Memories (contributions welcome)

Guestbook

Please say hello and share your memories of Henry using the digital guestbook below. You will receive an email once your entry has posted. Note: this guestbook can accept images if you wish to link to a picture involving Henry. If you do wish to share a photo, you can use “insert image” in the top of the guestbook editor and supply a web link to an image online.


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16 entries.
Norm Scott Norm Scott from Tucson wrote on April 6, 2018 at 2:26 pm:
Henry was a special person. My first interaction with Henry was in 1987 when I was invited by the University of Arizona to interview for the position of Vice President for Agriculture. During that process, I was privileged to meet President Henry Koffler. He exhibited then, as always, a profound and sincere interest in my thoughts and vision for agricultural sciences. Beyond a technical and science discussion, he exhibited a personal warmth that was remarkably genuine that I remember to this day. I did not accept the position but then in 2006 it was so wonderful to reconnect with Henry and Phyllis here at The Academy Village and become a part of his dream!
Henry was a special person. My first interaction with Henry was in 1987 when I was invited by the University of Arizona to interview for the position of Vice President for Agriculture. During that process, I was privileged to meet President Henry Koffler. He exhibited then, as always, a profound and sincere interest in my thoughts and vision for agricultural sciences. Beyond a technical and science discussion, he exhibited a personal warmth that was remarkably genuine that I remember to this day. I did not accept the position but then in 2006 it was so wonderful to reconnect with Henry and Phyllis here at The Academy Village and become a part of his dream!
Jon Dudas Jon Dudas from Tucson wrote on March 31, 2018 at 12:35 am:
President Koffler was an accomplished leader, a kind spirit and an incredible mentor. I was blessed to have gotten to know him after I joined the University of Arizona administration. During lunches at Vivace, he had a steady stream of admirers and well wishers. He seemed to have a positive effect on everyone with whom he met. I will miss him along with so many people whom he guided,
President Koffler was an accomplished leader, a kind spirit and an incredible mentor. I was blessed to have gotten to know him after I joined the University of Arizona administration. During lunches at Vivace, he had a steady stream of admirers and well wishers. He seemed to have a positive effect on everyone with whom he met. I will miss him along with so many people whom he guided,
Jed and Suzanne Kee Jed and Suzanne Kee from Warnemรผnde, Germany wrote on March 29, 2018 at 12:32 am:
We do not have the detailed knowledge of Henry Koffler that others might have, the early residents of Academy Village and University of Arizona faculty, but in the eight years we were in Academy Village we came to know, appreciate and love Henry and Phyllis for all that they have done in their lives and for the Village. Henryโ€™s vision of Academy Village was remarkable. He barnstormed the country to sell his ideas and eventually risked his own assets to sustain it. While modifications in design have occurred over time, as necessary, the central vision remains intact: aging in place, with continual learning and health care options, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and interesting neighbors. There is no other retirement model like Academy Village; it is what drew us and so many others to the Rincon foothills. Henry and Phyllis were surrogate father and mother to a wide range of students and faculty. The number of individuals Henry befriended and his support for talented individuals, in education and the arts, elevated the University of Arizona and also made it possible for the Arizona Senior Academy to attract great speakers and exciting musical artists. The debt we owe to Henry is enormous. His legacy is a thriving community and a retirement model that may prove the gold standard for the future. He will be missed.
We do not have the detailed knowledge of Henry Koffler that others might have, the early residents of Academy Village and University of Arizona faculty, but in the eight years we were in Academy Village we came to know, appreciate and love Henry and Phyllis for all that they have done in their lives and for the Village. Henryโ€™s vision of Academy Village was remarkable. He barnstormed the country to sell his ideas and eventually risked his own assets to sustain it. While modifications in design have occurred over time, as necessary, the central vision remains intact: aging in place, with continual learning and health care options, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and interesting neighbors. There is no other retirement model like Academy Village; it is what drew us and so many others to the Rincon foothills. Henry and Phyllis were surrogate father and mother to a wide range of students and faculty. The number of individuals Henry befriended and his support for talented individuals, in education and the arts, elevated the University of Arizona and also made it possible for the Arizona Senior Academy to attract great speakers and exciting musical artists. The debt we owe to Henry is enormous. His legacy is a thriving community and a retirement model that may prove the gold standard for the future. He will be missed.
