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Philip Reine dies; longtime educator and World War II veteran was 92

Philip Reine during his service in France.

Philip Reine during his service in France. Credit: Courtesy Audrey Cohen

Philip Reine worked as an educator and administrator for nearly six decades on Long Island and in New York City.

The World War II veteran, who taught in Roslyn Heights and Syosset, died May 19 at his home in Jericho. He was 92.

"He made a tremendous impact on young people," said his daughter Audrey Cohen, of Muttontown. "He was always a teacher, and my father always worked. And he loved his family and treasured the time he spent with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren."

Born in Brooklyn, Reine met Sonia Graff on a blind date in 1948, his family said. The couple became inseparable and were married for the 67 years before death. In 1956, they moved from Brooklyn to Jericho, where they lived for 63 years and raised two children. They both had a passion for collecting antiques.

During World War ll, Reine served in the U.S. Army as an ammunition bearer. He was awarded a Combat Infantry Badge and medals, including the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. He was wounded in combat and spent many months recovering but never complained and was proud to serve, his family said.

After the war, Reine earned a bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in education administration from New York University. He began his teaching career on Long Island in 1954 at the Willets Road School in Roslyn Heights. He then went on to teach history at what was known then as the Harry B. Thompson Junior High School in Syosset.

Reine worked for the New York City Board of Education as an assistant principal and principal for more than 25 years. He continued as an educator and administrator in several programs for early education and children with special needs on Long Island until he was 85 years old.

He was an avid baseball fan and was thrilled when the New York Yankees honored him as a wounded veteran in 2016 in a program inviting veterans to stand at home plate. A photo of him in uniform was broadcast on the Jumbotron.

“That was amazing, he loved it,” Cohen said.

He was also excited a few years ago to be part of Honor Flight Long Island, which transports World War II veterans to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., his daughter said.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is also survived by a son, Arthur, of Medfield, Massachusetts, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Services and burial with military honors were held May 21 at the Sanctuary of Abraham & Sarah in Paramus, New Jersey.

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