Dr. Henry Linker

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Dr. Henry Linker

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA, United States
Death: June 18, 2016 (93)
Berkeley, Alameda County, CA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Aaron Linker
Husband of Eva Babette Linker
Father of Private; Private; Private; Private; Private and 1 other

Occupation: Optometrist
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Dr. Henry Linker

El Cerrito resident Henry Linker passed away on June 18, 2016 in Berkeley, California at the age of ninety-three. He is deeply missed by his family, friends, and the community he served. He is survived by his children Anita Linker, Fred Linker (Mary Fran Miller), Sherry Linker, Deborah Howe (Christopher Howe, died in 2015), Larry Linker, and Joel Linker; his grandchildren Rachel Benedict (John Benedict), Elizabeth Howe, Warren Howe, Amy Linker, and Cindy Linker; and his great-grandchild, Mila Benedict. Henry was preceded in death by his beloved wife of sixty-three years, Eva Linker, in 2011.

Henry's parents—Aaron and Sarah—were both born in the town of Csercs, Hungary. They married in 1908 and had three children. Aaron immigrated to the United States alone around 1912. He settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood. After several years, Aaron earned enough to send for the rest of his family. Henry was born in Pittsburgh on April 29, 1923, followed by his sister, Ellen. The family spoke Yiddish at home and Henry didn’t learn to speak English until he went to public school at age five. Henry grew up very poor, although Henry said that he did not think of himself as poor.

Henry attended the University of Pittsburgh from 1941 to 1943. He was drafted into the Navy, where he served from1943 to 1945. Later, a visit to an optometrist for his own eyesight encouraged him to become an optometrist himself. He enrolled in the University of California in 1945. He met Eva Straus in Berkeley, where she was studying nursing. Eva was an emigre who had fled Germany with her family to escape the Nazis. Henry graduated in 1948 with a degree in optometry, and he and Eva were married that same year. After the family's move to Richmond, California, Henry established a optometry practice, where he worked until he retired in 1997 at the age of seventy-five.

Henry acted on his commitment to social justice and inspired his synagogue to help found the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) in 1965. GRIP provides food, vocational training and emergency housing for homeless families. Henry also helped found the National Institute of Arts and Disabilities (NIAD), which helps people with special needs. He was active in other community groups, including the California Autism Foundation, the Human Relations Commission, and Alzheimer's Respite and Adult Day Care. He was a member of the Kiwanis for over sixty years. He joined the Flying Doctors; a group that flew to Mexico to provide medical services in impoverished communities. Henry would give vision tests and provide donated eyeglasses.

Judaism was a dominant theme in Henry's life. Henry and Eva were founding members of Temple Beth Hillel in Richmond, California. Henry loved going to weekly Torah study sessions, and many in the temple admired his extensive knowledge of Judaism. Henry also played the shofar on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a skill he learned from his father. Henry led the family's Pesach Seders, Hanukkah celebrations, and Shabbat on Friday nights.

Henry and Eva shared a wonderful life together. In later years they often traveled to different parts of the world. Henry loved classical music, folk music, operettas, and the theater. He played the mandolin and the harmonica, and wrote short stories. He loved discussing politics, reading, telling jokes and puns, and learning new things. Henry was kind, generous, intellectual and eloquent. He was known for his integrity and humor.

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Dr. Henry Linker's Timeline

April 23, 1923
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA, United States
June 18, 2016
Age 93
Berkeley, Alameda County, CA, United States