Photo of Henry van Ameringen
Henry van Ameringen

Obituary of Henry van Ameringen

September 9, 2020

Henry van Ameringen died on September 9th, 2020, at his home in New York City. He was born on October 19th, 1930, in South Orange, New Jersey.

Henry retired from International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) as European Vice-President in charge of fragrance marketing. He served on the board of the van Ameringen Foundation, a family foundation that deals with mental health and mental illness in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. He also served as President of the H. van Ameringen Foundation, a personal foundation that concentrates on HIV/AIDS, LGBT issues, mental health, reproductive justice, prison reform, and marijuana legalization, mostly in New York City. He served as co-founder and trustee of Galvan Foundation, a private operating foundation using community economic development and grantmaking to address poverty and inequality in the City of Hudson, NY.

He previously served on the board of Fountain House, where people with mental illnesses can find a job, a clubhouse, and friends. He also served as co-chair of the Board of Directors of In The Life Media, the award-winning nationally televised newsmagazine about LGBT people. Considered to be one of the first gay major donors, Henry gave at a level and in a way that made a sizable impact in philanthropy, focusing on ways to support those who are often marginalized or most in need. Henry graduated from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and spent decades of his life in Paris.

Henry is survived by his spouse, T. Eric Galloway, along with six nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his two siblings, Patrica van Ameringen Kind and Lily Auchincloss. Donations in his name can be made to Fountain House (fountainhouse.org) or Lambda Legal (lambdalegal.org).

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My deepest sympathy to Eric and the entire family. He was one of a kind and I will miss him.


Posted by: Kenneth Dudek - , - September 10, 2020

My deepest condolences to Eric and all Henry's loved ones in this difficult time.


Posted by: Trevor O'Reilly - , - September 10, 2020

Sending love and light for Henry’s spirit in transition. He was a true blessing in supporting LGBTQ issues. He was the first to support the National Black Justice Coalition when it formed. He had no problems in believing what we could do and supported us for years. We survived and helped others because of your contributions. Thank you for your kind heart. Well done warrior! Rest well.❤


Posted by: Donna Payne-Hardy - , - September 9, 2020

Sending love and light for Henry’s spirit in transition. He was a true blessing in supporting LGBTQ issues. He was the first to support the National Black Justice Coalition when it formed. We survived and helped others because of your contributions. Thank you! Rest in Power.❤


Posted by: Donna Payne-Hardy - , - September 9, 2020

Henry was a generous supporter of the Upper West 13th Street Block Association. His encouragement will be missed


Posted by: Jeffrey Ryan - , - September 10, 2020

Henry will be greatly missed. The LGBT community was so fortunate to have him as a supporter and advocate. Condolences to his family and friends.


Posted by: Tanya - , - September 10, 2020

Henry was so generous to our community. When he gave a substantial contribution for The NYC LGBT Center’s capital campaign, he didn’t want his name on anything - and with his different, and sharp, sense of humor, he said “between us, the “HVA” in the new HVAC system is enough! ❤


Posted by: Dorothy Sander - , - September 10, 2020

Henry's support of the LGBTQ+ community is legendary. All of us here at Brooklyn Community Pride Center are devastated by this loss and wish Eric and his extended family and friends our deepest love and condolences. You will remain in our hearts forever, dear man.


Posted by: Floyd Rumohr - , - September 10, 2020

I was Vice President Corporate Fragrance Management at IFF in New York and used to see Henry when he was working at IFF in Paris and would come visit with us in NY and smell perfume with that we were working on and talk about fragrances which I always enjoyed. He also used to come to Fountainhouse Gallery openings where I volunteered and we would talk about fragrances. He was a charming man who I will always remember! Sarah Friend


Posted by: Sarah Friend - , - September 10, 2020

Condolences to Eric and the family. Mr. Van Ameringen was a longtime generous donor of Safe Horizon's Streetwork Project. His generosity and support was very much appreciated in supporting our programming. He will be dearly missed!


Posted by: Danny Stewart - , - September 10, 2020

I used to work at IFF in NY when Henry was working at IFF Paris and I have fond memories of him coming to see us in the NY office and smelling fragrances with us. I also am a volunteer at Fountainhouse Gallery and Henry used to come to the openings and we would always talk about fragrances. He was a charming man and I always loved talking to him about our work at IFF and fragrances. What a lovely man he was!


Posted by: Sarah Friend - , - September 10, 2020

Alexis and I would like to offer Eric and Henry’s family our deepest condolences. Henry was a great man, generous with his wisdom, time and resources. I am honored to have spent the time I did with him.


