Dr. Henry Kamenecka
Poughkeepsie - Dr. Henry Kamenecka, 84, of Poughkeepsie New York passed away on May 31, 2020 at Hope Healthcare, a hospice in Ft. Myers, Florida. He was a resident of Poughkeepsie for 33 years, moving to Rhinebeck in 2002.
Henry was born on September 9, 1935 in Oshmiany, Poland, a small hamlet in eastern Poland to Sophie and Owsiej (Joshua) Kamenecka. When the Germans overtook eastern Poland he and his mother went into hiding for three years. The pair made it to the United States in 1947.
Henry spent his teenage years in the Bronx and attended NYU Uptown for college with a real interest in chemistry. He went to the Albert Einstein School of Medicine from 1956-1960, followed by an internship and a first year residence at the St. Louis City Hospital and a year of fellowship in hematology at the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California. His last year of residence was in internal medicine at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Oakland, California.
In 1964, while living in Oakland, Henry attended a dance in San Francisco and met his future wife Lily. Once they found each other, they didn't dance with anyone else. They were engaged three months after their first date, and married a year after that. The couple had a son in California, another son in Kansas. He was drafted during the Vietnam War and commissioned as Captain in the army. Served at the military hospital in Ft. Riley, Kansas. Two daughters followed once they settled in Poughkeepsie in 1969.
Henry cultivated many interests. He spoke French and Spanish, worked on his Italian, and never lost some of his Polish and Russian. He loved all genres of music, with a specific interest in cuban and salsa music. He was well read and loved skiing and fishing and traveled widely. He never met a tree that he didn't want to transplant to his backyard.
He pursued all these interest alongside a forty year career in medicine. He joined the Poughkeepsie Medical Group upon his arrival in upstate New York, and also worked at Vassar Brothers and St. Francis hospitals. There he saw thousands of patients during his time at the practice. He was a sensitive, intelligent person who was well loved by patients and staff alike.
When he retired in 2003 he volunteered at the Vassar Hospital clinic, using his Spanish as often as circumstance allowed. He kept up his many interests and spent time with his children and grandchildren who loved him dearly.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Lily, and his four children,Josh Kamenecka and his partner Michelle Carter, Ted Kamenecka and his wife Laura Solt, Paulette Kamenecka and her husband Matt Rawlinson, and Samara Kamenecka and her partner Pedro Monago, and his six grandchildren, Sarah, Daniel, Grace, Elena, Skyler and Cooper.
He was buried at the National Cemetery in Sarasota, Florida. The funeral arrangements were directed by the Fort Myers Memorial Gardens. Given pandemic restrictions, the ceremony was attended only by his immediate family. A memorial will be planned to honor his memory when pandemic conditions allow for larger gatherings.
Contributions can be made in Henry's memory to: Hope Healthcare, 9470 Health Park Circle, Fort Myers, Fl 33908.
Published in Poughkeepsie Journal from Jun. 11 to Jun. 15, 2020.