Record, Monday, February 28, 2000

Andrew Feintuch, 49: headed town's recreation department

By Seamus McGraw
Staff Writer, Record

Hasbrouck Heights -- It was almost 30 years ago when a shy young man named Andrew Feintuch eased his way into the office of the editor the Observer, a weekly newspaper in Hasbrouck Heights, with a proposal.

"He was just this timid young soul who came in with a lot of ideas and dreams," said Rose heck, who edited the newspaper and later went on to serve as mayor of Hasbrouck Heights.  "He wanted us to work in partnership with him."

Over the next three decades, Mr. Feintuch, who collapsed while watching a wrestling match Sunday and died a short time later, turned the borough's fledgling Recreation Department into a first-class operation, Heck, a Republican, said.   and he helped build the self-esteem of thousands of children in the process, she added.

"He never  wavered," Heck said of Mr. Feintuch, 49.  Among other things, she said, he made certain that every time a young athlete or cheerleader got an award, the honor was recorded in the local paper.

"He f
elt that recognition was very important on every level to a child's self-esteem. "she said.

Mr. Feintuch, who recently was confined to a wheelchair, was regular honoree at award banquets.  During his 28-year career, he received the Bergen County Executives Lifetime Achievement Award and was named the county's Recreation Administrator of the Year.  And 3 1/2 years ago, Hasbrouck Heights declared Aug. 6 "Andy Feintuch Day".

Under Mr. Feintuch's stewardship, the borough instituted a raft if programs.  There were concerts and drive-in movies and borough wide tennis tournaments, and he also established morning programs for the borough's senior citizens.

"He was bright, shining example for young people, and he left a legacy," Heck said.  "There are young people who are volunteering their time today because the were given such a fine example by Andy Feintuch.

"I lost a very, very dear friend", she said.

Mr. Feintuch lived with his father, Max, in Elmwood Park.

Besides his father, survivors include two brothers, George J. Feintuch of Bradenton, Fla., and Harold C. Feintuch of Parsippany-Troy Hills.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Louis Suburban Chapel in Fair Lawn.   Interment will be in Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge.

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