Leonard R. Finkelstein

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Leonard R. Finkelstein

Also Known As: "Leo", "Leo /Finkelstein/", "Leo Finkelstein"
Birthdate: (93)
Birthplace: Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States
Death: March 22, 1999 (93)
Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States
Place of Burial: Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Harry L. Finkelstein and Fannie G. Finkelstein
Husband of Sylvia Finkelstein
Father of <private> Finkelstein and Patricia Sue Adams
Brother of Rosa Finkelstein and Hilda Banov

Occupation: US, NC, Buncombe, Asheville (7 SW Pack Sq.)
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Leonard R. Finkelstein

Leo Finkelstein, 93, of 200 Riceville Road, The Summit, Asheville, died Monday, March 22, 1999, at a local hospital. A native of Asheville, he was a resident of Buncombe County for his entire life. The son of Harry and Fannye Finkelstein, Leo Finkelstein graduated from Asheville High School in 1922. He briefly attended the University of North Carolina, but returned home when his father died to take over the family business, which he ran until his retirement in 1970. He was married for 52 years to the late Sylvia B. Finkelstein.

While a man of many accomplishments, he has been most recognized for his musical talents, his civic leadership, and his historical perspectives. Even in his high school days, he was, in many respects, a master musician, and could pick up and play by ear virtually any musical instrument, whether it be the piano, violin, guitar, mandolin, organ, saxophone, bass fiddle, or anything else. His involvement in music spanned seven decades, from his work in a high school musical group, to his active involvement with the Asheville Lion's Club's Sanctimonious Seven, to playing for his fellow residents at the Summit.

For six decades, he was a very active force in various civic, fraternal, religious, and benevolent organizations in the Asheville area. Among other things, he served in the top leadership role of the Lion's Club, the Elks Club, the Masons, and Temple Beth Ha Tephila, which he helped to build. Perhaps he was best known for his historical perspectives. During his service in the South Pacific during World War II, Leo wrote and mailed home humorous stories about life in the Army, which were read at the meetings of the Asheville Lion's Club. After his retirement he wrote Letters from Leo, the first of two books published by Appalachian State University's Center for Appalachian Studies.

His second book, Leo Finkelstein's Asheville and the Poor Man's Bank, also published by Appalachian State University, provides a rich history of Asheville and its people starting in the last half of the 19th Century. The material was developed through stories of his father that he scripted, along with his own recollections.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Leo Finkelstein, Jr. and Phyllis A. Finkelstein of Beavercreek, OH; a daughter, Patricia Adams of Sacramento, CA; three grandchildren: Leland Adams of El Dorado Hills, CA, Stephen B. Finkelstein of Beavercreek, OH, and Rhonda Schornstein of Dallas, TX; his nieces and nephew: Helen Banov of Charleston, SC, Sandra Foreman of Scarsdale, NY, and Sam Banov of Smyma, GA; and his cousin, Maggie Heller of Asheville.


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Leonard R. Finkelstein's Timeline

June 20, 1905
Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States
January 15, 1920
Age 14
US, NC, Buncombe, Ashville Township (213 Broadway)
April 21, 1930
Age 24
March 22, 1999
Age 93
Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States
March 22, 1999
Age 93
Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, United States
Age 93
Age 93
Asheville, NC
Age 93
Asheville, NC