BOSTON - Henry Finkel, 84, a noted Canadian plastics designer who was very active in the Society of Plastics Engineers, died May 7, on the eve of ANTEC '95 in Boston. SPE members observed a moment of silence in Finkel's memory at the SPE business lunch May 8.
The Boston ANTEC was to be a major event for Finkel. He was one of only nine SPE members this year named to the status of fellow of the society, recognizing contributions to plastics engineering. Finkel, who designed his first plastic product in 1938 when the industry was in its infancy, co-founded the Product Design and Development Division, which was chartered during the Boston ANTEC.
Finkel had a stroke the morning of May 6 in his hotel room, according to his daughter, Nina Valery. His wife, Rose, was with him. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he was pronounced dead at 5:10 p.m. the following day.
His friends at SPE remembered Finkel as a robust man. He presented a technical paper at last year's ANTEC in San Francisco, said A. Nelson Wright, a fellow Canadian and SPE's international vice president.
Finkel, of Westmount, Quebec, had been a member of SPE since 1953. He was among the first people to promote plastics as a legitimate material for durable products, ranging from hairbrushes to calculators to snowshoes.
He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in Great Britain, a founding member of the Association des Designers Industriels du Quebec and the Association of Canadian Industrial Designers, and a former Man of the Year for both the Quebec Section of SPE and Design Canada of the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce.