July 24, 1926 – November 19, 2021
Gilbert Blum of North Hills, NY passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, November 19, 2021. He was 95 years old. Gil was married to the love of his life, Sondra, for 66 years. His family, including four children and their spouses, six grandchildren and their spouses/significant others, two great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews are heartbroken by the loss of the patriarch of their family.
At an early age, Gil had chosen to build a life serving and bettering the lives of others. He loved being an educator. When he became a high school principal (Carey HS 1964-1969; Great Neck South HS 1969-1992) he was honored to have the opportunity to lead and mentor others. Throughout his career, Gil received many accolades and awards, but more important to him were the relationships he had with his colleagues, many of which continued until his death.
Gil’s friends were an essential part of his life and he treated each of them, old and new, the same, as if they were part of his family. Spending time with friends and being around people brought Gil boundless joy.
Gil took great pride in his service to his country as a WWII veteran. Becoming involved with Honor Flight became a central part of Gil’s later years. He loved being part of an organization that gives Veterans the opportunity to visit the memorials built in their honor, in Washington D.C. Over the years, Gil attended many events related to Honor Flight.
Gil also visited local schools on Long Island around Veteran’s Day to share his wartime experiences with students. This became a favorite annual event for him, as he was back in the educational environment he loved.
In 2018 Gil, Sondra, and three of their grandchildren had the privilege of travelling to Germany, primarily to return to Nordhausen, the concentration camp that Gil helped liberate. His Honor Flight friends, along with a film crew, documented the experience. Just two weeks ago, Gil, Sondra, and many of their family and friends gathered to attend a preview of the film “Aftermath”. Part of “Aftermath” highlights various interviews of Gil. A segment specifically dedicated to his return to Nordhausen is also included. This special event truly touched each person in attendance.
All who knew Gil were fortunate to have such a kind and loving man in their lives. He loved fully and unconditionally. He always said that he was “Born Under A Lucky Star”. In his book of remembrances with that title, Gil wrote that each day begins and ends with Sondra in his mind, his beautiful wife (BW) and life partner.
A private service will be held on Friday, December 3, 2021.
Donations in Gil’s honor can be made to Mission Margraten Plus, via text or through the mail. Please specify that your donation is in remembrance of Gil Blum.
Text: WW2GO to 243725
Mailing Address: Mission Margraten Plus C/O Roger Kilfoil 303 DeGraw Street Brooklyn, NY 11231
If you would like information about Mission Margraten Plus, please go to https://www.missionmargratenplus.org/about-us-the-purpose.html
- Mission Margraten Plus
Final Resting Place With Military Honors (PRIVATE SERVICE)
10:30 am - 11:00 am
Long Island National Cemetery
November 30, 2021
In memory of Gil Blum,
Your wisdom and courage will live on in the many hearts and souls that you touched.
I feel blessed to be one of those fortunate souls.
May you rest with the same peace and dignity that you lived your life.
I am honored to keep your memory in my heart.
Dede Berg MacPherson
November 27, 2021
I was a student at H. Frank Carey H.S. ‘68. Mr. Blum was a positive influence to the students and faculty. I am forever grateful to him for allowing me to be a student-teacher at Great Neck South HS. Mr. Blum, thank you for allowing me to have a successful teaching/coaching career.
Gloria Andersen (nee Schor)
November 25, 2021
I did not personally know Mr. Blum, BUT I definitely benefited from the atmosphere of educational freedom that he encouraged in the building. I remember reading books that in other school systems at the time were avoided.
November 24, 2021
I was a student at H. Frank Carey when Mr. Blum was principal. What a wonderful, supportive, positive man. He personally encouraged my artistic pursuits and chose my work for display in his office. His belief in me helped me to pursue a degree in art and work as a fine artist for many years. I hope that his family and friends know that he touched many lives during his career in education, and we are all the richer for it. Rest in Peace.
November 23, 2021
Gil Blum was a true treasure to the H. Frank Carey High School community. It was with deep honor and respect that I was able to include him in the induction ceremony for our school's Wall of Honor for Veterans housed in our main lobby. This former building principal, and true war hero, inspired our students and staff with his fascinating recounts of life in the service during World War II. I'm proud to be able to come to call him friend through our shared experiences. Deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. Thanks so much Gil. The entire Carey family is indebted to you. You will be missed. God speed.
November 22, 2021
Mr. Blum was a treasure who loved coming to our school to speak with our students about his time serving our nation during World War II. I consider myself lucky to have known him and will miss the phone call every October inviting him to our Thank a Veteran event. The lessons he shared with us over the years serve as his greatest legacy. Rest In Peace, Mr. Blum.
November 22, 2021
Mr. Blum’s legacy lives on in South Middle students and faculty with whom he shared his stories of being a World War II veteran. By listening to him, we better understood a historic moment in time, and more importantly, we were inspired to strive to be better people. May his memory be a blessing.
November 22, 2021
Thank you Mr. Blum for fostering such a wonderful learning environment at GNS. For hiring and retaining great teachers, and letting them teach. You were an inspiration.