Obituary of Henry Lurie
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Henry Lurie (May 13, 1935 – March 6, 2021)
Henry Lurie led an extraordinary life. He was a loving husband, amazing father, doting grandfather, dedicated older brother, and loyal friend, as well as being an accomplished engineer, bridge player, and classical music aficionado.
He and his parents fled the Nazis in 1939 when he was only four, and he read his Bar Mitzvah Torah portion in a bomb shelter during Israel's War of Independence.
Upon immigrating to the US in 1950, he entered Lowell High School in San Francisco. As a first-generation college student (with English as a second language), he went on to study Engineering at UC Berkeley, where he obtained both his bachelors and his PhD. While at Cal, he was awarded the University Medal as the highest graduating senior in the class of 1957.
After graduation, Henry relocated to Los Angeles and started a long and successful career at TRW, where he worked on a number of important projects, including research and advanced space technologies. He was also a pioneer in helping design and develop the first artificial heart.
Henry was fortunate to have found true love twice in his life. He met his first wife, Sandy, while she was a Master’s candidate at UCLA. He & Sandy moved to Palos Verdes, had two daughters, joined Congregation Ner Tamid, and spent many happy years together.
After losing Sandy, Henry met and married his second love, Inga, with whom he shared 17+ beautiful years. Together, Henry & Inga traveled the world, from trips to visit family in the Bay Area to adventures further away in Europe, Asia, the Galapagos, and more. They remained active synagogue members, cherishing the Jewish community they shared.
Henry remained dedicated to Cal – as a 40+ year camper at the Lair of the Bear, a member of the CAA Board of Directors, and most importantly, as an active College of Engineering alum. In fact, in 1993, he was recognized as a “Distinguished Engineering Alumni” by the college.
Henry was surrounded by loving and loyal friends – from his years at Cal, his work, his synagogue, the Lair, his neighborhood, and more. If a life is measured in love, then Henry’s life was overflowing.
Henry is survived by his beloved Inga, his brother Joel (Nancy Ellenbogen), his daughters Suszi Lurie McFadden (Andy) and Kathy Gottfried (Russell), Inga’s children Joel Cherman (Elian), Howie Cherman (Margaret Bezucha) and Laurie Gerstmann (Evan), his granddaughter Emily Gottfried Wolf, and his five grandsons Sandy & Izzy Gottfried, Max Cherman, and Isaac & Sam Gerstmann.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Henry Lurie Family Fund, which supports high-achieving graduate students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley (510-643-9789) or Congregation Ner Tamid (https://www.nertamid.com/donate-online.html).