Joanne M. Adams Joanne M. Adams from Tucson wrote on March 26, 2018 at 11:48 pm:
I was SO sad to learn of Dr. Koffler's death. I worked for him several years ago for a short time (perhaps 8 months or so) as a secretary. Even then when I saw Phyllis, she would remind me that she was a wee bit older than he! Every time I saw him, he remembered me. I loved his smile and his silly sense of humor! Most of all, I respected the passion he had for everything he was truly interested in -- Academy Village being one of his passions. The few times I've been able to attend Academy Village, I always loved going when there was a concert, as I knew most likely I'd see Dr. Koffler, who was passionate about music! I will miss him, yet I am so thankful that I have mostly wonderful memories of him. He truly cared about people, and he had passion for life. Dear Phyllis, take one day at a time and know that we all love you! Warmly, Joanne [Leonard] Adams
I was SO sad to learn of Dr. Koffler's death. I worked for him several years ago for a short time (perhaps 8 months or so) as a secretary. Even then when I saw Phyllis, she would remind me that she was a wee bit older than he! Every time I saw him, he remembered me. I loved his smile and his silly sense of humor! Most of all, I respected the passion he had for everything he was truly interested in -- Academy Village being one of his passions. The few times I've been able to attend Academy Village, I always loved going when there was a concert, as I knew most likely I'd see Dr. Koffler, who was passionate about music! I will miss him, yet I am so thankful that I have mostly wonderful memories of him. He truly cared about people, and he had passion for life. Dear Phyllis, take one day at a time and know that we all love you! Warmly, Joanne [Leonard] Adams
Norma Slone Norma Slone from Tucson wrote on March 25, 2018 at 6:16 am:
My friend Dr. Henry Koffler passed away at 95 Walking into his office to meet him for the first time in 1986 I felt my idea would appeal to him because we would have a rapport, as hanging on the walls were my favorite Tucson artists! As a past president of Angel Charity for Children, I had knowledge of the Steele family trust to fund medical and education before it was probated. I thought why not approach the trust for approximately $2 million that the U of A hospital wanted for childrenโ€™s research. I felt if we offered a naming opportunity we could ask for the full amount. Henry was receptive, and I really liked him. UA presented to the Trust and was given the 2 mil -- the equivalent of 6 mil today. While I was on the hospital board, the advisory board for the Childrenโ€™s Research Center asked to increase the goal to $7 million. In essence the $2 million in funds would be used as seed money to reach the projectโ€™s new goal. I voted yes, reasoning that with $2 million in pocket we would have the credibility to reach the $7 million goal for the Steele Memorial Childrenโ€™s Research Center. Henry, in jest at a UA basketball game when Steve Kerr was playing, said: โ€œIn my dream I dreamed I was running the length of the basketball court with the breeze blowing through my hair, and the crowd was screaming Henry Kofffffffler!โ€ Henry Koffler appreciated creativity and dreamers because he was one himself!
My friend Dr. Henry Koffler passed away at 95 Walking into his office to meet him for the first time in 1986 I felt my idea would appeal to him because we would have a rapport, as hanging on the walls were my favorite Tucson artists! As a past president of Angel Charity for Children, I had knowledge of the Steele family trust to fund medical and education before it was probated. I thought why not approach the trust for approximately $2 million that the U of A hospital wanted for childrenโ€™s research. I felt if we offered a naming opportunity we could ask for the full amount. Henry was receptive, and I really liked him. UA presented to the Trust and was given the 2 mil -- the equivalent of 6 mil today. While I was on the hospital board, the advisory board for the Childrenโ€™s Research Center asked to increase the goal to $7 million. In essence the $2 million in funds would be used as seed money to reach the projectโ€™s new goal. I voted yes, reasoning that with $2 million in pocket we would have the credibility to reach the $7 million goal for the Steele Memorial Childrenโ€™s Research Center. Henry, in jest at a UA basketball game when Steve Kerr was playing, said: โ€œIn my dream I dreamed I was running the length of the basketball court with the breeze blowing through my hair, and the crowd was screaming Henry Kofffffffler!โ€ Henry Koffler appreciated creativity and dreamers because he was one himself!
