Herb Beenhouwer led a variety of lives. Soldier. Stockbroker. Artwork collector. Artist. Instructor. Cellist.
In the end, family and friends members say, he was a person who regularly gave to his group as a volunteer, donor and mentor — one cause he was named a Santa Fe Residing Treasure in 2015.
Beenhouwer died peacefully at his Santa Fe residence on Oct. 28, his daughter, Cora Harms, mentioned. He was 91.
His daughter mentioned 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 means of serving to.”
Longtime good friend and Santa Fe muralist Frederico Vigil mentioned he wasn’t certain what drove Beenhouwer to take action a lot for therefore many, resembling educating 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 mentioned, referring to the truth that Beenhouwer, who was born in Amsterdam, escaped the Netherlands together 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 mentioned. “He at all times discovered time, and he at all times had essentially the most great humor. That was one other grounding attribute — his potential to giggle at issues.”
In a 2015 interview, Beenhouwer mentioned that as a baby, 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 another country or threat 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, and America was his new residence.
“My life has been predetermined by luck,” he mentioned in an interview with The New Mexican. “I’ve had success in my life and I attempt to keep consciousness of it daily.”
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 Palms.
He first got here to New Mexico as a U.S. Military solder, serving at White Sands Missile Vary through the Korean Struggle. Although he loved his time within the navy, he mentioned he additionally struggled with sustaining his identification in an atmosphere the place everybody adopted orders and dressed the identical means daily. Upon being discharged, he determined he would by no means work for a authorities entity once more.
As a substitute, he made his dwelling as a monetary analyst, a job that give him the effort and time to pursue quite a lot of inventive initiatives.
He moved to Santa Fe together with his first spouse, Bernie, in 1972. They each volunteered on the Navajo Neighborhood Faculty, now generally known as Diné Faculty, beginning a relationship that later led the couple to donate their intensive 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 likewise started taking part in the cello.
Thought of an excellent mind by those that knew him, Beenhouwer additionally had a penchant for puns and corny jokes. Certainly one of his favourite jokes was a couple of 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 fallacious with the opposite one?”
Pal Loretta Fernandez, who knew Beenhouwer for years, mentioned she as soon as advised him she was going to get a tattoo of the Sistine Chapel. He gave her grief about it, telling her it was a nasty concept. 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 attempting to assist her select the perfect design.
“I did not get the tattoo,” she mentioned.
Harms mentioned her father revealed “so many various 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 college college students within the district, she mentioned he would work with the identical little one for years to make sure they had been “getting it.”
“He needed to succeed in out to folks individually on a significant stage after which observe up with them,” she mentioned. “He actually caught with folks. He needed them to succeed.”
Beenhouwer is survived by his second spouse, Susan McGreevy, in addition to 4 youngsters, three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a brother.