Herb Beenhouwer led a whole lot of lives. Soldier. Stockbroker. Artwork collector. Artist. Instructor. Cellist.
Finally, family and friends members say, he was a person who regularly gave to his group as a volunteer, donor and mentor — one motive he was named a Santa Fe Dwelling Treasure in 2015.
Beenhouwer died peacefully at his Santa Fe dwelling on Oct. 28, his daughter Cora Harms stated. He was 91.
His daughter stated Beenhouwer cherished volunteering “as a result of he simply felt that’s the way you contribute and take part in your group, that reaching out to people in want is such a significant manner of serving to.”
Longtime pal and Santa Fe muralist Frederico Vigil stated he wasn’t certain what drove Beenhouwer to take action a lot for therefore many, reminiscent of instructing English as a second language to grownup college students with the Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe.
“Possibly it was his escape from the Nazi regime,” Vigil stated, referring to the truth that Beenhouwer, who was born in Amsterdam in 1929, escaped the Netherlands along with his household in 1940 as Hitler’s military occupied the nation.
“I do not know what it was that made him give, however he gave, and he was at all times giving,” Vigil stated. “He at all times discovered time, and he at all times had essentially the most great humor. That was one other grounding attribute: his skill to giggle at issues.”
In a 2015 interview, Beenhouwer stated that as a toddler, he couldn’t foresee the Nazis sending some 100,000 Dutch Jews to focus camps, the place the bulk would die. However he recalled his father driving him to Rotterdam to see a metropolis devastated by German bombs. He and his mother and father knew they needed to get in a foreign country or danger dying there.
As a result of his mom was an American citizen, the household obtained exit visas and left the nation inside two months of German occupation. By the autumn of 1940, Beenhouwer was enrolled in Public Faculty 6 in Brooklyn, N.Y., and America was his new dwelling.
“My life has been predetermined by luck,” he stated in an interview with The New Mexican. “I’ve had success in my life and I attempt to preserve consciousness of it each day.”
Amongst different achievements, Beenhouwer taught philosophy at Santa Fe Excessive Faculty as a volunteer and served on quite a few nonprofit boards, together with as board president of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian and Open Arms.
He first got here to New Mexico as a U.S. Military solder, serving at White Sands Missile Vary through the Korean Warfare. Although he loved his time within the army, he stated he struggled with sustaining his id in an surroundings the place everybody adopted orders and dressed the identical manner each day. Upon being discharged, he determined he would by no means work for a authorities entity once more.
As a substitute, he made his residing as a monetary analyst, a job that give him the effort and time to pursue a wide range of artistic initiatives.
He moved to Santa Fe along with his first spouse, Bernie, in 1972. They each volunteered on the Navajo Group Faculty, now often known as Diné Faculty, beginning a relationship that later led the couple to donate their in depth artwork assortment to the Hopis.
The pair started gathering artwork within the mid-Sixties and continued to take action into the Nineties. Then Beenhouwer started portray and in addition started taking part in the cello.
Thought-about an excellent mind by those that knew him, Beenhouwer additionally had a penchant for puns and corny jokes. One in all his favourite jokes was a few Jewish mom who provides her son two shirts for his birthday. The boy fairly naturally dons one first, main his mother to ask, “So what’s mistaken with the opposite one?”
Buddy Loretta Fernandez, who knew Beenhouwer for years, stated she as soon as informed him she was going to get a tattoo of the Sistine Chapel. He gave her grief about it, telling her it was a foul thought. When she got here again from an appointment to see him once more that day, she discovered him pouring over artwork books with photographs of the Sistine Chapel in it, as if making an attempt to assist her pick the perfect design.
“I did not get the tattoo,” she stated.
Harms stated her father revealed “so many alternative sides of who he was and completely different connections to the group he cherished” by his many actions.
Recalling his work as a tutor to elementary faculty college students within the district, she stated he would work with the identical youngster for years to make sure they had been “getting it.”
“He needed to achieve out to individuals individually on a significant degree after which comply with up with them,” she stated. “He actually caught with individuals. He needed them to succeed.”
Beenhouwer is survived by his second spouse, Susan McGreevy, in addition to 4 kids, three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a brother.