David Abbott Garfinkel '78
David Abbott Garfinkel '78, a retired securities company executive, was born on September 21, 1955, in New York City.The eldest son of Bernard H. and Patricia Auerbach Garfinkel, both lawyers, David Garfinkel grew up in his native city,where he was graduated in 1973 from the United Nations International School. He came to College Hill that fall, joined Psi Upsilon, and went out for intramural sports. Impressing newfound friends on the Hill with his marvelous sense of fun and many interests, he is fondly remembered for holding"the College record for shuttling the most people back and forth to Don's Rok in his VW bus." "Garf,"who majored in history and minored in what he once called on an alumni questionnaire" Rok madness," obtained his degree in 1978.
Thereafter,David Garfinkel returned to New York City, where he began work as a sales representative for Procter & Gamble in White Plains.He soon entered the financial field,however,as a trainee at the investment banking firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert. Advancing from account executive to a senior vice presidency, he generated considerable business for the firm,where he was held in high regard. When Smith Barney acquired the retail part of Drexel's business, he stayed on for a time but left in 1993 to join Oppenheimer & Co. There, as a senior vice president, he was one of the firm's largest producers. Known for his "extraordinarily persevering and winning personality,"he was subsequently hired, in 1997, by First Montauk Securities Corp., a New Jersey-based independent firm, to open and preside over its new office in New York City.
From his teenage days when he was president of his high school Philately Club,David Garfinkel had a great fondness for collecting things.He also had an early interest in photography, and with his brother, James '80, he became particularly interested in collecting rare, vintage photographic prints,many of which the brothers generously donated to Hamilton for the Emerson Gallery and to form the nucleus of a study collection for the art department.
David A.Garfinkel, a resident of New Rochelle, NY, who fought a courageous battle with brain cancer for the last several year of his life, died on January 24, 2007. Predeceased by his mother, he is survived by his father and stepmother, Gloria, as well as his wife, Shelley Spector Garfinkel, whom he had married on April 17, 1986, in Manhattan. Also surviving are their three daughters, Pamela, Alicia, and Lauren, and his brothers, James and Paul.