Feb 24

The Passing of Heinz Bondy


During the break I received word from Tom Roeper about the passing of his uncle, Heinz Bondy.  The younger brother of Annemarie Roeper, Heinz led a full and rich life carrying on the Bondy family tradition as an educational leader.

Below is a lovely obituary written by Heinz’s son Peter, a link to Caring Bridge, an online notebook to leave notes of condolence for the family, and a link to Heinz reflections at Annemarie’s memorial.

Heinz E. Bondy, age 89 died on 2/18, 2014 at the Wilson Healthcare Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland after a short battle with cancer. He was born in northern Germany in 1924 to Max and Gertrud Bondy who were leaders in the field of progressive education. The family immigrated to the United States in 1938 and soon established a small private school in Windsor, Vermont, where Heinz was one of the first students. He matriculated at Swarthmore College in 1942. Taking leave to enlist in the US Army in 1943, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Heinz, who was fluent in German, French and English, was assigned to Military Intelligence training at Camp Ritchie, MD, one of the “Ritchie Boys”.  He landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy on day two of the D-Day invasion, participated in the battle for Cherbourg, the liberation of Paris, the Battle of the Bulge, and in the liberation of Dachau concentration camp.

After the war, Heinz completed his BA at Swarthmore College and obtained a M.A. from Bryn Mawr College.  After completing his education, he became a teacher at the Bondy’s school now known as the Windsor Mt. School. It had grown considerably and had re-located to Lenox, Massachusetts.  The school offered an education over the next decades to hundreds of students who continue today to celebrate and model the values of social justice and engaged and responsible citizenship that were the hallmark of the remarkable egalitarian residential life and education it offered. In 1950, he became its headmaster and served in that capacity, a role model for generations of students, for the next 25 years. Windsor Mountain was one of the first co-educational and interracial schools in the United States.  Under his leadership it was a founding member of the A Better Chance program (ABC) in Massachusetts.

After the Windsor Mountain School closed due to the recession in the mid-1970s, Heinz became a vice chancellor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Subsequently, he helped to found the Elkins Mountain School in Elkins, West Virginia, and later  served as Headmaster of the Canterbury School in Accokeek, Maryland and then as Director of the Christian Family Montessori School in Mount Rainier, MD from 1994-98. He retired from his lifetime as an educator at the age of 74 years.

He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Carolyn A. Bondy, M.D. and two sons, Peter R. Bondy of Olney, MD and C. Eric Bondy and wife Mariana Past of Lancaster, PA, and four grandchildren, Jessica Bondy, Amanda Bondy, Ray Bondy, and Ana Bondy. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife, children and nephews Peter and Thomas Roeper.

A memorial service is planned for the spring.


One Comment

  1. It is only now that I learn of Heinz Bondy’s passing. I thought about him many times, though it had been sometime since I saw him adn worked with him. This consummate gentleman had the interpersonal skills that were second to none. He was also one of the most compassionate men I have ever known. It’s not often that men like Heinz Bondy cross out paths in a lifetime, when they do, they never see to stay long enough.

    My heart goes out to his family. I am sure he is sorely missed by them. Those of us out here in the cruel world will certainly miss him. Gods speed Mr. Heinz Bondy.

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