Posted by: Jac Gares - , - September 10, 2020

Henry was our dear friend in Hudson, NY & NYC. Every year we had Christmas Day dinner together at our house with a great group of Hudson friends. We'll miss him so much. He was kind & generous & so sweet. Loved his laugh. Rest easy friend.


Posted by: Peggy Polenberg - , - September 10, 2020

Eric,
Please accept my sincere condolences. Henry was a tremendously kind gentleman.


Posted by: Bruce Potter - , - September 10, 2020

Henry in person was so thoughtful, warm, and gracious. The work he did supporting access to mental health care, among other issues, has left a lasting mark on NYC.


Posted by: Rachel Bennett - , - September 10, 2020

Bibhu and I are very blessed to consider Henry and Eric friends.
Henry was a quiet force in our various communities. Henry was one of the first to step up during the AiDS crisis. He and Eric almost single handily transformed the town of Hudson through their rescue of dilapidated but historic buildings. Henry will be greatly missed by many friends, and many organizations he either founded or supported.
Sending Eric a big hug a heaps of sympathy.


Posted by: Bobby Beard - , - September 10, 2020

Henry was a truly beautiful person. I knew him through his support for Fountain House and Clubhouse International. He was an integral part of Creating Clubhouse International and making it possible for thousands of people living with mental illness to have better lives through friendships and opportunity. I have always been inspired by his kindness, generosity and dedication to positive change. My condolences to Eric and family.
Sincerely,
Joel Corcoran


Posted by: Joel Corcoran - , - September 11, 2020

My husband Buddy Hoyt and Henry were friends from childhood. They grew up in New Jersey; their parents were also friends. I have great memories going together to good restaurants in Paris where we both had a second home. Henry introduced us to Fountain House and LGBT charities. It was a true privilege to have known Henry. He will be missed. My sincere condolences to Eric and other surviving family.


Posted by: Suzanne Hoyt - , - September 11, 2020

As a fund-raiser for Calvary Hospital, I was fortunate to have met Henry, as he asked to be called when we met him. Calvary was an outlier for the van Ameringen Foundation, but Henry awarded the Hospital two very generous grants. What I remember most is the two hours-long sessions a colleague and I had with him -- he was genuinely interested in Calvary's bereavement services for children and teens and how they helped children through difficult times. Plus, he was an Eagles fan!, not to mention a major contributor to the welfare of gay organizations. Very grateful to have met this inspiring giant of of philanthropy.


Posted by: Leslie Bernstein - , - September 12, 2020

I feel truly very blessed to have met this extraordinary human being. An Angel, in every sense of that word, his humanity, philanthropy, humor, kindness, and leadership have been truly impactful. The loss of Henry is very emotional - and I wish all peace and fulfillment to his loved ones, family, spouse, and the causes and Foundation that he holds dear to him. I wanted to share a positive memory of sitting with Henry, at a beautiful holiday gathering in Hudson, NY which he and his life partner hosted. He listened, smiled, accepted everyone, and had positive things to say. I think that is the image of him that I will always remember. Thank you - and many blessings. Jonah Bokaer (Friend, Acquaintance, Admirer, Grantee)


Posted by: Jonah Bokaer - , - September 13, 2020


Posted by: Daniel Kent - Astoria, NY - September 14, 2020

Henry was an extraordinary human being and unsung hero of the LGBTQ community. His unwavering and generous support of so many LGBTQ organizations every single year over decades helped to change the course for millions and save countless number of lives. I remember back in the 1990’s when Henry said yes to a meeting with me and took a chance on a relatively young organization on Long Island to help LGBTQ youth. His caring and passion was never in doubt and he pushed us as leaders to make sure we were on the top of our game. His sharp wit and humor, his sort of direct yet indirect way to make us always look at the realities and never to stand still is something that will live with me each and every day. I will always be grateful for his generous support for Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth and the LGBT Network and all members of our community. He will be deeply missed but we will work our hardest to make sure his legacy, dreams and commitment live on. On my visits to Henry over the last few years I was also fortunate to meet Eric and am sending much love during this very difficult time.


Posted by: David Kilmnick - , - September 14, 2020


Posted by: Darby Beck - Medford, MA - September 15, 2020

Rest in Power Henry! My condolences, thoughts, and prayers for his family.


Posted by: Anselmo Fonseca - , - September 16, 2020


Posted by: Debra Hauser - Washington, DC - September 22, 2020

My husband, Bud Hoyt, was a friend of Henry since their childhood in New York. Their parents were friends also friends. I have great memories of going to top restaurants in Paris, where we both had a second home. Henry introduced us to Fountain House and it has been a privilege to have known him.


Posted by: Suzanne Hoyt - , - December 6, 2020
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