Friday, 18 September 2009 00:00
A man dedicated to making this world a kinder place has passed. Lee Aschenbrenner: educator, volunteer and all around terrific person.
On August 18, 2009, the community of Port Washington, the town of North Hempstead, the county of Nassau, the State of New York, in fact, the entire world lost a most remarkable man! After a valiant effort to stay alive, Lee Aschenbrenner was defeated by the injuries he sustained on December 4, 2008. Lee was a man at 90 who still had many things left on his “to do” list. His list of accomplishments is long and varied but some of the most significant ones include being a devoted husband to his dedicated wife “T.” a loving and supportive father to his children, Karen (Jerry), Erik (Gayle) and Lynn (Bruce), an adoring grandfather to 10 and a super great-grandfather to eight!
Lee had been a resident of Port Washington for close to 65 years and had always been active in the community as an educator in both public and religious education. He was refined and gentle, clear thinking and highly insightful; but above all a caring and loving person, known so well for his devotion to his family, his loyalty to his friends and his commitment to the quality of his career in education. Generations of people were influenced by Lee-his students, his protégés in teaching and the young people he guided in their religious education.
Lee started his career in Port Washington (1946) first teaching at a small private school, The Manhasset Bay School, and then sixth grade at the The Sands Point School (AKA The John Daly School). Eventually he was appointed Elementary Consultant, responsible for supervision of teachers, curriculum and instruction for the district. Lee left Port Washington in 1960 to become principal of the Kramer Lane Elementary School in the Bethpage School district.
In 1969 he returned, becoming principal of Flower Hill School and when the school was closed, he was appointed the principal of Manorhaven School where he stayed until his “retirement” in 1990. As a principal, he was active in many professional organizations nationally as well as state and county. He was elected president of the Nassau County Elementary School Principals Association. Once he “retired” he became an adjunct professor at the C.W. Post Campus of LIU supervising student teachers. After he “retired” from Post, he served nine times as interim principal in the districts of Port Washington, Manhasset and Locust Valley.
Even though life was busy with his profession as well as his beloved family he continued to volunteer his services and share his knowledge and experiences with all. As one of the 50 families who founded The Community Synagogue in 1952, he continued to be an active congregant serving on many of the committees. In 2000, he was voted Man of the Year at the synagogue.
Lee served as a board member for many different organizations. He was active in the Cow Neck Peninsula, Historical Society, The Community Chest of Port Washington, and The Adult Education Advisory Council. In the 1990s, he was Grand Marshal at the Pride in Port parade. He was an active volunteer at St. Francis Hospital for 22 years. He continued with his love of educating all children by reading at the schools, participating in special programs at Guggenheim and Manorhaven schools and tutoring regularly at the after school program at the library sponsored by the Port Washington Educational Foundation and also at the Homework Club at Guggenheim School.
Lee and his beloved wife “T” were honored by the Community Chest who conferred their Citizen of the Year to the couple in 2007.
Lee Aschenbrenner was a man taken “before his time” and his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren miss him terribly as does the entire community of Port Washington, which he loved so dearly because it was such a special place to live and raise a family.
A special thank you to all who have sent their condolences to the Aschenbrenner family; we appreciate all the love and support you have shown us during these last nine months as well as the past 63 years.
(Submitted by the Aschenbrenner family.)