Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DIES AT 107 - Lazarus Finkelstein

Not all "tombstone stories" are sad ones.  Take, for example the story of Lazarus Finkelstein, buried at Jewish Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park:


Having experienced the vicissitudes of 107 years on two continents, Lazarus Finkelstein, widely known patriarch of the west side, died with most of a family of seven children, thirty-six grandchildren, and twenty-eight great-grandchildren assembled in his home, 218 South Seely avenue.  He was born in Russian Poland, and, retiring from his locksmith profession when 72 years old, he came to America.

He declared he saw Napoleon and his troops burn buildings in his town during the famous retreat from Russia.  On his last birthday, which was also the festival of Chaunak, "Jewish Christmas", a mammoth reception was given in his honor, at which were present many notables of the city.

He was a member of the Hebre Micka and Jewish Literary society, and a steady contributor to charitable organizations.

His seven children all live in the city: Samuel, aged 70, Mrs. Bertha Stein, Mrs. Dora Frank, Mrs. Ida Epstein, Phillip, Hymen, and Henry.  Three of his grandsons are in the army, two of them lieutenants, and the other a chemist, now in France.  The funeral will be tomorrow at his late residence.
Chicago Daily Tribune - Jan. 20, 1918

After I created a Find a Grave page for him, his family contacted me and said that further research showed that Lazarus was probably born in 1808, making him closer to 110 when he died.  Lazarus Finkelstein's grave can be found at Gate 25, Anshe Knesses Israel.  May he rest in peace.

Lazarus Finkelstein
Lazarus Finkelstein

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