A Tribute to My Grandfather – Please Read This

“I’ll see you tomorrow for lunch, Norbert.”    In a vacuum, those words seem so benign — my grandmother, Marianne Reinstein, telling my grandfather, Norbert Reinstein, that they’d see one another again for lunch.   I will never forgot those words or that moment.  They were my grandmother’s last words to my grandfather.  He passed away at 94 years of age.   Old age doing what the Nazi’s could not . . . May he rest in peace. 

I have written about my grandfather before in these pages.  I paid tribute to him.   I was just forwarded a copy of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) magazine from November/December 2009.  It contains a wonderful tribute as well.  

In Memoriam: Norbert Reinstein

SOPHE celebrates the life of SOPHE Past President and Distinguished Fellow, Nor­bet Reinstein, who passed away recently at the age of 94. Norbert was a loyal and active SOPHE member at the National and Chapter level.

 Norbert was one year short of completing medical school when he was forced to leave his native Austria after it was absorbed by Hitler’s Germany. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1940 and served in the American Army as a medical corpsman (stationed in the U.S.) during World War II. After the war, he attended the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and earned a Master’s in Health Education.

 Upon graduation, Norbert relocated to Detroit and accepted a health education position in the late 1940s with the Wayne County TBand Health Society. Adistinguished 30-year career of public health service in the metropolitan Detroit area followed. Norbert served two stints with the TB& Health Society and two with United Community Services (UCS), which at that time was the planning arm of the Detroit United Way. He spent approximately his last 15 years of full-time employment as the UCS health planning chief.

 Norbert was the recipient of many local, state and national awards. Within the TB& Health Society, he was a pioneer in rodent control, mobile screening and other prevention-and-control activities. As part of UCS, among other accomplishments, he led the campaign for fluoridation of Detroit’s water supply and established a community coalition for responding to hypertension. Throughout his career, he championed efforts to educate the public and policymakers of the dangers of smoking, and of using health promotion techniques to reduce society’s acceptance of smoking.

 Thank you.  Please visit www.sophe.org, to learn more about this wonderful organization.  Thank you.  B’H”.  Rest in Peace Grandpa.

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