Farewell to a Dear Friend
June 18, 2019
It is with great sorrow that we share the news of the passing of a dear friend. To say that Harry Huben was just a volunteer is like saying the Grand Canyon is just a canyon. A devoted, active member of the St. George Roman Catholic Church community, Harry has been involved with Columbus House pretty much since our inception back in 1982. Harry could be found leading the St. George volunteer meal service team every fourth Sunday to ensure that those in our care received a nutritious meal. Harry made it his mission to include young people in all that he did with Columbus House. Each year, Harry brought those making their confirmation to Columbus House so that they too would learn about compassion and to care for their neighbors the way Harry did. Many of those same students who served meals with Harry in their youth returned to work by his side well into their college years and beyond.
In addition to the fourth Sunday each month, Harry and his team of volunteers also provided a bountiful, hot breakfast for those staying at the shelter every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter morning. And if that wasn’t enough, during the winter months, Harry and his team made sure that the men staying at the Seasonal Overflow Shelter also received a nutritious meal. Harry was so dedicated to those we serve that when his employer temporarily reassigned him to Atlanta, he managed to get back to CT once a month to make sure the meal service continued.
Harry was instrumental in getting St. George involved with Abraham’s Tent. He initiated Welcome Kit drives among his fellow parishioners so that those moving into their own place had some of the basics to get them started like towels, linens, blankets, cleaning supplies and even some new pots and pans so they could prepare their own meals. Over the past several years, Harry could be found delivering new toys from one of our donors to our Middlesex Family Shelter so that the children might have a brighter Christmas.
Through Harry’s involvement with Homefront, Columbus House received hundreds of hours of labor to paint our Annex Building next to the main shelter on the Boulevard. This past winter, Harry and his team returned to the Annex to construct a new waiting area for those coming in to meet with a case manager. Unfortunately, Harry never got to see the finished waiting room. He passed away just prior to its’ completion.
Harry was a quiet servant. Always there for Columbus House and those we serve. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and by many more that benefited from his generosity.
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