Bahai News -- Denver Post - Weinberg, 81, was passionate proponent of Baha'i faith for decades

Life Stories

Weinberg, 81, was passionate proponent of Baha'i faith for decades

By Virginia Culver
Denver Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 17, 2003 - Seymour Weinberg often laughed that the Brooklyn Dodgers were his only religion during the first 20 years of his life.

Then he heard about the Baha'i faith, and that was his firm commitment for the next 60 years.

Weinberg, 81, died Feb. 6 of pancreatic cancer. A public memorial service is planned for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Baha'i Center, 99 S. Grant St.

A decades-long leader in the Baha'i faith, Weinberg was praised by leaders at the Baha'i World Center in Israel as a man of "irrepressible zeal."

A pamphlet on the faith's teachings, which Weinberg wrote 40 years ago, is still being used by Baha'is, said Robert Henderson, secretary general of Baha'is in the United States.

Weinberg, who was known by many as a kind of gadfly, was a tireless worker for the faith and its beliefs in equality of races and genders and in the commonality of all people.

He had a "joyful audacity," said his son, Matthew Weinberg. And although he loved discussing his own beliefs, he was always interested in what others had to say about subjects, including psychology, near death experiences, 9/11 or the meaning of suffering.

"He never pushed his own beliefs. He knew the difference between offering ideas and imposing them," his son said.

Weinberg, an auditor and fiscal manager, worked for the Colorado Department of Social Services for more than two decades.

But ideas were his love. He arranged and attended lectures, wrote letters to the editor, read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal daily, testified at school board meetings and even took aim at the naming of the Broncos' stadium.

"He thought the Denver Broncos were the one organization that crossed all lines," his son said. "He thought it was untoward that the stadium would be named for a corporation."

Weinberg, to no avail, sent letters and went to public meetings to protest the naming of the new stadium as Invesco Field at Mile High.

Weinberg believed in the goodness of human beings, that all religions come from the same God and all work for the progress of humanity, said his son, who called him "an irrepressible optimist."

But he was unmovable on some things. "He thought it was almost a sin to buy something that wasn't on sale," and he was rigidly honest. Once, while serving in the Army in Waco, Texas, he infuriated his superiors when he reported that officers were having their private cars serviced on the base. Apparently to punish him, the Army transferred him to San Francisco, which he didn't mind at all.

Seymour Weinberg was born April 8, 1921, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and attended Hebrew school. "But he questioned the usefulness of translating Hebrew into Yiddish - two languages he didn't understand," his son said. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree from City College of New York and a master's from New York University. He did further studies in Berne, Switzerland.

He married Cynthia Tolka on May 31, 1959, in New York City. She is an artist.

In addition to his wife and son, Weinberg is survived by a brother, Robert, of New York City; and a sister, Barbara Phillips, of Alexandria, Va.

©Copyright 2003, Denver Post (CO, USA)

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