sister, Johanna Saper, a niece, Charlotte Saper and two nephews, Craig and Cliff Saper, as well as step-daughter and step-son-in-law, Jan and Jack Halsbond and grandchildren, Emily and Douglas Halsbond. FUNERAL NOTICE: A graveside service will be held: Sunday, Nov.29, 2015, 11a.m., at Ahavath Sholom Cemetery in Great Barrington, MA. In lieu of flowers send donations to Financial Aid at Columbia College noting ALLOCATION #32216 c/o FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to his family please go to : www.finnertyandstevens.com
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Nov. 24, 2015
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