Lewis R. Finkelstein

January 5, 1960April 29, 2019

Lewis R. Finkelstein, of Foothill Ranch, CA passed away unexpectedly on April 29, 2019 in Mission Viejo, CA. Lew was born in Boston, MA on January 5, 1960. He grew up in Wakefield, MA and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1978. Lew graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. Lew began his professional career in Chicago before heading out west to the Bay Area in 1984 and then to Orange County in 1986. He proudly joined the Firm of Rossi LLP on December 1, 1995 and was a partner in the accounting, auditing, and tax practices. He was admired and respected by his partners, staff, and clients. In 1994, Lew married Sheree Metzner. They started their life together in Laguna Beach and settled in Foothill Ranch in 1996. They had 2 children, Joseph and Michael.

Lew was a leader in his community. He was a valued member of his temple, Temple Beth El of South Orange County. He served on the Executive Council as Treasurer of his fraternity, Psi Upsilon, as well as the Board of Directors of the Psi Upsilon Foundation. He was also active in the Orange County Illini Club, serving as Treasurer and past President. Lew was an active member of Provisors, a business networking organization, serving on the Nonprofit Affinity Group Executive Committee. Lew was a past member of the Board of Trustees of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Orange County Chapter. Lew loved to golf, play tennis, watch his sons play football and baseball, make his annual family vacation trip to Hawaii, his short excursions to Las Vegas, and his annual home coming trip to Champaign, Illinois. Lew loved sports, all sports, but especially his beloved Boston Red Sox. Lew loved to tell stories of his many travels and antics that made us laugh endlessly. He was loving, caring, and always willing to go the extra mile to help people. He loved meeting people and getting to know them and was the glue that brought people together. He touched the lives of so many and leaves behind wonderful memories for all who knew and loved him.

Lew is survived by his wife, Sheree Metzner, and their children, Joseph and Michael Finkelstein. He is also survived by his mother Sandra Finkelstein, brother Mark (Allison) Finkelstein, aunt and uncle Irma and Leonard Cravath, brother-in-law Dale (Karen) Metzner, as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Lew was preceded in death by his father Stanley Finkelstein, nephew David Finkelstein, grandparents Samuel and Jenny Finkelstein, Leon Rosenthal and Rose Bornstein, and mother-in-law Joyce Metzner.

Services will be held at 11:00 on May 5, 2019 at Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park, 1625 Gisler Avenue, Costa Mesa. Luncheon will follow at the Costa Mesa Country Club, 1701 Golf Course Dr, Costa Mesa.


  • Chapel Service Sunday, May 5, 2019


Lewis R. Finkelstein

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Terry Huebner

May 28, 2019

Lew and I became friends back at Snyder Hall at the University of Illinois and I was sitting next to him in the TV room when Bucky Dent hit the home run to defeat his beloved Red Sox in 1978. Lew was always great fun and the life of any room he was in. Though I haven't seen him in many years, I think of him and our old friends often and am very sad that I will never get the chance to debate the merits of the Cubs and Red Sox over a cold one down in Champaign. He was a truly great guy, smart and loads of fun, and his friends and family will always miss him and treasure his memory.

David Naour

May 12, 2019

So sad to hear about Lew.
He was always one of the “fun” alums who came back to see us at the Psi U house.
I hope your family is doing OK

Mauricio Heilbron

May 4, 2019

Lew was an example of an everyday least he was to me.
Lew was my accountant. I found him at a time when I was having considerable problems in my life...which subsequently got WORSE after I signed on.
Lew took care of me.
He let me know, "'re gonna be OK. I got this," always with a sweet kindness to his tone.
He, along with the staff at Rossi LLP under his direction, literally saved my (financial) future.
I'm a surgeon, but HE was the one doing all the "life-saving" as far as I was concerned.
I could tell he genuinely cared about me.
Every time I came in for a meeting in their conference room, he would sit alongside his right-hand-woman, Darlene, and just TALK to me.
Listen to me.
My stories. My ups and downs. Professional life. Personal life.
All of it.
His quiet confidence and gentle enthusiasm helped me more than he will ever know.
Rest in peace, my friend. We will all miss you...

Sean Sifford

May 4, 2019

My deepest condolences to your entire family. Though I had only met Lew on a few occasions at our fraternity's convention, I can say that he will be thoroughly missed. I had the pleasure to serve on the executive council with him. I am from one of our smaller chapters in the middle of western Pennsylvania and was so nervous for our first meeting. However Lew was there to laugh and smile with, and completely calm my nerves. I couldn't be more proud to call him my brother.

Yours, Truly
Sean Sifford, Sigma Phi 20'

Lisa Winger

May 3, 2019

Dear Sheree, Joey, and Michael

My deepest sympathy for your loss. I will miss Lew very much. It was not long ago that we watched the Illini basketball team play in Las Vegas. His wonderful energy and zest for life was contagious and a joy to be around. My love and prayers to all of you.

Lisa Winger
LA Illini Club

Michael Yoon

May 3, 2019

Dear Sheree, Joey, and Michael
My deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers are with you. Lew was the one that first reached out and given me the opportunity to work here at Rossi. He has taught me so much about the profession and life in general. He was a great mentor and a kind friend. I will never forget all the laughs we had during our business trips and lunch outings, and his kind compliments given to my parents when he met them at my wedding. I will forever be grateful for all that he's done for me and will miss him dearly. May he rest in peace.

Erin Marker

May 3, 2019

Dear Sheree, Joey & Michael,

I am deeply sorry for your loss. Lew and I met because of his passion for the University of Illinois. As you know, he was a tireless advocate and served as a dedicated volunteer in more ways than one. The University of Illinois and our Alumni Association greatly appreciate his commitment and dedication throughout the years. I’m personally grateful that I had the chance to get to know such a wonderful, kind, passionate individual. He spoke very highly of his family and was incredibly proud of his two sons. I just can’t imagine what your family is going through right now. I will keep you in my prayers.

Deepest Sympathies,
Erin Marker

’04 AHS
Director of Development, California
University of Illinois

Christian Brydges

May 3, 2019

I am so sorry to hear this news. I’ve known Lew as a brother at Psi Upsilon for many years and have enjoyed time with him at the fraternities conventions. He was devoted and hard working, and he will be greatly missed. My sincerest condolences to Lews family.
Christian Brydges Nu ‘95

Jane Lipio

May 2, 2019

Dear Sheree, Michael, and Joey,
I am so sorry for your loss. I'd worked with Lew for the past 15 years and I am very sad over his sudden passing.
Thoughts and prayers for you.
Jane Lipio

Preeti Ghuman

May 2, 2019

Dear Sheree, Joey, and Michael,

I am so saddened to hear the news about Lew. My deepest condolences to your family. Lew has been a wonderful friend and mentor for the past 20 years. He will always be remembered for his kindness. I am very lucky to have spent time with him and he will be greatly missed. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help during this difficult time and in the future.