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Jun 10, 2019 11:56 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Henry C. Huneken Of Southampton Dies May 26

Jun 11, 2019 1:26 PM

Henry C. Huneken of Southampton, formerly of East Meadow, died May 26, 2019. He was 97.

Born in Germany on February 2, 1922, he came to the United States in 1926 with his parents, the late Bernhard Huneken and Henny (Koerner) Huneken. He was raised in Ridgewood and Glendale, Queens. After high school, he worked for Sinclair Refining Company before enlisting in the Coast Guard in 1942. Drafted into the U.S. Army in July 1944 to fight World War II in the Pacific, he was assigned to the 307th Regiment of the 77th Infantry Division as a rifleman. After the war he married the “girl next door,” Ursula Barzak. They were married 71 years until before her death in June 2018. They had three children. He was a Fuller Brush man in the 1950s, a cabinetmaker, a carpenter and a building inspector.

Mr. Huneken loved playing the harmonica, gardening, boating, fishing and, even into his 80s, continued to build miniature boats, dollhouses and dollhouse furniture. After retirement, he moved full time to Southampton, where he had built a summer home in 1959.

When Mr. Huneken was in his early 80s, he was contacted by several people who wanted to interview him for a documentary about Okinawa and his friend Desmond Doss, the Seventh Day Adventist and medic who refused to carry a gun. As a result of these interviews, he was invited to return to Okinawa and reconnect with some of the other surviving soldiers he served with. Many of his recollections were portrayed in the documentary and again in the movie “Hacksaw Ridge.” For his service he was awarded many medals, including the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon with four Battle Stars and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with Battle Star.

He is survived by his three children, Robert (Nancy), Linda (Patrick McAdam), and Kenneth; six grandchildren, Melissa (Stuart Brown), Susan, Kristen (Peter Foster), Deborah (Carl Brandl), Jason (Nicole), and Robert Jr. (Crystal); five great-grandchildren, Mason, Henry, Blake, Gabrielle and Ellie. He is also survived by step-granddaughter Tracey (Ian Doull) and their three children, Fiona, Alec and Cameron.

A funeral service took place on June 3 at Brockett Funeral Home Southampton, followed by a military burial at Calverton National Cemetery.

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