WESTFIELD Helmut Hank Brandhorst, age 85, of South Water Street, Westfield died Saturday, October 30, 2010 at home.
Helmut was born on December 15, 1924 in Hille, Germany, the son of the late William H. and Hildegard (Hartmann) Brandhorst.
Hank immigrated to the United States with his parents and two sisters when he was six months old. His childhood was spent in Schenectady, New York, until he left high school to enlist in the US Army at the age of eighteen. Hank served as a medic and electrical technician during World War II, helping to set up field hospitals in Austria, France and England. He participated in the D-Day invasion and the liberation of Europe. Upon returning home from the war, he finished high school and married his junior high sweetheart Helen Betty Strong in 1948. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was employed by General Electric Company in their Research Laboratory. Hanks career with General Electric took him from Schenectady to Syracuse and lastly to Cleveland, Ohio. He worked in research and development on the manmade diamond and later in the television and lighting divisions, retiring in 1986. While raising five children his favorite pastimes were camping, canoeing, fishing, boating and photography. He had always dreamed of retiring to the coast, but after several years in Moorehead City, North Carolina returned to upstate New York to be nearer to family. Hank was a loving, gentle husband, father, and grandfather, generous to those in need and always willing to lend a hand.
He is survived by three daughters: Karen (Jack Earle) Brandhorst of Redondo Beach, CA, Kyle (Robert Wright) Brandhorst of Westfield, NY, Karla (Paul) Eaton of Middlefield, OH and two sons: Kurt W. Brandhorst of Skaneateles, NY and Kim (Pamela) Brandhorst of Lancaster, OH. He was the proud grandfather of Kevin, Sarah and Eric Brandhorst and Brenna and Anna Wright.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Helen Betty (Strong) Brandhorst, whom he married in 1948 and who died in 2009 and by his two sisters, Erika Sinkora and Rose Marie Lega.
Funeral services will be private with burial in Westfield Union Cemetery. Memorials may be made to The Westfield Memorial Hospital Foundation, 189 E. Main St., Westfield, NY 14787 or to the Westfield Vol. Fire Dept. Memorial Fund, 23 Elm St., Westfield, NY 14787.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the MASON Funeral Home, 37 Clinton St., Westfield, NY. Log on to www.masonfuneral.com to send Hank's family a message of sympathy.