Walter Borenstein, 95, of Heritage Village in Southbury, CT, passed away peacefully at the River Glen Health Care Center in Southbury on Friday September 2, 2022. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Audrey Borenstein, who passed away in 2021.
Walter was born on March 31, 1927, to Morris J. and Lillian (Ross) Borenstein, in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Townsend Harris High School in New York in 1942, and entered The City College of New York, joining the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1946. He received his BA, MA, and PhD from the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana.
Walter became a college professor of Spanish languages at Louisiana State University, then joined the faculty at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, before moving to the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1969, where he became a Full Professor and then Chairman of the Department of Foreign Languages. Walter taught at SUNY New Paltz until his full retirement in 1999 and was a founder of the internationally renowned Language Immersion Institute at SUNY New Paltz. He was a Ford Foundation Fellow and the translator of several of the most important works of Spanish literature, was an Editor of the North American Review, and was the author of numerous short stories including honorable mention for the best short story of 1967.
Walter met his future wife Audrey Farrell at the University of Illinois, and they married in 1953, raising a family while living in Baton Rouge, LA, Mount Vernon, IA, and then New Paltz, NY, before settling in Southbury. He is survived by his son Jeffrey and his wife Mary of West Roxbury, MA, his daughter Shari Giacoma and her husband Carl of Bethel, CT, and four grandchildren: Janie and her husband Marc Hagopian, Alexander Giacoma, Benjamin Borenstein and Ariel Giacoma. He is also survived by three great-grandchildren: Kevin, Sarah, and Lucy Hagopian.
In addition to his passion for teaching and research, Walter was an extraordinarily devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and was a role model for all his family members. He was known for his keen intellect and wit, and his creative contributions extended beyond his role as a teacher where he inspired generations of students as a wise and compassionate advisor. At Heritage Village in Southbury, Walter delivered a total of 17 lectures at the Adventures in Ideas seminar series, where villagers would flock to hear his perspective on a wide range of fascinating topics. Up until his last few months, Walter continued to work on his translations and on his lifelong passion for teaching and learning.
Walter will be laid to rest at a graveside burial at the New Paltz Rural Cemetery on Friday September 9, 2022 at 11:00 A.M.
Munson Lovetere Funeral Home assisted with Walter’s arrangements. To leave an online condolence please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com.