Amherst Magazine

Donald R. Finberg ’53

Donald R. Finberg ’53 died April 25, 2011.
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DONALD R. FINBERG ’53

It is sad for me to report that Don passed away on April 25, 2011. He had not been in good health for some time and unfortunately did not respond to the best of medical care. Dr. Buck Greenough, a classmate in college and on the staff of Johns Hopkins Medical Center, gave him constant attention.

Don came to Amherst from Newton (Mass.) High School. At college he belonged to Phi Alpha Psi, majored in political science, was a varsity swimmer and was on the student council. Upon graduation, he received a master’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University.

Don joined the Agency for International Development in 1960 and served in Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Portugal. He retired in 1985 with the rank of minister-counselor. He also was posted in Argentina and Chile with the Ford Foundation.

Don met his wife, Hela, through an exchange program with Germany. They kept an active relationship with Gerd Habermann for many years. They have two children, who are very successful professionally, and three grandchildren. Hela and Don traveled extensively in retirement and owned a house in Portugal which they generously permitted friends and family to use. Don was particularly interested in problems facing Hispanic nations and established a bi-national foundation. He was a consultant for nonprofits and tried to carry out exchange programs with Cuba. He was a member of the Cosmos Club.

Don was a close friend, and I admired his keen intellect, dry sense of humor and voracious appetite for books. Hela was godsent in her concern and care for Don in sickness. We shall all miss him terribly.

A memorial service was held at the Cosmos Club in Washington May 16, 2011. Classmates attending were Buck Greenough and Quaneta, Bob Dillon and Alice, Jack Chamberlain and Marietje, J.C. Rothberg, Steve Rous and By Foster, who flew in from Milwaukee for the day.

—Jack Chamberlain ’53

 

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