Albert “Hank” Greenstone, 86: Loved young people, education

Hank Greenstone’s desire to help young people, in both life and education, took shape in many forms. He counseled, mentored and helped educate an untold number of students, friends and family members said.

“Making friends with young people was one of his strong attributes,” long-time friend Henry Schwob said. “When he made a contact, he made it for life.”

Greenstone turned his business career into a vehicle for promoting education, especially in the field of paralegal training. For more than 20 years, Greenstone was president and chief executive of the National Center for Paralegal Training, which he established, his wife said.

“There was a time when women weren’t going to law school,” Judith Greenstone said. “So his staff recruited women from the finest colleges in the United States to train as paralegals. But it wasn’t just paralegals. He was a proponent for all education. He loved anything that put him in touch with young people.”

Albert Greenstone of Atlanta died Saturday of complications from congestive heart failure. He was 86.

A funeral was held Sunday at the Temple and a private burial followed the service. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care was in charge of arrangements.

A native of Staunton, Va., Greenstone earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and served in the Army during World War II, before graduating from the University of Georgia with a law degree. His career as a mentor, businessman and administrator began in 1950 when he became executive director of the Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity.

He held that position until 1969, after which he served as the associate director of the Practicing Law Institute in New York, a position he held until he established the National Center for Paralegal Training in 1971.

In his various leadership positions, Greenstone influenced the lives of thousands of students, said Bob Geltzer, a friend and mentee.

“He took care of thousands of boys,” Geltzer said of Greenstone’s time with the fraternity. “He was involved in their lives during the time they were in college and he stayed with so many of them, as he did with me, for years and years thereafter.”

Schwob and Geltzer said Greenstone freely dispensed advice to those who sought it and felt deeply connected to the people he helped. That spirit remained with Greenstone through his last days, his wife said, as he took his certified nursing assistant under his wing and mentored him as well.

“Hank told him, ‘Look, you want to become a nurse and I’m going to teach you how to do things right,’” she said. “Hank would tell him, ‘If you want to get somewhere in life, you have to do things the right way.’”

“And he was very much at home in that role,” Schwob added.

In addition to his wife, Greenstone is survived by daughters Jody Greenstone Miller of Pacific Palisades, Calif., Tracey Drufovka of Philadelphia, Pa., and Jennifer Safter of New York, N.Y.; and seven grandchildren.

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