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Herman Finkbeiner

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Finkbeiner, Herman REXFORD Herman Finkbeiner passed away peacefully at his home on April 1, 2013. Herman was born on July 20, 1931 in Syracuse, son of Agnes and Herman Finkbeiner, who were recent immigrants from the turmoil of Germany. He attended the two-room school at Lakeside for his elementary education and Solvay High School. He attended Park College, Parkville, Mo., where he was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in 1952 and where he met and married Fran Gerstner. He and Fran lived in Pittsburg, Kan., until 1956 where he worked for the Spencer Chemical Company. They then went on to the University of Michigan where Herm earned a Ph.D and in the late summer of 1959 came to the GE Research Laboratory. At GE, his work was initially on metal moderated organic reactions, publishing 20 scientific papers and was granted 30 patents. While at GE, he managed several research groups as well as serving as personnel manager for a time. He was involved with the community during his working career as a board member and treasurer of the Schenectady Museum, was a member for many years of the Clifton Park planning board and the Saratoga County planning board, president of and founding member of the Greenhouse and Indoor Plant Association. On retiring after 35 years at GE, he devoted his time and energy to the Landis Arboretum. Fran often told friends that upon returning home from work each day, Herm walked among the hundreds of trees they planted to count the leaves and see if any were new, missing or somewhat different from the day before. He was the first president of the Visher Ferry Association, and the Friends of Grooms Tavern. But the activity which gave him his greatest pleasure and occupied his fullest attention was the Northeastern Woodworkers Association. In addition to being one of the founders of the NWA, Herman served as the first president and executive secretary for a group that went from eight members to approximately 1000 members today. Herman was predeceased by Fran, his loving wife of 57 years and partner in travel, horticultural and woodworking endeavors. He is survived by two sisters, Anne Shaw of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Helen Koslowski of Syracuse, as well as several nieces and a very wide circle of deeply appreciated friends. A service of remembrance will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 4 p.m. at the Glenville Funeral Home, 9 Glenridge Road in Glenville. A calling period will precede the service from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Glenville Funeral Home on Saturday. Contributions may be made in Mr. Finkbeiner's memory to the Northeastern Woodworkers Association, P.O. Box 246 Rexford, NY 12148. For online condolences, directions, or to light a candle, please visit glenvillefuneralhome.com.
Published in Albany Times Union on Apr. 4, 2013
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