Peter Damian Feilchenfeld Heinegg died on June 1, 2021 of a stroke. He was born in Brooklyn, New York to Frederick Feilchenfeld Heingg and Arlene Willis on January 24, 1942. He was the eldest of 10 children. Peter held Austrian and American citizenship. His father’s family had fled Vienna when Hitler came to power.
Peter was an extraordinary person: loving, brilliant, ethical, generous, sensitive, and kind. He was the supportive companion of his wife, Rosie, for 55 years. He is the father of Maximilian and Alexandra and grandfather of Ava, Stella, and Ismael. Peter and Rosie hosted over 30 students and faculty to live in their home and welcomed any guest.
Peter was above all else a scholar. He knew 14 languages and devoted his entire life to the classics and world literature. But he was also an environmentalist, and human and animal rights activist. He wrote hundreds of articles and book reviews and a dozen books. He translated over 50 books from multiple languages. He loved classical music and opera. He was a devoted teacher at Union College for 42 years in the English Department. Prior to that he taught at Queens College and was a fellow at Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature.
Peter attended Regis High School in New York and after high school entered the Society of Jesus where he prepared for the priesthood for seven years before he left to complete doctoral studies.
He is survived by his son Max and his wife Wendy Pfaffenbach and their two daughters, Ava and Stella; by his daughter Alexandra and her husband Abraham Hassen and their son Ismael and a daughter to be born (god willing) in the fall. He is also survived by his siblings: Paul, Louise, Thomas, Philip, Andrew, John, Maria, Catherine, and James and their beautiful families. Also Peter’s cousins: Anjelica Clark and Christopher and Marcia Heinegg; and Sarah Pasquale, Katie Bennell, and Francesca McGrath. And their honorary sons; Nikhil and Petr.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday June 6, 2021 at Jones Funeral Home, 1503 Union St., (at McClellan St.),Schenectady. A remembrance celebration will follow at Peter’s home on 1157 Glenwood Blvd., Schenectady.
All who wish to honor Peter’s life are welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Peter Heinegg Literary Award (which will be awarded by Union College annually) may be sent to Rosemarie Heinegg at 1157 Glenwood Blvd., Schenectady, 12308.
His life and memory are a blessing.