Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00
Plastic Film Products Pioneer,
Three-Term North Hempstead,
New York Councilman
A trailblazer in the implementation of flexible plastics technology and a 16-year North Hempstead Town Councilman, Jerome J. Weinstein died on June 13 in Manhattan. Weinstein, a long-time resident and former mayor the Village in of Sands Point, succumbed to complications from pneumonia.
Weinstein was a man who moved successfully between the challenges of growing a company founded by his father, Robert, in 1926, and the demands of elective public office. He entered the business in the 1940s. By the 1950s, Weinstein had the fortunate foresight to embrace the new technological advances emerging from Japan in flexible plastic. Robert Weinstein’s Apex Coated Fabrics soon became his son’s benchmark-setting Apex Plastic Industries, Inc.
His vision was based on real-world knowledge. Weinstein did not wait for reports of what was happening in his field elsewhere. He and his wife, Marjorie, traveled to Japan and China as often as necessary to acquire early-on knowledge of products such as Mylar, Prismatic Polyester, and Glass-less Mirror Plastics. These had an impact not only on the plastics industry, but also on products developed in America for end-users — commercial, medical, and personal. Prime example: the revolution in packaging brought about by Shrink Film and the ubiquitous Blister Pack.
Bronx born, but educated in the Lynbrook, Long Island public schools, Weinstein attended Harvard University until World War II and service in the United States Army interrupted his college stay. However, after his honorable discharge, Weinstein returned to Harvard and graduated in 1945. By then, he had developed a fortuitous ability to hold multiple thoughts — one that would serve him well in the years to come.
In the 1960s, Weinstein became more and more enmeshed in the affairs of his community. This, in turn, led to his appointment and election as a Village of Sands Point Trustee, Deputy mayor and Mayor. Weinstein was prompted by his Sands Point neighbor and friend, the late Theodore M Black, to consider a more serious role in government. Black, a book publisher and former chairman of the New York State Board of Regents, was an active Republican when Republicans had no identity problems. Encouraged by Black and highly regarded by the North Hempstead Republican hierarchy, Weinstein was appointed to fill a vacancy as a Councilman in the Town of North Hempstead 1971. He was off and running.
As a Councilman, unlike present-day North Hempstead Town Board members, Weinstein — at that that time — represented the entire Township. He was involved in town-wide roads, parks, environmental and fiscal issues, with a particular focus on his hometown of Port Washington. Along with then Supervisor John B Kiernan, Weinstein was twice reelected. When he decided to leave the Town Board, he was the longest-serving Councilman on Long Island. “Jerry was a pleasure to serve with,” recalls Kiernan. “He was always a gentleman and truly cared about his community. As busy as he was, he always managed to find time to respond promptly to his constituents’ requests.”
Weinstein is survived by his wife of nearly 62 years, Marjorie Weinstein, children Jon (Ilana) of Port Washington, Susan Dobuler (Kenneth) of Branford, CT, grandchildren Diana Weinstein Mark, Rachelle and Robert Weinstein, Zoe Dobuler, and the late Paul A. Dobuler.
Although funeral services were private, friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service at 3:30 PM on Sunday, June 23 at The Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Avenue, Madison and East 81st Street in Manhattan. Donations can be made to The Paul A. Dobuler Memorial Research Fund, Children’s Hospital Trust, 1 Autumn Street, Boston, MA 02215.