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Werner Hengst, 79, Somers Resident

SOMERS, N.Y. – Werner Hengst, of Somers, died Sunday, Feb. 7, of complications from diabetes. He was 79.

He was co-founder and administrator of Our Montessori School in Yorktown Heights, as well as a husband, father, grandfather and friend to many.

He was born in 1936 in Lübeck, Germany, to Gerhard and Emma Hengst. His father worked on the rocket program with Wernher von Braun, which brought the family to Cape Canaveral, Fla., in 1952. While attending the University of Florida, he met his future wife, Betty, and they were married in 1963 in Atlanta.

He worked at a missile tracking station on Ascension Island for Pan American in Cape Canaveral, and as a systems analyst for TRW in Washington D.C., and then was hired by IBM as a manager in White Plains. He and his wife started Our Montessori School in 1972, and in 1986, he took early retirement from IBM in order to devote his energy full time to the school.

He turned his observation of nature and people toward writing,and a book of his memoirs, "From Peenemünde to Cape Canaveral, and Beyond" is due to be published and released on Amazon.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; his daughter Christy and son-in-law, Helmut; grandchildren Oliver and Eliza of Santa Fe, N.M.; and his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Fran and Tom Patterson.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Feb. 13,  from 1-4 p.m. at the Overlook Lodge, 55 Hessian Drive, Highland Falls, in Bear Mountain State Park.

A 45-minute memorial will be followed by a buffet lunch. RSVP at .

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the United Latin American Pentecostal Church, 110 Main St., Brewster, NY 10589.

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