Obituary: Arthur Jablow Fink – Portland Press Herald
PEAKS ISLAND – Arthur Jablow Fink, 74, Peaks Island, passed away on April 21, 2021 on his next trip. With his beloved family by his side, he bade farewell, with ocean breezes blowing gently and flowers starting to bloom outside his 25-plus-year-old island home, while at the inside a springtime fire lit in the fireplace, candles lit while his dear friend and chaplain, Jean Berman, led a simple and profound ancient shared process, of honoring Arthur at the sacred moment of his crossing of the spirit – Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home gave him an exceptionally well-maintained last ferry ride.
Arthur was born and raised in Manhattan. Attending Friend’s Seminary inspired him to go to Swarthmore College to study physics. At Harvard, he earned a master’s degree in computer science and was a doctoral candidate in artificial intelligence.
Arthur began a career in journalistic broadcasting and public relations with the American Friends Service Committee in Boston, then managed software development and customer adoption for companies such as: Northeast Cooperatives, General Electric, Volkswagen, the United States Coast Guard and Insurance Hanover. Its software set a stellar standard for usability that still lives on solidly in many hospitals in addition to other corporate settings.
He traveled a lot for work and had a special place in his heart for his beloved Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
As a scientist and artist, Arthur’s passion for dance photography took him across New England to New York. A resident dance photographer at Bates Dance Festival, well over 12 years old, provided him with a bountiful opportunity to honor what he called his “spiritual gift” which taught him “on a very deep soul level” .
Arthur documented a particular funded trip to Auschwitz which was on display at the Maine Jewish Museum and the Portland Friends Reunion. He had planned other presentations of the work to spark discussions about bringing hope and light as we consider dark historical events.
He has often offered his photography in significant ways, for years volunteering at Maine Medical Center photographing families whose babies have had very short lives or who have died at birth and photographing parades and events including the community of Peaks Island can benefit.
Teaching photography classes was a valuable part of his photography work. Arthur has also offered his varied consulting and coaching expertise, serving on the Board of Trustees of Creative Portland, the Portland Historic Preservation Commission and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Maine Coast Waldorf School at Freeport, during which he oversaw the first fundraising campaign to design and build what is now the Waldorf School in Freeport. He was also active in the Waldorf School in Wilton, NH before coming to Portland.
Speaking frequently and as a mentor to other presenters at Pecha Kucha Portland, a branch of an international forum started in Tokyo over 20 years ago that offers presentations of ideas and experiences, he has served on its board of directors.
He has had an ongoing cherished involvement with the Quaker community, in Portland and New England, as well as at meetings of friends in London and Amsterdam, often as one of the clerks. Arthur also served on the board of directors of Abbey of Hope, a group promoting interfaith dialogue, and was an active participant in the Northfield Conference – a 125-year-old multi-age, multi-faith, multi-gender spiritual conference held. at Northfield-Mt. Herman School in Mass.
For those who knew Arthur, with his incredible energy, curiosity and activism, it was hard to hear that he had been diagnosed with end-stage pancreatic cancer on his 74th birthday, just seven and a half weeks before his death. . Always the stimulating questioner in any meeting or conference, his heritage is to encourage questioning, compassion, and moving artistic expression in everything we do or consider. Preserving the memory of his presence in the many neighborhoods of the Portland community and in Maine will confirm that he lives in the spirit, inspiring all of us.
Arthur was predeceased by his mother, Selma Jablow Fink, his second mother, Sona Holman Fink, his father, Karl Fink, his granddaughter Sarah.
Arthur is survived by his beloved wife Aaiyn Foster; his second daughter, Alyssa Foster Tabbutt, his son-in-law Kenneth Curry; her grandchildren, Lola Rose, Homer James and Ophelia Grace of South Lake Tahoe, California; his step-sons Austin, Jonathan Chick and his wife Zabella Hassan Chick, of New York, and their children Julian, Luella and Emmett.
Arthur had a private green funeral at the Portland Friends Reunion Cemetery.
Thursday, OCTOBER 7, 2021, OPEN 5-7 for the exhibition of Arthur’s dance photographs, DANCING IN THE LIGHT, Spiegel Gallery at the Maine Jewish Museum (MJM) curated by Nanci Kahn & Bruce Brown. The show is from OCTOBER 7 TO NOVEMBER 12, 2021. FIRST FRIDAY ARTWALK: November 5, 5-8.
MEMORIAL: Saturday, OCTOBER 9, 2021, Safe Outdoor Gathering Memorial, Friends / Quaker Tradition Memorial Reunion, Peaks Island Lions Club, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Honor of Life and Arthur’s legacy, and the sheer joy he brought and shared so freely throughout his life.
Please visit http://www.jonesrichandbarnes.com to view Arthur’s tribute page and sign his online guestbook.
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