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Henry Kusjanovic passed away suddenly on Friday, January 19, 2024 at his winter home in Florida. Henry was born in Bolivia and came to the United States legally in 1959. At first, he lived in Queens and made a living by parking cars, washing dishes and mopping floors. After that he worked in publishing where he oversaw the Romance Language section. He later brought his brother Teo and his sister Lluviza Kusjanovic to the US. He joined the US Army Reserves and did his basic training in South Carolina and New Jersey. After that he began working in the jewelry business as an apprentice. A few years later he went into business on his own. Henry had many loyal customers who almost always became friends. Many times, we heard him advise a young couple to not spend so much on an engagement ring but save for a house. He would tell them they could always come back in ten years and upgrade for full credit if they were more comfortable then. He would say he was “in the business of selling dreams” not anything anyone really needed. He was one of those trusted people in the diamond business who would be able to get anything he wanted with just a handshake. He helped so many people get started in business. Everyone remembers that he was a good pal and if they needed help he was there. From a janitor to the owner of the largest jewelry store on 47th Street we are overwhelmed with the love, respect, and admiration people have for him and the heartfelt stories they are sharing with us.
In 1982 Henry married Joyce Branca and together they had a good life. In 1984 their son Henry James was born to join his half-sister Dana and half-brother Jason Kriskey. He was an AYSO soccer coach for his son’s team. He was always at his son’s hockey and lacrosse games equipped with a screwdriver, plyers, and tape to fix anything the boys needed repaired. All the boys on the teams regarded him as another father. They are now sharing so many fond memories. Henry loved to run and joined Westchester Road Runners. He and his good friends Jim Downes, Lou Margan, Jim Sullivan and John McIntyre ran seven marathons. Besides running he enjoyed playing chess and taught many young people to play. He also loved classical music and reading the classics in both English and Spanish. His dear friends, the McIntyre family brought Henry skiing for the first time in 1971. After that he enjoyed skiing in many places out west and at the family ski house on Bromley Mountain in Vermont. He shared his love of skiing with his children which now has been handed down to his grandchildren. For many years Henry was concerned about a daughter he had who was given up for adoption in 1963. He tried to find her and always hoped she was okay. Through the new DNA technology by submitting a sample they found each other in August 2019. His prayer was answered…she was fine and raised by a good family in New Jersey. Karen and her daughter Jessica have remained an important part of his life. Henry was ready and willing to help anyone. It didn’t matter if it was a relative or a friend of a friend. He was especially helpful to young people who were just starting out. He always took care of everyone around him.
Henry is survived by his loving wife Joyce, his daughters Dana and Karen, his son Henry James (Elsa), his stepson Jason Kriskey (Virginia), and his godson Maximilian (Marilyn). He is also survived by two grandsons Merrick (17) and Mason (14) and three granddaughters Cassidy (8), Eliza (4) and Aria Rose (2), also his brother Teo and sister- in-law Marlene, his sisters Lluviza and Zorka, his nieces Cindy, Erika, Rosaria, and Carmen and his nephews Michael, Delfin, and Jose Luis. He was predeceased by his nephews Ivan, Nestor and Miguel.
Family and friends are invited to Pleasant Manor Funeral Home, Inc. 575 Columbus Avenue - Thornwood, New York 10594 on Friday, February 2, 2024 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM for visitation. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 10:00 AM at Hillside Church in Armonk. Henry will be laid to rest in his family plot at The Middle Patent Rural Cemetery in Bedford, New York on Saturday, February 3, 2024 after the funeral service at Hillside Church.