Norman Berenback

September 26, 1923 – July 4, 2020

Norman Berenback, of Brewster, NY, died peacefully at his home on Independence Day, July 4, 2020. He was 96 years old.

He was born on September 26, 1923, in NYC, NY son of the late Louis and Ray (Gold) Berenback. On September 8, 1946, he married the love of his life Shirley Riesenberg upon his return from the war. Together they moved to Brewster, NY in 1958 to raise their children.

Norman honorably served in the U.S. Army during WWII and the US Coast Guard into his mid 80s. He enlisted into the Army during WWII and was sent to North Africa; he was reassigned off the ship and placed on the Queen Mary for transport to England — the first ship was destroyed in a torpedo attack with all lives lost. In London, he worked on code breaking and invented power adaptors in the basement of a building. The building was bombed while he was working in that basement; he was the only survivor and left deaf. Norman was crucial to the preparations for D-Day. He worked behind enemy lines with the French underground, setting up communications for weeks before and during the invasion to monitor enemy positions saving thousands of lives. In Belgium, he was charged with restoring a power plant with a captured enemy crew and assisted with liberating a concentration camp where many of his family members perished. In the Coast Guard he was a Flotilla Commander and worked with Putnam County Emergency services as an Amateur radio operator.

Norman was an Electrical Engineer with NY Telephone for over 38 years before he retired.

Mr. Berenback was an incredibly loving husband, father, and grandfather. His family was his everything. He was an active member of Temple Beth Elohim and was an honored religious teacher. He founded Boy Scout Troop #252 in Brewster and was a Cub Scoutmaster. Norman was a kind, gentle and determined person and will be missed by many.

Mr. Berenback is survived by his loving wife of 74 years, Shirley, his two children: Steven Berenback, his fiancée Marcia Pio Leite, daughter Debra Berenback-Gold and his 3 grandchildren Bear, Raya and Betsy. He is predeceased by his sister Francine Siegel.

A graveside service was held at 1:00PM on Monday July 6, 2020, at King David Cemetery, Putnam Valley, NY. Beecher Funeral Home, Brewster, NY assisted the family with arrangements.

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