SAN LUIS OBISPO – Herschel “Hank” Apfelberg, longtime professor of graphic communication at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, died Jan. 13 at Stanford University Hospital at the age of 67. Born in Monticello, N.Y., he spent his first six years on a farm in Lake Huntington and later moved to the Bronx.
Apfelberg started his career as a linotype operator/compositor. After receiving journeyman status he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master of Arts degree from Cal Poly.
Before coming to Cal Poly, where he taught from 1971 to 2001, he worked as a process engineer and rotogravure administrator for American Can Company and as printing superintendent for Equitable Bag Company in New York.
As a professor at Cal Poly, Apfelberg developed the gravure course and lab. He was instrumental in enhancing the lab with a Helioklischograph, a packaging proofer, and gravure cylinders that showed chemical as well as mechanical engraving techniques. He developed laboratory exercises to give students a taste of the variables of impression roll settings vs. gravure blade angles. He coordinated five West Coast Graphic Arts Association symposiums and 20 Gravure Day events for Cal Poly.
In addition, Apfelberg wrote a monthly column for PrintEquip News for 10 years, presented numerous papers for the printing industry and is the author of three books, “Effective Supervision in the Small or Medium Size Printing Plant,” “Maintaining Printing Equipment” and “Implementing Quality Management” (written with his son, Michael).
Apfelberg and his family traveled often around the United States. They loved camping together. Apfelberg and his wife of 45 years, Liz, also went on many Elderhostel trips to Europe, China and Costa Rica. In 2001 they went on a six-month trailer trip around the country. Apfelberg served on the Human Relations Commission and the Personnel Board for the
City of San Luis Obispo and was a tutor for the Literacy Alliance. He was a member of The NightWriters and was in the process of writing a series of short stories and doing research for an historical novel.
Apfelberg is survived by his wife; son, Michael, Michael’s wife, Kerstin, and their daughter, Casey; and his daughter, Lisa Walton, her husband, Michael, and their daughter, Madeleine. His family also includes Nils, who was an exchange student from Germany and remained as a son to the family. He is also survived by a sister, her husband and many nieces and nephews.
Donations in Apfelberg’s name may be made to Mothers for Peace, P. O. Box 164, Pismo Beach, CA 93448 or the Literary Council, 1264 Higuera St. San Luis Obispo, CA 9340l.
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