Lewis Finkelstein


Lewis Finkelstein, longtime NYMAS member, Boardmember, NYMAS Secretary, and coordinator of the NYMAS book awards program, died in late August at his home in Jamaica, NY.

Lew served in the US Navy from 1963 to 1967 and worked as a system analyst in Manhattan.

He was a lover of books and his ongoing contributions to NYMASí Arthur Goodzeit Book Award program will be missed.

Lew is survived by two younger brothers, David in Massachusetts and Mark in Pennsylvania. A memorial service is being planned.


At Lew's Memorial Service
Sunday, November 19, 2006 at 2 pm in Forest Hills,
Lew's brother David delivered this eulogy:

I'm David Finkelstein

I remember my brother Lewis. Now for all of you who knew him as Lew I always called him by his full name

I remember some fun times we had together.

The first one I remember happened when we were growing up in Philadelphia. I'm the youngest of three brothers. (My other brother Mark is sitting in the audience) and as a kid one could say that at times I was an instigator.

As it so happens my parents wanted to wake Lewis up for something I can't remember now but he was sleeping and they couldn't wake him up so they asked me to. Now Lewis must have been the heaviest sleeper in the history of mankind. I went into his room and tried and tried to wake him up -  yelling , pushing, yelling pushing all to no avail. Then I hit upon a bright idea. I went into my bedroom , got a pillow ,went back into his bedroom-and then I hoisted the pillow over my head and then with all the power within my being I hit him over the head with it. Boy did that do the trick.!

It would be a fair statement to make that he awakened immediately and he was soooo angry at me.  But I got the job done.

I remember Lewis:

As most of you know Lewis was a voracious reader. My god he could talk with precision about so many technical subjects it was amazing. I remember that he had read all of the Mercury space capsule manuals and could explain the most incredible minutiae about what went on in the capsule.

At one point in my life I was a high school video teacher. Lewis read so much that he knew almost as much as I did about editing videotape.

I remember Lewis:

Lewis was so intense about everything. He knew so much about military history, as I'm sure many of you know. And he used to share his knowledge with me often - and share it and share it and share it and share it - well, you get the picture. Sometimes Lewis wasn't exactly good at reading his audience - boy could he drone on.

I remember Lewis:

Lewis was also a great lover of food. He would travel untold hours to go to explore a new food store or a restaurant and in this regard I shared his passion. On trips to NYC  my wife,Jan, and I would sometimes meet him at a great restaurant he had found and sometimes I would meet him in NY myself and we would go from food emporium to food emporium-sometimes to a place that I had read about or sometimes  a place that he wanted to introduce me to. Both of us could always convince the other to go just one more place where we thought we could find gastronomic nirvana.

I remember Lewis:

Late in life he became a great beer lover and again he read so much that he became incredibly knowledgeable on the subject. He'd often convince Jan and I to meet him at some beer pub that had forty gazillion taps. Then he'd want me to sample beers and tell me what I thought.. My beer knowledge gets me to the point where I can taste the difference between one and another and that's it but I swear he'd be able to figure out the most intricate detail of how the beer was manufactured just based on tasting it.

I remember Lewis:

And finally I will remember Lewis just because he was my brother and I loved him.



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