Niagara Gazette

Obituaries

September 23, 2013

David S. Rosenberg

WHEATFIELD — David Solomon Rosenberg, of Niagara Falls, NY, passed away peacefully on Friday, September 20, 2013, at Elderwood of Wheatfield, just 12 days after his 97th birthday. He was supported by Amy, his wife of 73 years, and close friends. David and Amy had lived together independently for 72 years, most of that time in the house they had built for themselves on Cayuga Island on the Niagara River.

David was born in Cincinnati, OH on September 8, 1916, the son of Sara and Jacob Rosenberg. While dealing with the death of his father and supporting his sister, he achieved a B.S. in the Cooperative Education Program in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati that integrates experience with local employers with education, graduating with the highest scholastic record in his class, and receiving the award for best senior thesis in Chemical Engineering. By refusing to change to a non-Jewish name he was forced to forgo  opportunities in Cincinnati and combine his honeymoon with Amy, his college sweetheart, with job searching in Niagara Falls, where an official of Hooker Chemical Company had the courage to hire him based on his considerable merits in spite of the prevalent anti-Semitism. This experience influenced both David and Amy to become lifetime ardent lifetime civil rights advocates. He worked at Hooker (later Occidental) from 1939 for his entire career, including 18 years as Associate Director of Research and Development, until he retired in 1979. The criticism of Hooker for environmental contamination was painful for him. He was a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and received the Professional Achievement Award for the Western New York section in 1964, and held a number of patents on chemical processes. He was recognized by his employees, colleagues, friends and everyone who met him as a kind, intelligent, thoughtful and considerate person.

David demonstrated his belief in civic responsibility by serving on the boards of directors of United Way Niagara, 1971-77, and the Joe Berg Foundation of Niagara Falls, 1960-70, and was president of Planned Parenthood Niagara, 1970-71 and 1978. He lived a remarkable life, performing much of the remodeling of the house on Cayuga Island himself, tending to their garden and traveling to 32 countries in the world where he immersed himself in native cultures, dabbled in interesting and sometimes controversial politics. He instilled in his children the principle that in life sometimes one has to do what one knows is right, whether others agree with you or not.

He is survived by his wife, Amy Lee (nee Diamond) of Wheatfield, NY; daughter, Janet Rosenberg-Herrera of Plano, IL; son, Dr. Jonathan Rosenberg (Laura) of Oakland, CA; grandchildren, Aaron, Miriam, Sarah, Seth and Jesse, and nine great-grandchildren, all of whom who he took great pride in.

The world is a better place because he was in it, and he will be missed by all who knew him.

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