It was a different time for politics when Jerome Weinstein served the Town of North Hempstead.

Weinstein, who died June 13 at 89 of respiratory failure, was a councilman for much of the 1970s and '80s, before the era of councilmanic districts. Though Weinstein was from Sands Point, himself a former village mayor, board members were elected at-large and the job descriptions were not so tidy.

"Everyone was involved in every aspect of the town," his son Jon Weinstein said. "Every stop sign application in New Cassel, or in Great Neck Estates, every member was involved."

His wife, Marjorie, to whom he proposed and married all within seven months of meeting in Atlantic City, was his wise counsel.

"I always worked with him; he wouldn't start politics in North Hempstead unless I was with him," she said. "We had people calling our houses day and night -- anyone who called, we answered and went running over."

Jerome Weinstein was born in the Bronx in 1924 and raised on Long Island. He graduated from Lynbrook High School and then set off for Harvard, majoring in government.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Just months into his first year, he joined the Army, but after a year, he was injured during training exercises in Texas. He was medically discharged, his son said, and returned to Harvard, graduating in 1945.

He went to work for the family business, Apex Coated Fabrics, which his father started in Manhattan 1926 and moved to Hauppauge. Eventually, the company sold plastics, and Weinstein soon saw the product's potential at home and abroad.

Those who knew him recalled his flair for international business, with a mastery for negotiating, one that had eluded many enterprising Americans.

"It was about how decisions were made in slow, secretive ways, learning the etiquette, the second language of doing business in Japan," Jon Weinstein said. "In the West, in business we instruct. In Japan, we suggest."

The 1960s marked the start of his political career, rising from a Sands Point Village trustee to deputy mayor and then mayor. He was appointed to the town board in 1971.

As councilman, he worked on solid waste issues and sought to expand the park system, his son said.

He stepped down from the board in 1987, his son said.

Howard Blankman, a campaign manager for Weinstein and former chair of the Nassau County Planning Commission, regarded Weinstein as an emblem of a different period. "He got his hands dirty with the rest of us, at a time when politics was fun," he said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

In addition to his wife and son, Weinstein is survived by a daughter, Susan Dobuler of Branford, Conn.; four grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

A memorial service is planned for Sunday at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan.