obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Henry L

A gentleman in every regard, Henry Weinstock was a reserved fellow with the utmost respect for others and a gentle, welcoming manner. He had unending love for God and country, and as a proud countryman, he served over two decades in times of war and times of peace. Henry experienced much in his 86 years, but the love and devotion he had for the women in his life, his mother and dear wife, remained close to him. Deeply missed, Henry will be remembered as a kindhearted man who added much to the lives of others.

South Milwaukee, Wisconsin was the place Henry L. Weinstock called home and to him, nothing quite matched the memories he held from his childhood. From the long trek from his family home on Rawson Avenue to the Sheridan Park pool, and times with neighborhood friends sledding down the area hills, Henry kept the treasure of days-gone- by forever in his heart. His story began during the cold months of winter on January 26, 1925. A time of plenty, the Roaring Twenties produced one of the most explosive decades of the century. It was an age of prohibition, but prosperity followed many new advancements, discoveries, and inventions which greatly improved the American way of life.

The first of six children born to his parents, John and Regina (Marciniak) Weinstock, Henry’s father delivered milk for a living while his mother worked at the Patrick Cudahy Meat Packing Company. He often accompanied his father on his routes and as a young boy, shared great times fishing with him in Grant Park where they were certain to catch enough fish to take home for supper. They had a large family to feed with Henry’s two brothers, Russell and James, and three sisters, Isabelle, Marcella and Shirley. He spent fun-filled times swimming in the lagoon near their home and in his younger years they enjoyed traveling as a family to Shawano to visit Henry’s uncle. In fact, these trips held such meaning for Henry he continued the tradition into his adulthood.

Henry sold newspapers and spent much of his teen years working and contributing to his family life as times were hard during the Depression. He attended the local schools and South Milwaukee High School, but like many young men during wartime, Henry left school and at the age of 17, enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Although he later earned his GED, his father would have preferred Henry serve in the Army, but his mother on the other hand, didn’t want him enlisting so young.

As a young recruit in June of 1942 Henry worked even harder. His commander often called him the “Whiz Kid” not so much for his smarts but due to his need to visit the bathroom often! He was well trained and gifted in his naval responsibilities, and even set-up sonar command posts while in Alaska. At one point he met the then current President, Harry S. Truman and when the President told him to call him “Harry”, Henry responded, “No Sir, Mr. President, I can’t do that”. Henry was highly respectful and somewhat formal. Although this meeting took place after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he met President Truman again at the White House on another occasion when Henry was honored for being on one of the ships that escorted the USS Indianapolis on its mission to deliver the atomic bombs, bringing World War II to an end.

Henry’s time in the Navy spanned World War II and the Korean War. After 22 years of dedicated service, he retired from his Naval career in September of 1963 while stationed in Long Beach, California. His service encompassed times of conflict and peace, and through it all he came to travel around the entire world, having served aboard various Naval ships. At the time of his retirement, Henry had earned the rank of Chief Sonar Man. During this time he purchased his first car and drove from New York to Alaska, and all the way back again.

The most important things in Henry’s life included his love for God, his country and the deep, respected love he held for his mother. When Henry met the love of his life, Sophie Suminski in 1986, he came to experience one of God’s greatest gifts. They were blessed in marriage on April 30, 1988 at St. Peter and St. Paul Polish National Catholic Church in Henry’s hometown of South Milwaukee where he was a devoted, lifelong member. They honeymooned at one of Henry’s favorite places, Shawano. From that day on Henry always remembered Sophie with flowers on their anniversary. Henry accepted and respected Sophie’s children as his own. His life was complete when he took Sophie for his wife and added the blessing of her children to his heart.

Henry not only respected others, but respected and appreciated life in general. He lived it fully, and enjoyed travel well into his 80s. He remained involved at church and held memberships at the Amvet Post #4, American Legion Post 27, VFW Post 3742 and the Fleet Reserve Association. He kept busy with his many interests, hobbies and pastimes which filled his busy days. He played the concertina and harmonica, enjoyed reading and played a little golf. He also enjoyed his morning routine of going to the bakery and reading his paper, but always shared the crossword puzzles with Sophie. A personable man, he warmly welcomed others, often using the expression, “Aloha”. Each afternoon he played cribbage and was fond of bowling, and would even drink a beer or two now and then, but always in a glass, and never frosted!

After his years in the Navy and working as an electronic technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Henry worked various jobs even in retirement, like delivering flowers for Four Sister’s Floral Company. His time working at a bakery in his younger years led him to his lifelong love of baked goods, but in everything Henry did, he accomplished with pride. Throughout the years he remained a devoted son to his mother. He visited everyday and lovingly cared for her, and just as tenderly looked after Sophie.

When Henry’s memory began declining in his early 80s he gave up driving and moved over to the passenger seat! He and Jill enjoyed many rides together, especially to Lake Michigan, Grant Park, and Henry’s hometown of South Milwaukee. She accompanied Henry and Sophie to their doctor appointments and took Henry to St. Anne’s Day Care where he met many friends. He spoke of his beloved hometown often, and even through advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, Henry could recall beloved memories of his childhood which always brought him home to South Milwaukee. After being diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, his health declined rapidly, and on Saturday, May 7, 2011, Henry died peacefully surrounded by his family. Aloha, Henry!

Henry L. Weinstock counted his greatest blessings as his faith and church, his country, and two remarkable women. An honorable man, Henry will be fondly remembered for his gentle nature, and the love and devotion shown to those he held dear. A great respecter of people, he too was dearly loved and respected by his wife, Sophia Suminski and her children: Jill (Jim) Wittig, Jon (Donna) Suminski, Jane Suminski, Judy (Roman) Chamulak and Jean (Joe) Davies. He will be missed by his grandchildren: Peter, Noah, Meghan, Sophia and Nadia; sister, Marcie (Jack) Stevens; other relatives and friends. Henry was a devoted son to his parents, Regina and John, and a loving and supportive brother to Isabelle, Russell, James and Shirley, who have all preceded him in death.

Visitation for Henry will be Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at St. Peter & St. Paul Polish National Catholic Church, 1308 15th Avenue, South Milwaukee from 10:00 AM until the funeral Mass at 12:00 noon. If desired, memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Wisconsin are appreciated. Please visit to leave a memory of Henry or to sign his online guest book. Suminski Life Story Funeral Homes, Niemann/Suminski (414) 744-5156.

Past Comments

Alzheimer's Association of Southeastern Wiscon

On behalf of everyone here at the Alzheimer’s Association – thank you so much for thinking of us at this time of loss to your family. Memorial donations made in Henry’s name will be put to immediate use serving families and supporting research. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tom Hlavacek, Executive Director

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