Paul Rubenstein, a founding partner of the accounting firm Holtz Rubenstein, died of natural causes at his Bay Shore home Tuesday. He was 87.
A dedicated accountant and role model in the financial world, Rubenstein gave back to his community by serving on the board of directors for the Long Island chapter of the American Cancer Society and as vice president of the Long Island Philharmonic.
Rubenstein grew up in the Bronx with his parents Norman and Bluma and three siblings. After graduating from high school, he joined the Navy, where he worked as an electrical engineer handling ship communications. One year, he rigged the ship's radio so the captain and crew could listen to the World Series, said his son Chett, of Westport, Connecticut.
When he returned from the Navy, Rubenstein began his accounting career at Adolf B. Lewson ... Son; he met his wife Elizabeth through that job.
In 1975, after working as an independent CPA and with other firms, he and a partner, William Holtz, started their own firm, Holtz Rubenstein ... Co., in Melville. In 2004, the firm merged with Reminick, Aarons ... Co. to become Holtz Rubenstein Reminick. It was one of the top 25 accounting firms in the New York metro area when it merged again with Chicago-based Baker Tilly in 2013, said Barry Garfield, regional managing partner at Baker Tilly.
Even after retiring, Rubenstein continued to help friends and family with their finances, Garfield said. He worked hard to help people with tax returns, even as he struggled with the physical challenges of advancing age, Garfield said.
Rubenstein also helped the greater Long Island community throughout his life, especially through his volunteer work with the American Cancer Society and the Long Island Philharmonic.
Jack Russell, board president of the Philharmonic, said Rubenstein was a loyal and active member.
"His firm was very interested in the community and Long Island and he projected that interest," Russell said, noting Rubenstein's dedication to the Philharmonic's efforts to bring music to underserved school districts.
"Raising money for a cause was his passion," Garfield said. "He was a very passionate individual."
In addition to his wife and son, Rubenstein is survived by his sister Dolores Spirer of Emerson, New Jersey, and three grandchildren.