Herbert Ginensky, 94, a World War II vet

Herbert Ginensky
Herbert Ginensky
Posted: June 30, 2013

Herbert Ginensky, 94, a World War II veteran and devoted husband for nearly seven decades, died Thursday, June 27, at the Watermark senior community in Center City.

Mr. Ginensky died of heart failure, said his daughter, Amy Ginensky. His wife, Evelyn, who was 91, died in November.

They married on July 6, 1944. During the war, he met his future wife through a cousin who was dating one of Evelyn's sisters.

"My father thought she was too young-looking," but on a second date, he reconsidered, his daughter said. After a third date, he called her at a beauty parlor and proposed marriage, "and he wouldn't get off the phone until she said yes."

Mr. Ginensky was a staff sergeant in the Army and was stationed on Iwo Jima after U.S. forces took control of the Pacific island in 1945.

After the war, the New York native did repair work on Cadillacs and later owned a Brooklyn deli. He liked to innovate with food. He invented the "knizza."

"It's not a pizza. It's not a knish. It's a knizza," his daughter said. And it was tasty.

He sold the deli in the 1970s and went on to manage apartments in New York.

About seven years ago, he and his wife, whose health was declining, moved to Philadelphia to be close to their children. The transplanted New Yorker became a big fan of the Phillies and 76ers.

In his later years, he became an advocate for the health-enhancing properties of vinegar and dark chocolate. "His pastime was giving everybody advice," his daughter recalled, describing how he passed out photocopied brochures on the benefits of vinegar.

Mr. Ginensky also took up painting late in life. "At Watermark, he started a painting class for people who were really sick," his daughter said.

After his wife died, Mr. Ginensky spent his time "watching Westerns," and his health deteriorated, his daughter said. But toward the end, he was at peace, she said.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Ginensky is survived by a son, Steven; three grandchildren; and a sister.

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at Beth David Reform Congregation, 1130 Vaughan Lane, Gladwyne. Burial will be in Haym Salomon Memorial Park. Shivah will be at his daughter's home Sunday and Monday, and at his son's home on Tuesday.

Contributions may be made to the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York's neonatal unit at support.northshoreLIJ.com.

Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983, bmoran@phillynews.com, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

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