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Book-Lover Mae Finkel, Nurse in Ophth​almologist Practice, Dies at 88

March 12, 2009
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Mae (Kasselman) Finkel, 88, a former nurse, died March 5 at the Quadrangle in Haverford.

Finkel was born on March 29, 1920, in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia. She graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1937 and attended Camp Hoffnung in Pipersville, Pa.

She graduated from the Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing in 1939 and became a nurse to ophthalmologist Dr. Maxwell Herman, for whom she worked until her marriage in 1956 to Maxwell Finkel. She specialized in cataract removal, and assisted Herman in treating many local and international performance artists, including conductor Eugene Ormandy.

The Finkels lived in Wynnefield from 1956 until 2006.

Finkel became a longtime volunteer at the Wynnefield Branch of the Free Library, where she led Junior Great Books discussion groups and worked in the LEAP (Learn, Enjoy and Play) program. She mentored students through high school and into college as part of the Philadelphia Futures Program.

Finkel traveled with her family throughout North America and Europe, but always enjoyed most the annual Great Books Summer Institutes at Williams College, Bard College and Colby College.

Finkel is survived by her husband, Maxwell Finkel; son Adam Finkel; sister Eleanor Reibstein; a granddaughter; a niece, nephew and two great-nephews. She was predeceased by her mother, Sarah Ida Herring, and her father, Benjamin Kasselman.


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