Ingvi Kallen Ingvi Kallen from Tucson wrote on March 20, 2018 at 10:47 pm:
I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Dr. Koffler that well, but I will miss him and will hold kind memories of him. I always appreciated his sincere and active support of music. He would regularly attend our symphony concerts, especially the annual President's Concert, as well as faculty recitals. I would also run into him at TSO concerts and UA Presents performances. It always made me happy to see him. I also had the honor of sharing lunch with him after a couple of recitals at the Arizona Senior Academy, and his sense of humor was delightful. I really enjoyed how he laughed so hard at a couple of jokes that I told him. He was full of contagious, positive energy. I will miss him.
I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Dr. Koffler that well, but I will miss him and will hold kind memories of him. I always appreciated his sincere and active support of music. He would regularly attend our symphony concerts, especially the annual President's Concert, as well as faculty recitals. I would also run into him at TSO concerts and UA Presents performances. It always made me happy to see him. I also had the honor of sharing lunch with him after a couple of recitals at the Arizona Senior Academy, and his sense of humor was delightful. I really enjoyed how he laughed so hard at a couple of jokes that I told him. He was full of contagious, positive energy. I will miss him.
harvey wolfe harvey wolfe from Tucson wrote on March 20, 2018 at 10:42 pm:
Whenever I came to play at the Senior Academy, chamber music or cello recital, Henry was there with his wonderful smile--and his wife, with her shining blue eyes. They were always cordial to us, and we would enjoy reminiscing about the time they spent in Cleveland, decades ago. A great loss.
Whenever I came to play at the Senior Academy, chamber music or cello recital, Henry was there with his wonderful smile--and his wife, with her shining blue eyes. They were always cordial to us, and we would enjoy reminiscing about the time they spent in Cleveland, decades ago. A great loss.
Theodore G. Tong, UA College of Pharmacy Theodore G. Tong, UA College of Pharmacy from Tucson wrote on March 20, 2018 at 9:23 pm:
Dr. Koffler will be missed and remembered well. It was a memorable experience and opportunity to have been so warmly touched by his spirited, thoughtful and generous presence among his University of Arizona โ€œWildcats For Lifeโ€ family. The legacy of his contributions to the interest and pursuit of scholarly excellence and academic leadership service will be his enduring achievement.
Dr. Koffler will be missed and remembered well. It was a memorable experience and opportunity to have been so warmly touched by his spirited, thoughtful and generous presence among his University of Arizona โ€œWildcats For Lifeโ€ family. The legacy of his contributions to the interest and pursuit of scholarly excellence and academic leadership service will be his enduring achievement.
Mari Stitt Mari Stitt from Tucson wrote on March 20, 2018 at 9:22 pm:
Henry Koffler was being interviewed on NPR when my daughter heard him as she commuted to work. She phoned me in the mountains because it seemed a good fit for me. We flew here for the first conference. I reluctantly put our Wildlife Preserve on the market timed to the building schedule. Turn of the century. The Zeigers, Harrisons, Norris and others met in Tucson during the nine months delay, our furniture stored. Henry's perseverance saw his dream come true in spite of setbacks that would have depleted anyone else -- the loss of Lloyd Lewis's expertise and backing, the bankruptcy, etc. I was 77 years old, determined to live this last life phase as a contemplative, grateful to Henry for making it possible.
