George Roniger


12:30 am
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Mt. Eden Cemetery
20 Commerce Street
Hawthorne, New York, United States

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Larchmont Temple
75 Larchmont Ave.
Larchmont, New York, United States
Funeral Service

Obituary of George Paul Roniger

George Paul Roniger passed away on June 22 while receiving hospice care at Greenwich
Hospital in Greenwich, CT, at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Suzanne
(Sue) Roniger, daughters Lori Roniger and Amber (Lisa) Roniger, son-in-law Nathan Hays, and
grandchildren Pita and Judy Elhauge-Roniger. He is predeceased by his parents Egon and
Gisele Roniger.
Born in Vienna, George left Austria with his family at age 2 fleeing the Nazis, his father going
ahead in 1938 to get settled in New York City before George and his mom arrived in 1939 after
having spent Kristallnacht in Vienna. While in Vienna, his aunt would take him on errands with
her, as she was less likely to get hassled by police that way. Having been living a working
class/middle class life in Vienna, with his father a traveling salesman and his mother a legal
secretary before she was forced to quit working while pregnant, George’s family settled in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as poor refugees not knowing English. Other family members from
Vienna joined them in New York, some with harrowing escape stories.
George grew up surrounded by Jewish German-speaking family and friends, many of them
“aunts” who were his mother’s sisters or family-like friends and their husbands who had
recently fled Austria or Germany. George and his family enjoyed his mother’s Eastern European
cooking, including goulash and chocolate kugelhupf cake.
In New York, George’s father initially worked as a janitor for a bank, and his parents worked in
factories and eventually ran one, although not very successfully. While George’s childhood was
not the most fun, as his parents struggled with economic concerns, George enjoyed playing
stickball in the streets in his neighborhoods. After living in successively less terrible
apartments, when George was a teenager, his parents were able to buy a home in a new
housing development in Bayside, Queens, where other Jewish families were moving.

George excelled in school, graduating from the Stuyvesant High School, the academically-
focused public magnet school, at age 16. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree in

economics from Queens College at age 20, and completed all doctorate coursework in
economics but his dissertation by age 24 from Columbia University (finishing his dissertation in
his early 30s).
George enjoyed music, and as a teenager played piano and accordion in a band in the Catskills
over the summer. While attending Columbia, a friend set him up on a blind date with Sue, who
found him to be adventurous and different from the other men she had dated. Around 16
months later, they got married in January, went skiing in Vermont for their honeymoon, and
moved to Easton, PA, where George got a job as an economics professor at Lafayette College
and Sue was able to finish her final semester of college as the first female student there.
After that, they lived in the Washington, DC, area, where George worked for government
organizations, including the Committee for Economic Development. They returned to the New
York City area when George was offered a job at Citibank. George and Sue then bought a
house in Larchmont, where they lived for more than 50 years and raised their kids. At Citibank,
George worked in areas including public and community affairs and was involved in programs
designed to improve the financial health of New York City.
As an adult, George enjoyed traveling around the world, including in Asia, Africa, and Latin
America, camping, visiting National Parks, and skiing with his wife and their kids and
grandkids. George found joy in hiking and being surrounded by nature. One of his favorite
places was Chamonix mountain in the Alps, where he recently talked about wishing he could
be. As a father, he enjoyed coaching the soccer teams of his kids, making blintzes for breakfast
when at home, and making blueberry pancakes when camping and blueberry picking with his
kids at Acadia National Park in Maine. George and Sue prioritized giving their kids educational,

camp, and travel opportunities that weren’t available to themselves while growing up in poor
immigrant families.
George was an active member of the neighborhood Larchmont Gardens Association, for which
he served as president. He also held various Mamaroneck town board positions. George and
Sue remained as long as they physically could in their beloved home, which was at the top of a
hill with many stairs leading to the front door and surrounded by trees and a small woods,
moving to the Osborn Assisted Living nearby in Rye last year.
Maintaining contact with old friends was important to George, and he was an avid researcher
of Roniger genealogy, finding and connecting with Ronigers around the world. He was a
longtime member of Larchmont Temple and enjoyed the social aspects of being part of Jewish
community. In recent decades, he was also a member of multiple groups for retired and older
George died only a week and a half after his grandkids visited from San Francisco and he
listened to his grandkid play jazz piano on one of the Osborn pianos. His wife, daughters, other
family members, and friends spent time with him on his last day, when he appeared not that
conscious, letting him know that he was loved and cared for and it was OK to let go, as he was
tired from going to the hospital multiple times over the past year and suffering from declining
health. He will be missed by the many people whose lives he has touched.
A funeral will be held on Wednesday, June 26, at 11 a.m. at Larchmont Temple. The service will
be available via livestream through this link. Interment will follow immediately at Mt. Eden
Cemetery (20 Commerce St., Hawthorne, NY).
The family will observe shiva at Sue’s home (101 Theall Road, Apt. 1400, Rye, NY) on
Wednesday, June 26, and Thursday, June 27, with a Minyan Service held on Wednesday at 6
Condolences to the family may be sent to Sue’s home.
May George’s memory be a blessing.

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