Maurice Finkel, 97, passed away on October 30, 2020. He was born in
Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 22, 1923. He was the son of Benjamin and
Jessie Finkel. Maurice attended Baron Byng High School in Montreal and
was a design draftsman for Canadian Vickers (later Fairchild and Canadair)
Aircraft after graduating. During WWII he was assigned by Canadair to
Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, California. He worked on the Beaufort and
Bolingbroke (Blenheim) Bombers as well as the PBV-1 Canso (Consolidated PBY
Catalina) being built under license. He was proud of designing the
overhead cockpit window seal in the PBV and had several test flights from
the St. Lawrence River.
After the War he started selling auto parts in Canada for Lion Auto Parts,
Chicago. He covered Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. In 1948 he took
a territory in the United States calling on customers in Indiana, Kentucky,
and West Virginia. The company later became C. Mills Automotive. In
1969 Maurice started National Automotive Lines. He spent his career in
auto parts. He later specialized in standard transmission parts and
distributed his transmission kits through Blue River Supply. He worked
until his death.
Maurice received numerous awards and recognitions including Master Pilot
status by the FAA for over 50 years of safe flying. He soloed in April
1946 in a Fleet Model 7 and went on to fly over 40 aircraft types including
aerobatics. He was the glider tow pilot in a Tiger Moth for the Montreal
Glider Club. Maurice was an honorary life member of the Indiana
University Alumni Association, a Kentucky Colonel, and attended
Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. He was a member of the Elks Club and
Exchange Club. Maurice spoke fluent English, French, and Yiddish.
Maurice, along with his wife Carol, was a founding member of the Shelby
Community Band and the Shelby Arts Council. He was active in Music Study
Club and Community Concerts. He continued to play clarinet in the Shelby
Community Band. Maurice played his circus calliope in parades. He
performed 28 years at the Indiana State Fair tractor parade and many local
and regional parades and festivals. He loved sharing his music.
Maurice married Carol Lee Drevno and the couple raised four children.
Cydney (Joel) Fox, Sondra (Andy) Fogle, Kenneth (Ann) Finkel, and David
(Sarah) Finkel. He leaves behind 9 grandchildren and 5
great-grandchildren. He will be missed by his special friend Mariá del
Pilar Penas Aldrey of Spain. He was preceded in death by his beloved
wife, parents, 3 brothers, and daughter Sondra. He was naturalized as an
American citizen in 1961.
Calling will be held at Freeman Family Funeral Home at
819 S. Harrison Street. Calling will be from 4pm - 8pm on Monday, November
2, 2020. The graveside service and burial will be at 10am Tuesday, November 3, at the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation Cemetery, 1300 E 161st St,
Westfield, IN. Donations may be made to the Finkel Family Fund, c/o Blue
River Community Foundation, 54 W. Broadway St, Shelbyville, IN 46176.