BOCA RATON, Florida - Jacob Shalom "Jerry" Herzenberg, 91, died peacefully at home in Boca Raton.
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He is survived by his loving wife Helen (Chernaik) Herzenberg; children Paul, Jane and John; seven grandchildren, Emily Sagalyn, Jesse and Sheena Reiter, David, Danielle, Alexander and Brittany Herzenberg; two great-grandchildren; and children's spouses Peggy Herzenberg, Jim Sagalyn, Merrill Chaus; and his grandson's spouse Ayreene Reiter.
Jerry grew up with his younger sister Nesa, during the Great Depression in Holyoke. His father Sam was a self-employed haberdasher and his mother Mildred worked with the U.S. War Department and Indian Motorcycle. He graduated Holyoke High School in 1939.
In 1943, Jerry volunteered for the U.S. Army and was stationed in China for three years during World War II. He served with valor as a corporal in the Army Air Corps, manning forward air bases, where his position was frequently bombed by Japanese airplanes. He served as a maintenance and supply coordinator for the famed Flying Tigers. He narrowly escaped capture when the Japanese army overran his base. His life was saved by a Chinese national working at the base, who insisted that Jerry board what was ultimately the last plane out.
Upon discharge from the Army, he and Helen married, and then established Kitchens by Herzenberg in Agawam. Jerry's idea to establish a stand-alone kitchen design-build business was revolutionary. Jerry and Helen were the featured cover story in the inaugural edition of Kitchen Business Magazine, which remains the industry's standard trade magazine. Jerry and Helen worked together every day in the kitchen remodeling business. They remained committed, loving and supportive of each other throughout their 68 years of marriage.
Jerry enjoyed a full and rich retirement, active in tennis and golf, and always with his beloved wife Helen. He served our country at its time of greatest need, and then invested his considerable talent and energy into his family and community. His legacy is his devoted family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Friends of Magen David Adom, www.afmda.org.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on June 21, 2014