Harold Finkelstein, Patriarch of Max Finkelstein Inc., Dies

Harold Finkelstein, Patriarch of Max Finkelstein Inc., Dies

Harold's legacy is seen in the family business today. When he joined the company, it was a two-generation family business and has grown to include four generations of family members.

Harold Finkelstein, a New York tire icon and one of the owners of Max Finkelstein Inc., has died at the age of 86. He passed away on Dec. 15, surrounded by his devoted family, Max Finkelstein Inc. said.

Harold spent his youth in the family tire business and officially joined tire distributor Max Finkelstein, Inc. in 1955. In 1973, Harold and his brother, Jerry, became co-owners of the business and together they grew the company to become one of the nation’s largest independent wholesale tire distributors, the company said.

“From the start, it was clear that he was a gifted and savvy businessman. He conducted business with passion, charisma, and had a natural ability for building relationships with customers, associates and vendors whom he treated like family,” the company said.

Harold was known as an innovator in the industry and long-held the title of president of the New York Tire Dealers Association, the company said. From a small one-store location in Astoria, New York, Max Finkelstein, Inc. eventually expanded to 16 locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic ranging from Maine to Virginia.

Born in Astoria on Sept. 24, 1935, Harold spent his formative years in Queens. He earned his degree in business from New York University in 1955. At the age of 21, he married his high school sweetheart Marilyn Fern. He then proudly served his country in the National Guard.

Harold’s legacy is seen in the family business today, the company said. When he joined the company, it was a two-generation family business, and it has grown to include four generations of family members: Harold’s son Ronald, sons-in-law Scott and Howard, grandsons Andrew, Brian, Jon and Jeff, and grandson-in-law Andy. In June 2019, Max Finkelstein, Inc. celebrated its milestone 100th anniversary with a centennial celebration in Manhattan where Harold and his brother were given a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the CEO of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

A quiet supporter of many organizations close to his heart, Harold was an active member of his synagogue for over 50 years, where he sat in the front row, beaming at his wife Marilyn who sang in the choir, the company said. Additionally, he was honored by the UJA-Federation of New York for his philanthropic contributions.

The company said Harold’s ultimate pride and joy was his family, with whom he loved to spend time in the Catskills. There, he was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed sharing his passions for hunting, fishing and gardening with family and friends.

Harold is survived by his loving wife of nearly 65 years, Marilyn, his three children, Ronald (Michelle) Finkelstein, Ellen (Scott) Paticoff, and Paula (Howard) Rosenthal, ten grandchildren, Andrew (Hilary), Brian (Hali), Jonathan (Sarah), Jeffrey (Alyssa), Melanie (Andrew), Danielle, David, Julie, Jason, and Daniel, and four great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Noah, Jessa, and Jonah. Endeared brother of Jerome (Estelle) Finkelstein and Susan (Paul) Schiff, he was predeceased by his parents, Irving and Rowie Finkelstein.

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