Weinberg was a friend to everyone

Altoona native remembered for work in the community


Henry Weinberg was a friend to everyone, and continues to bring joy to so many who knew him.

In simply hearing Weinberg’s name, former state Lt. Gov. Bob Jubelirer said, “You just put a smile on my face.”

Weinberg was an Altoona native, small-business owner and active member in his faith and general communities. With his parents, he started The Colony Shop, a children and junior clothing store on 11th Avenue.

After 38 years as a small-business owner, he became an employee of the state Treasurer’s office until he retired in 2004. In his 90 years, he built countless bonds and taught future community leaders. Weinberg passed away at his home on Wednesday after an extended illness.

See obituary on Page A5.

“He knew everybody and everybody knew him,” said Bill Wallen, executive director of the Greater Altoona Jewish Federation.

Weinberg had a lifelong friendship with Jubelirer that began more than 70 years ago.

The Jubelirer family was once having a Passover dinner at their home when they heard a knock at the door. Jubelirer said that in the Jewish faith, Elijah was a prophet who knocked on doors and blessed people during the celebration.

“And who walks in — Henry Weinberg, saying ‘I just want you to know Elijah’s here,'” he said.

Weinberg devoted “innumerable hours and energy” as a member and president of the Agudath Achim Synagogue in Altoona, Wallen said. As chairman of the cemetery committee for 40 years, Weinberg taught younger generations to use “acts of loving kindness” to care for people’s final resting places.

“In Judaism, respect for those who came before you is a strong value,” Wallen said. “He treated the cemetery like it was an extension of his home.”

Weinberg’s dedication extended beyond his faith community into the general community. He mentored entrepreneurs through the local SCORE chapter and was a 50-year Shriner.

Weinberg also volunteered at the former Altoona Hospital for 13 years.

“There wasn’t a more loved and dedicated volunteer,” said Debbie McClellan, former manager of volunteer services. “All the staff, patients and physicians adored him.”

Weinberg helped in the emergency department from 2005 until 2018. McClellan noted how proud he was to volunteer. She said how much he adored his wife, Maxine and their children and grandchildren.

“He was one of the kindest guys I’ve ever met,” McClellan said.

Jubelirer said even with daily health challenges in his final two years, Weinberg would talk and share laughs over the phone.

“I loved the guy,” he said. “His loss is going to be felt by everybody.”

Weinberg had been honored by The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Development Corporation for Israel (Israel Bonds). For his 90th birthday in January, the Agudath Achim congregation celebrated his life and contributions.

Mirror Staff Writer Dom Cuzzolina is at 814-946-7428.


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