‹ Return to Current Obituaries

Order Flowers now for guaranteed delivery before Maxwell's visitation.

Maxwell "Max" Finestone

Maxwell Finestone passed away August 15th, 2011 a few weeks after celebrating his 89th birthday with family and friends. A longtime resident of Accord, NY, Max is fondly remembered for his devotion to family, his intellect, warmth, sense of humor and longtime commitment to political and social causes.

Max was born on July 28th, 1922 in Boston, the son of Anna (Saunders) and Samuel Finestone, and spent much of his childhood in Ithaca, New York. He attended Northeastern University and Ithaca College before volunteering for the Merchant Marine during World War II. After the war he completed his undergraduate education with a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

In 1953 he met and married his wife of 58 years, Annette Chait. They ran Chaits Hotel in Accord for more than twenty-five years. Hundreds of former guests and staff have profound memories of their time at Chaits, a resort for "delightful, talented, and creative guests", known for its diversity and eclectic style.

After selling the hotel in 1978, rather than "retire", Max continued his dedication to social and political causes on both the local and national levels. When asked why, he answered "to make the world a better place for my children and my children's children". Max chaired the Democratic Committee and the Town of Rochester Environmental Conservation Commission, and also volunteered with Meals on Wheels and the Accord Town Pantry. 1980, he served as an election observer in Nicaragua. Actively participating in a number of progressive Presidential campaigns, from Henry Wallace to Ralph Nader, Max liked to joke that he was proud to have been part of a series of "losing causes".

Max was a dedicated political activist, an actor in community theater and a world traveler. With his resonant voice and his impeccable timing, he could tell a joke like no other and will always be remembered for his unmatched sense of humor.

He is survived and forever loved by his wife Annette, daughters Laura and Lisa, son-in-law David Skillicorn, grandchildren Eva Chait Skillicorn and Michael Skillicorn, extended family the Stones and the Goldsmiths, and countless dear friends.

A celebration of Max's life will be held at the family home at 150 Mill Hook Rd. in Accord NY, on September 24th at 3pm. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Max's honor to the Rosenberg Fund for Children or Planned Parenthood.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maxwell Finestone, please visit our flower store.


John Shurtz - September 3rd, 2011 at 11:51am - Email
Never met your father Laura, but heard much about him from you. Reading these messages gave me an even better understanding of what a great guy he was. Lucky you, lucky all of us, to have had a man like that giving to the community for so many years. Blessings~

Dr steven Cordovano - August 29th, 2011 at 11:08pm - Email
My sincere condolences to the Finestone family.your love and attention to max was beautiful and real. A pleasure meeting you all . Dt Steve. St frances ED beautiful

Suzy McGrath - August 22nd, 2011 at 4:16pm - Email
Laura and Family, My deepest sympathies in the loss of your father. I fondly remember the parties I attended as your caterer, only to be made to feel like one of the family. I can recall the smiles and stories to this day...not just a party, but an event to be cherished by all who were privileged enough to receive an invite! These were the memories your father helped create for so many friends... Suzy McGrath

Carl Chipman - August 19th, 2011 at 2:10pm - Email
Our community has lost a great leader who never compromised what he believed in. He inspired many during his long life. My condolences to the family.

Leslie Curtis - August 18th, 2011 at 12:41pm - Email
Max and I worked together on the US Census and he was wonderful to work with and an inspiration. Max was a Patriot in every way. He will be missed by our country. I was honored to call him my friend.

Robin Zinaman - August 18th, 2011 at 10:31am - Email
My condolences to the Finestone family. It was my honor and pleasure to meet Mr. Finestone at Woodland Pond.

Kathy Kuthy - August 17th, 2011 at 10:49pm - Email
I am very proud to call Max my friend. I have missed him over the last few years as he so gracefully and elegantly, became less active while those he inspired carried on his life's work in an active and activist way that made him so proud to see continue. The best advice I ever received from anyone, ever, was as I took office in this small town and Max said to me, "always be you and they can't push you around, be your own man". To which I replied, "they can never take that away from from me". Max, with almost a fatherly twinkle in his eye, then said, "that's my gal!" I hope they never throw away that mold Max was made from, we need more of him! Max, thank you for being you!

Mikhail Horowitz - August 17th, 2011 at 12:34pm - Email
Max was a mensch with a capital M. I'd say, "Rest in peace," but in his case, "Struggle in (and for) peace" would be more appropriate. He was the best kind of fighter for progressive causes, the kind who knows that you have to keep laughing as you struggle - you have to fight with a sense of humor and a sense of joy, not with the same dead earnestness as the warmakers and profiteers and religious fundamentalists that you oppose. He DID make this world a better place for his children and his children's children, by the mere fact of his having been in it, fighting for change and laughing all the way. My sincerest condolences to Annette, Laura, and Lisa.

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM