Jewish 09

Harold L Hurwitz

April 15, 1928 ~ July 21, 2022 (age 94)


Harold Louis Hurwitz died July 21, 2022. He was 94. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 20 years Cathleen Hill Hurwitz, sons Herbert Hurwitz of Woodside, Calif. and Edward Hurwitz of Atherton, Calif., daughter in law Sharon Lichtenfeld Hurwitz; grandchildren Zachary, Cassidy, and Chase Hurwitz of Atherton; his niece Susan Hirsh Spira of Lake Havasu Ariz., and nephew Richard Hirsh of Washington, Pa. He was predeceased by his first wife Rita Chazan Hurwitz, his sister Vivian Hirsh nee Hurwitz, and his beloved nephew Louis Hirsh.

Born April 15, 1928, Harold is best known for his dedication to the values of family, self-reliance, and his Jewish faith. Aside from a few years in the military and then in State College, he lived his entire life in his beloved Williamsport.

As for many of his generation, his values were strongly influenced by the Great Depression and the struggles of that era. His mother Pearl Pechter arrived in 1913 as a young teenager at Ellis Island, fleeing the poverty and antisemitism of Eastern Europe. She joined a few family members who were established in Williamsport and Central Pennsylvania, who had recently arrived as peddlers with a horse and cart and later a small dry goods store. She later met her husband Meyer, who also emigrated from Eastern Europe, and they had two children: Vivian and Harold. They lived above a small grocery store at the corner of Second and Campbell streets. There was an outhouse in the back and one trunk line phone in the neighborhood. The Great Depression hit in 1929. In January of 1936, during one of the coldest winters on record, Meyer died of Tuberculosis after months in the Allenwood TB sanitarium. In March of 1936 the Great Williamsport flood destroyed much of the town, including the store that the family depended on.

Despite these challenges, somehow the family carried on. Harold helped stock and run the family’s corner grocery store. He took pride in always having a side job, including mowing the grass on the hills of Wildwood Cemetery before the days of motorized, let alone riding, mowers, washing dishes at Fry’s Turkey Ranch in Steam Valley, and working the meat counter at Weis Market. In 1945 he graduated from Williamsport Area High School, where he found time to be involved in the school yearbook and school plays. He also made time to enjoy swimming in the local Lycoming and Loyalsock Creeks and Susquehanna River.

He was 13 when the United States entered World War II, too young to serve, but old enough to be involved in local civil service efforts, and to work as a manual laborer for the Maritime Administration. During the war, many family members were lost in the Holocaust. A few escaped to settle in Israel. Harold and his family helped then as they were able, and Harold has continued.

He was drafted in 1950, during the Korean War, undergoing basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina and then serving two years in the Finance Corp at Fort Belvoir, Md.. He took pride in hitch hiking home nearly every weekend to help with family responsibilities.

He graduated from Lycoming College in 1955, where he majored in accounting. Shortly after, he joined the IRS regional office in State College, where he frequently audited large local businesses. This provided him with what he later appreciated as foundational lessons on how to evaluate the strengths and problems of business of many sizes; these lessons guided his lifelong career as a successful investor in the stock market and real estate. This also provided him with insights into how society worked and reinforced in him the values of self-sufficiency and the need to follow one’s conscience and forge one’s own path in life. He lived by the virtues of frugality, simplicity, and hard work.

In 1961, Harold married Rita Chazan and the couple started a family in State College, Pa. Their two sons benefited from the strong work ethic and the emphasis on education they instilled. Herbert is a retired oncologist at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina; Edward, who started his career as a lawyer, is currently a Managing Director of MPM Capital, a highly successful biotech venture capital firm.

Harold and his family returned to Williamsport in the mid-1960s and Harold founded Taxes Limited, LLC, a private accounting practice. He enjoyed helping people manage the complex and stressful aspects of their taxes and financial planning. Many clients became lifelong friends. He purchased the famed Weightman house at 1005 West Fourth Street as an office and rental unit. A believer in the importance of land and farming, he was able over his lifetime to purchase several farm properties. He was always careful to keep rents low and to give every courtesy to his tenants, who greatly respected him for this trait. Harold was also a founding director of the Woodlands Bank where he also served on its Trust Committee.

Harold was a proud member of the Ohev Sholom Synagogue and attended services regularly when his health permitted. His faith and family gave him much comfort and purpose throughout his life. He knew the value of hard work and careful study. He never forgot his roots or his values, which motivated his philanthropy. In honor of his mother, he established the Pearl Pechter Hurwitz Charitable Fund to care for the poor, particularly Jewish refugees from Russia in Israel and the US.

He will be greatly missed.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Maneval Allen Redmond Funeral Home.

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July 22, 2022

1:00 PM
Ohev Shalom Cemetery, Montoursville

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