Hank Auffarth will be missed by all

By Queens Courier Staff |

Sadly, our world has been darkened because we lost a dear friend and colleague, Hank Auffarth, 63, who died suddenly and shockingly while jogging along the beach on Monday, August 22. He may have been one of the most beloved persons I’ve ever met.

Most recently, Hank was a member of the Think Forward Financial (TFF) team responsible for marketing and business development. Prior to joining TFF, he worked at Citibank in the Commercial Markets Group for seven years and prior to Citibank was in the Middle Market Group at Chase, in various capacities, for 33 years.

He was a member of several civic and charitable organizations, including the The Child Center of NY and the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

My memory of Hank is his joyousness and kindness to me and his generosity to Queens and the non-profit group he worked endlessly to help, the Child Center of NY.

He would never fail to say “You look sensational.” He would offer that handsome smile that, no matter my mood, would make me feel great. I, like him, am an upbeat person, but he reassured me and encouraged me with his positive energy that energized me more! He was a magnet that I wanted to be near to share his sunshine and his warmth and his intelligence. Such a rare combination of qualities all tied into one person.  His loss has left a hole in my heart and I will always remember him.

Auffarth is survived by his loving wife Tisha, his children, Lana, and her husband Tom, Jason and Nicole, and ever dear in his heart, his grandchildren, Christine, Tommy, Kelly, Luke, Ryan, Olivia and Lara.

There will be a memorial service Tuesday, September 20, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Terrace on the Park, in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

In memory of Auffarth, please remember him through a donation to The Child Center of New York,  60-02 Queens Boulevard Woodside, NY 11377 or childcenterny.org or Pet Rescue of Larchmont P.O. Box 393, Larchmont, NY 10538.


Friends share their memories of Hank:


Claire Shulman,

Former Borough President

Hank was a very special guy. He was an expert on the work that he did for the bank, but he was also a wonderful party guy. He had a great way about him and he made everything look terrific. I’m a very prim and proper person, but when we had his 50th birthday party in Long Island City, they talked me into jumping out of a cake to surprise him. They wheeled me out onto the floor and I jumped out and sang happy birthday. He was shocked. I would never have done that for anyone else but Hank. I did it for him because he always made everyone happy. I can’t tell you how shocked and how sad I am that he’s gone. He was such an uplifting kind of guy and he was putting in a lot of great work for the Chamber’s Centennial.

His death was such an unexpected thing. When I heard about it, I just kind of gasped. I’ll remember him for his spirit of always looking at the bright side of things – it was catching. He believed that if we’re having an event, we should make a party out of it. And he was a great dancer. He had a nice way about him and brought everybody along. No matter your problems, if you had a party with Hank, you really had a party.


Carol Conslato


Queens Chamber of Commerce

Hank Auffarth was a dynamic financial profession who throughout his 40-year career spurred the start up and expansion of businesses in Queens and throughout the metropolitan area.  But anyone who knew Hank really knew he was an incredible person.  He always wanted people to feel good.   I remember Hank telling me a story recently how he bought flowers for a woman who worked at his nearby drugstore because he heard she was having chemo.  He thought he would make her day better.   Hank extended his hand and his heart to anyone in need.  We were enriched by his humanity and touched by his soul.   Queens has lost a dear, dear friend.



Estelle Cooper

Assistant Commissioner

Queens Parks

            Years ago I had a stroke. I was at North Shore Hospital – I look up and there was a man with a mask and clown shoes carrying balloons. It was Hank, who came to cheer me up.

            Hank was always the center of fun and a wonderful human being. I am devastated [at his passing]. He was such a wonderful humanitarian. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. My heart goes out to his wife and kids. It is a tremendous loss for his family, friends and the entire borough of Queens.



Georgiana Reese-Benatti

New York Community Bank

I remember my first "rubber chicken" dinner. Hank pulls out this ugly rubber chicken from his pants pocket and says, "Let’s get this party started." I thought, “This guy is hysterical . . . what a personality . . . he is so happy.”  He told me he loves frogs and has a frog collection

“WOW! He is funny,” I thought.


       Always a smile . . . and always ready to go the extra mile.

       The man that made me feel special.

       A man that loved to dance and make "you" happy . . .

       So unselfish . . .

       He gave it his all  . . .

       I was so happy and lucky to have had him as a good friend.




Jack Friedman

Executive Director

Queens Chamber of Commerce

“Hank from the bank,” as he was affectionately known, was a man who lit up a room when he entered. His enthusiasm for life was contagious and it seemed he knew everyone and everyone knew him.

Hank served on the Queens Chamber Board of Directors for over 40 years and most recently served as our Vice President. As the Chamber starting preparing for its 100-year anniversary, Hank took the lead, chairing the Centennial Committee and devoting countless hours towards its success.

We express our sincere sympathy to Hank’s beloved wife, Tish and the entire Auffarth family.


Dick Jay, Board President

Sandra Hagan, Executive Director  

Child Center of NY

It is with a very heavy heart that we write this message to tell our friends of the sudden passing of Hank Auffarth, revered board member for 30 years, 13 as its President.  While his professional accomplishments were within the banking industry, they paled in comparison to his charitable work with our agency.  Hank was an extraordinary ambassador on behalf of the kids we serve and worked tirelessly to provide at-risk kids with the tools they need to succeed in life.

There is no way we can adequately fill the void and heal the sadness of this moment but to wish his wonderful family well and celebrate the thousands of people Hank touched and the hundreds of thousands of kids he impacted through his tireless work.