June 30, 1922 – January 10, 2018
Daniel Kornberg, 95, died on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. He was surrounded by his family at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, New London, CT, and died peacefully.
Dan lived an amazing life, a quintessentially American story. He was born in 1922 in the Bronx to Jewish immigrants from the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. He came of age during the Great Depression, and his parents Esther and Adolph made ends meet largely as tailors, supporting Dan and his two younger brothers, Paul and Philmore. He loved tinkering with radios, soon after they were invented, building sets out of old parts he found. You could still see the passion in his eyes when many years later he talked about getting the crystal to interact with the wires just so.
This passion came in handy as he matured into a young man when, on December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States joined the Second World War. Dan trained as a radio operator and was sent to the Pacific Theater, where he served in New Guinea and the Philippines from 1943-1945 as a Technical Sergeant. There are incredible pictures of him in his olive drab fatigues surrounded by New Guinean natives, a young man astounded by the wonders of the world that this war allowed him to see. When the war ended in the Pacific in August 1945, Dan was sent to Yokohama Harbor where he witnessed the surrender of the Japanese aboard a battleship. For the rest of his life he remained stunned recalling the clouds of American aircraft patrolling the skies, so thick they obscured the sun. He remained in Japan for the next several months, something he would complain about for decades afterwards, as all he wanted to do was go home.
He did go home to New York, where he studied accounting, receiving his MBA from New York University and then becoming a CPA. He met his wife Florence, and had two children: Allan, in 1954, and Susan in 1957. They moved to the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, where they lived until 1968 before moving to Long Island. During these years, and for decades after as his children went to college and found careers, Dan continued working as an accountant, helping companies as well as individuals, not stopping this work completely until he was in his 80s. Daniel and Florence moved to Connecticut, and later Florida where they retired as their grandchildren, Dylan and Jessica, were born in 1993 and 1996 respectively. Florence died in December of 2015, and Dan moved into a retirement home in Connecticut. Until his last weeks he was very mobile, and you could still be dazzled for hours listening to him tell stories about America and his life.
Dan was a member of the generation that carried out some of the greatest achievements of our nation's history: defeating Hitler and the Imperial Japanese, launching humanity into the Space Age, and building the United States' industry, wealth, and influence to levels never before dreamed possible. A deeply caring man, he lived a long and impactful life, touching many, starting with his family. He will be greatly missed.