Sydney Finkelstein believed public education was the cornerstone of democracy and spent more than half a century giving back through public service in the field.

Finkelstein, a trustee with Western Suffolk BOCES whose career as a board of education member spanned more than 50 years, died March 18 at the age of 95 at home in East Northport.

Born in Manhattan, he lived in Brooklyn as a child. He later moved to East Northport with his wife Gloria. The couple married in 1947 and raised three children.

A World War II veteran with the Army Air Force, Finkelstein earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Polytech Institute of Brooklyn. He worked as an engineer with Sperry Gyroscope and Grumman Aircraft for 25 years and as a telecommunications officer with Chemical Bank and

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