Henry Koffler was being interviewed on NPR when my daughter heard him as she commuted to work. She phoned me in the mountains because it seemed a good fit for me. We flew here for the first conference. I reluctantly put our Wildlife Preserve on the market timed to the building schedule. Turn of the century. The Zeigers, Harrisons, Norris and others met in Tucson during the nine months delay, our furniture stored. Henry's perseverance saw his dream come true in spite of setbacks that would have depleted anyone else -- the loss of Lloyd Lewis's expertise and backing, the bankruptcy, etc. I was 77 years old, determined to live this last life phase as a contemplative, grateful to Henry for making it possible.
Yetta and Ken Goodman Yetta and Ken Goodman from Tucson wrote on March 20, 2018 at 9:21 pm:
The news of Henryโ€™s death is received with profound sadness. Henry became president of the University of Arizona a few years after Ken and I become professors there in the College of Education. Henry's dream about Academy Village has enriched our lives and so many others in many ways, and we have been colleagues and friends ever since. To Phyllis who has been a major part of our lives here we send our love and support and wish her well.
The news of Henryโ€™s death is received with profound sadness. Henry became president of the University of Arizona a few years after Ken and I become professors there in the College of Education. Henry's dream about Academy Village has enriched our lives and so many others in many ways, and we have been colleagues and friends ever since. To Phyllis who has been a major part of our lives here we send our love and support and wish her well.
Ellen Poulson Ellen Poulson from Tucson wrote on March 20, 2018 at 9:19 pm:
An early memory with Henry: It was when he gathered a core group together in Tucson to plan and shape the future Academy Village. The concept was exciting to hear about as he described some of what the village would be like. The meetings were held in an office building on Speedway near the university. He planned an outing to this property and we gathered at the Country Store which seemed very far from town. From there we were taken by jeep train, hair blowing in the wind as if we were on an African Safari, to this acreage. Bouncing wildly, we drove slowly across the desert until vacating the jeeps to go further on foot. It was difficult to conceive that this would become a place with roads, homes and large buildings for the Community Center and the ASA, plus swimming pool, tennis court, exercise classes, concerts and lectures! It was a jolly crowd and as always our gracious host provided us with a bit of nourishment and lemonade. At that time, I was already living in Tucson, deeply involved and was not ready to move. It seemed wise to wait and see if this idea really was going to develop. With all of the problems that came along the way, the dream has developed into this beautiful reality.
An early memory with Henry: It was when he gathered a core group together in Tucson to plan and shape the future Academy Village. The concept was exciting to hear about as he described some of what the village would be like. The meetings were held in an office building on Speedway near the university. He planned an outing to this property and we gathered at the Country Store which seemed very far from town. From there we were taken by jeep train, hair blowing in the wind as if we were on an African Safari, to this acreage. Bouncing wildly, we drove slowly across the desert until vacating the jeeps to go further on foot. It was difficult to conceive that this would become a place with roads, homes and large buildings for the Community Center and the ASA, plus swimming pool, tennis court, exercise classes, concerts and lectures! It was a jolly crowd and as always our gracious host provided us with a bit of nourishment and lemonade. At that time, I was already living in Tucson, deeply involved and was not ready to move. It seemed wise to wait and see if this idea really was going to develop. With all of the problems that came along the way, the dream has developed into this beautiful reality.
Marcia Neugebauer Marcia Neugebauer from Tucson wrote on March 20, 2018 at 9:15 pm:
My husband and I moved here 16 years ago because of what Henry promised to his audiences as he traveled the country recruiting for Academy Village. It seemed infinitely better than the Florida retirement community where my parents lived. Most of Henryโ€™s promises have been fulfilled, and I plan to stay here the rest of my life.
My husband and I moved here 16 years ago because of what Henry promised to his audiences as he traveled the country recruiting for Academy Village. It seemed infinitely better than the Florida retirement community where my parents lived. Most of Henryโ€™s promises have been fulfilled, and I plan to stay here the rest of my life.
