Soldier, businessman, husband and father. Robert L. Feinsod, who passed away at age 97 on Jan. 5, wore many hats in his long life. For his friends and neighbors, this World War II hero will also be remembered as a dedicated public servant. After settling in the Village of East Hills with his family, Bob, as he was known to friends and family, served the village as, first, a member of the Board of Trustees, then as its president and later, as assistant mayor to Mayor William Fleischer. From serving on the Water Commission to the board of trustees, Feinsod’s public service lasted nearly a quarter of a century, from 1960 to 1984.
“We were all extremely sad to learn that Bob Feinsod passed away,” Mayor Michael R. Koblenz told The Roslyn News. “Personally, Bob was delightful. Then too, as a community leader he served East Hills with aplomb. As deputy mayor, trustee, and later as a committee member of our Board of Zoning and Appeals, he always had the greatest skill and acumen. East Hills will always be grateful to Bob for his special blend of positive and productive leadership which helped build and promote our community.”
During World War II, Bob served in the United States Army as a member of the 17th and 82nd Airborne Divisions, rising to the rank of Captain. As a soldier, he fought in the epic Battle of the Bulge. Once Germany was liberated, he was one of the first Americans to enter Berlin. His military achievements were honored years later by New York Governor George Pataki with a Certificate of Conspicuous Service. Family members recall that a highlight of his life was leading his company in the victory parade down Fifth Avenue at the war’s conclusion.
After the war, Bob married the love of his life, Kalma Jewel Shapiro. The couple became parents of two sons, both of which were accomplished in their own right. Dr. Fred Feinsod is a nationally-known geriatrician and longterm care specialist residing in Colorado Springs, CO. Dr. Arthur Feinsod is a playwright, director and artistic director of Theater 7, as well as professor of Theater at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN.
Bob, as noted, proudly served the community of East Hills for many years as member of two village boards. In business, he worked for his father-in-law Joseph Shapiro at Metro Mailing from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, then left to start his own business as a broker/salesman with RLF Associates, representing printers throughout the Northeast and Midwest, working in this capacity most of those years from his modest basement office in East Hills into his late eighties. He was also an active member of the Sayville Rotary Club.
Bob is survived by his wife of 71 years, Kalma Feinsod, and his two sons as well as Fred’s wife, Elizabeth McDevitt Feinsod and Arthur’s wife, Mary Kramer. He also leaves four beloved grandchildren: Jesse Feinsod, Lyla Warner, Lincoln and Simon Peterson as well as a great-grandson, Kai Peterson. He also leaves in-laws with whom he was especially close: Ellen Jacobs, Ruth Jacobs, Melissa Kleinberg and Gabi Wurtzel. Other beloved family members who predeceased him include: Joseph and Beatrice Feinsod, his parents; Herbert Feinsod, his brother and in-laws Joseph and Gertrude Shapiro, Jerome Jacobs and Mira Jacobs.
The family extends appreciation for the special loving care he received in his last years by Nora Harrison, Bonnie Pandohie and other aides provided by Caring People, Inc.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks anyone wishing to remember Bob donate to the Sayville Rotary Club in support of bringing foreign children needing special surgical operations and medical treatment to the United States.