Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice


It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Elaine Ditchek Finestone, may her memory be for a blessing, on May 21, 2021. Elaine died in Orlando, Florida, surrounded by her children and many of her grandchildren.

She was born Jan. 3, 1930, and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., by a large and loving Jewish family, Elaine graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brooklyn College, the first woman of her family to attend college, where she majored in history. She married Dr. Alvin William Finestone, z"l, in 1950, and for the next few years they lived in many locations as Alvin finished his medical training. In 1961, Elaine and Alvin and their three children moved to Clifton Forge, Virginia, a small town in the Allegheny Mountains. Together they created a rich life of dear friends and community service. Elaine was very active in the local Red Cross, the local library, the community Arts Center, and other local organizations. After getting her master's degree in history from Hollins College in Roanoke, she taught history and Western Civilization at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College for many years. She was a beloved and inspirational teacher to hundreds of students.

Elaine and Alvin also traveled to several countries together, including many trips to Israel. After Alvin's death, Elaine moved to Boston, Mass., where she lived for several years. She then moved to Orlando, Florida, where she spent the last three years.

Elaine lived life according to a positive and loving philosophy. She taught all who knew her how to be more practical, loving, accepting, and more flexible for all aspects of life. She was a person who kept all parts of the family connected, and everyone sought her wise counsel. She was adored and loved by all.

Elaine is survived by her three children, Dr. Doug Finestone, Rabbi Sally Finestone, and Lisa Finestone; their spouses, Rabbi Boaz Heilman and Dr. Robert Dabrow; her grandchildren - Sara and Reid, Anna and Nathan, Leah and Brad, Hannah, Jonathan and Trevor, Rachel, Michelle and Josh, and David; and her two great-grandchildren, Jude and Ethan.

The family and all who were blessed to have know Elaine will miss this wise and loving matriarch forever.

The family requests any contributions in her memory be made to the tzedakah (charity) of your choice.

A Graveside Funeral Service was conducted May 25, 2021, in Temple Emanuel Cemetery, Roanoke, Virginia.

Arrangements entrusted to Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel, 640 Lee Road, Orlando FL 32810, 407-599-1180, http://www.bethshalommemorialchapel.com.


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