Robert C. Robbins. president, University of Arizona Robert C. Robbins. president, University of Arizona from Tucson wrote on March 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm:
I am so grateful that I was able to spend some time with President Koffler and learn from him as I joined the UA community. He was a superior intellect and a very sweet and caring man. We had the same physician, and I saw him often and greatly enjoyed our conversations and his handwritten letters. I tell people everywhere that we must instill a love of lifelong learning in our students, and I can think of no better example than the way President Koffler pursued new ideas and forms of engagement through his entire life. His pilates regimen was impressive and his artwork is incredible, with an exhibit on display right now at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. He did amazing things for the University, and he's a great inspiration for all of us. I know he will be fondly remembered by the Wildcat family for years to come.
I am so grateful that I was able to spend some time with President Koffler and learn from him as I joined the UA community. He was a superior intellect and a very sweet and caring man. We had the same physician, and I saw him often and greatly enjoyed our conversations and his handwritten letters. I tell people everywhere that we must instill a love of lifelong learning in our students, and I can think of no better example than the way President Koffler pursued new ideas and forms of engagement through his entire life. His pilates regimen was impressive and his artwork is incredible, with an exhibit on display right now at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. He did amazing things for the University, and he's a great inspiration for all of us. I know he will be fondly remembered by the Wildcat family for years to come.
Carla Nelson Carla Nelson from Tucson wrote on March 20, 2018 at 1:40 am:
I had a delightful time designing this web site. It almost let me imagine that Henry was still alive down the street, and we were still sharing about the lecture series he hoped to give. That was sweet. I will come back later and add my own Henry memories.๐ŸŒˆ
I had a delightful time designing this web site. It almost let me imagine that Henry was still alive down the street, and we were still sharing about the lecture series he hoped to give. That was sweet. I will come back later and add my own Henry memories.๐ŸŒˆ
Gary Fenstermacher, Gary Fenstermacher, from Tucson wrote on March 19, 2018 at 8:31 pm:
Henry Koffler believed that a life well lived does not end in retirement. He proudly would describe the Arizona Senior Academy as one of his greatest accomplishments. He was instrumental is assembling a community of creative individuals who are committed to continuing growth and sharing a productive and challenging life. And it is rewarding to know that this community ultimately served him and Phyllis well.
Henry Koffler believed that a life well lived does not end in retirement. He proudly would describe the Arizona Senior Academy as one of his greatest accomplishments. He was instrumental is assembling a community of creative individuals who are committed to continuing growth and sharing a productive and challenging life. And it is rewarding to know that this community ultimately served him and Phyllis well.
Mike Maharry Mike Maharry from Tucson wrote on March 19, 2018 at 1:53 am:
Those of us who live in Academy Village and belong to the Arizona Senior Academy owe an incalculable debt of gratitude to Henry Koffler. Because of Henry, we live in a community that attracts people who are ready to retire from work, but not from life. Henry dreamed of a community where weekly concerts and lectures enriched our lives, where health care support and fitness training were not just available but encouraged, and where residents could participate in the governance of their own community. Looking back at Henryโ€™s long and illustrious life, we are happy to remember that Henry and Phyllis were able to take full advantage of the post-retirement dream he made possible for the rest of us. Mike Maharry, Academy Village resident and vice president, Arizona Senior Academy
Those of us who live in Academy Village and belong to the Arizona Senior Academy owe an incalculable debt of gratitude to Henry Koffler. Because of Henry, we live in a community that attracts people who are ready to retire from work, but not from life. Henry dreamed of a community where weekly concerts and lectures enriched our lives, where health care support and fitness training were not just available but encouraged, and where residents could participate in the governance of their own community. Looking back at Henryโ€™s long and illustrious life, we are happy to remember that Henry and Phyllis were able to take full advantage of the post-retirement dream he made possible for the rest of us. Mike Maharry, Academy Village resident and vice president, Arizona Senior Academy