Henry  Rosenblum

Burial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Friday, February 10, 2023
Emanu El Memorial Park
8341 Bissonnet
Houston, Texas, United States

Obituary of Henry Rosenblum

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Henry Mark Rosenblum passed away on February 4, 2023 following a brief battle with lung cancer. Henry was born January 23, 1942 in Tyler, Texas to the late Sylvia and Marcelo Rosenblum. 

Henry lived in Mexico with his parents and large extended family until the age of five. In the late 1940s, the Rosenblums moved to Houston, where Henry grew up near Rice Village. Henry graduated in 1959 from Bellaire High School and attended Tulane University, where he was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. Henry then attended the University of Texas Law School. On his first day at UT, he met Phyllis Ravel, the love of his life and future wife. In 1964, they married and moved to Bethesda, Maryland where Henry worked as a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy.

Henry and Phyllis moved to Houston in 1971 where Henry opened his own law practice and was an active member of the Houston chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. As a civil rights attorney, he brought seminal cases in the 1970s that helped define the contours of United States civil rights laws. While he primarily represented people of color and women, his most notable case, McDonald versus Sante Fe Trail Transportation Company, was a reverse discrimination case resulting in a landmark 1976 Supreme Court decision authored by the civil right trailblazer Justice Thurgood Marshall. 

In 1981, Henry opened a travel agency with Phyllis, his sister Marilynn Eisenberg, and his mother Sylvia Rosenblum. With its memorable “Please go away!” tagline, Apple Travel became one of the largest Houston travel agencies in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Henry and Phyllis raised three children surrounded by laughter, love, warmth, and of course, great food. Elaborate dinners with family and friends were common and brought Henry and Phyllis much joy. Henry never met a stranger, always welcoming people into the home. Henry had an irreverent sense of humor and was a wonderful friend, maintaining meaningful long-time friendships in person and over the phone throughout his lifetime.

He and Phyllis were members of Temple Emanu El.  They also were founding members of the Houston Original Gourmet Society (“HOGS”), a social organization that gathered for elaborate gourmet meals.

Henry was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Phyllis Ravel Roenblum. He is survived by his daughter Elyse Rosenblum and son-in law Matthew Pawa of Brewster, Massachusetts; his son Marc Rosenblum and daughter-in-law Katie Sellers of Washington D.C.; his daughter Yvonne Cosgrove and son-in-law John Cosgrove of Houston, Texas; and his sister Marilynn Eisenberg and brother-in-law Alvin Eisenberg of Houston. The  major highlight of his final years were his six grandchildren: Zach Pawa, Hazel Rosenblum-Sellers, Phyllis Pawa, Iris Rosenblum-Sellers, Jacob Cosgrove and Phoebe Cosgrove.  He treasured every chance to celebrate their milestones and accomplishments.

The family would like to thank Dr. Rangacharri and Dr. Russell for their thoughtful care while he was treated at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston, Capital Caring Hospice in Washington, DC, and his many friends who made trips and phone calls to cheer and comfort Henry these final months.

A memorial service and graveside service will be held Friday, February 10, 2023 at Emanu El Memorial Park at 11:00 a.m., 8341 Bissonnet St,, Houston, TX 77074.  

Donations in Henry’s memory may be made to the Houston chapter of the ACLU or a charity of your choice.


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