Virginia Beach —Sidney P. Finkelstein, affectionately known to his grandchildren and many others as “Big Daddy,” passed away peacefully in his home early Saturday, Nov. 15.
He was born in Norfolk, and was the son of the late William and Bessie Finkelstein and was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Patricia A. Finkelstein and by his son, Richard Finkelstein.
He is survived by his daughters, Ruth Tavss and her husband Richard Tavss and Debra Glenn and her husband Nicholas Glenn; and his son, Bernard Flint and his wife Myra Flint. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Besianne Tavss Maiden; Barbara Tavss Schoolar and her husband Sanders T. Schoolar IV, Catherine Glenn, Victoria Glenn, Alexandra Glenn, Kimberly Finkelstein Wright, Ricky Finkelstein, William Flint, Edward Flint and 11 great-grandchildren.
Sidney graduated from the University of Virginia and then at the immediate outset of World War II , he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Upon completion of training as a navigator, he earned his officer’s commission and valiantly served his country in dozens of combat missions in the B-26 Martin Marauder. Sidney’s “ship” was known as the “Hell’s Angels.” His fighter-bomber was assigned to the 19th Bomb Squadron, 22nd Bombardment Group, affectionately known as The Red Raiders. The men of the “Hells Angels” were credited with shooting down numerous enemy aircraft and striking key tactical and strategic targets at Timor, Lae and Rabaul from their bases in Townsville, Australia and Port Moresby, New Guinea, thus paving the way for the United States’ victory in the Pacific. At the end of the war, Sidney was honorably discharged at the rank of Captain. Sindey was also a proud member of the Masonic Atlantic Capitol Lounge for 74 years.
A graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Virginia Beach Rescue Squad, 740 Virginia Beach Blvd., 23451, or the Virginia Beach SPCA, 3040 Holland Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be sent at www.hdoliver.com.