May 8, 1938 – August 6, 2019
Joseph Rubinfine of Merritt Island passed away on Tuesday, August 6, 2019. He is survived by his wife Ruth and his beloved dogs Willie Hightail and Bonnie. He was born in New Jersey on May 8, 1938, and spent the first half of his life helping his parents on their farm. Later he moved to Florida in 1987, first to Jupiter, then to Merritt Island. Always interested in history, he became a leading dealer in American historical manuscripts, and a member of many historical organizations, a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and of the Manuscript Society. He also spent about 15 years training as a runner and competed in 24 marathons, including four Boston Marathons, the highest an amateur runner can reach. He was interested in animal welfare and made large donations to several organizations involved with that activity during his lifetime. Donations in his memory may be made to Georgianna United Methodist Church, Canine Companions for Independence and Southeastern Guide Dogs.
- Celebration of Life Service Saturday, August 17, 2019
August 14, 2019
Joe was an exemplary human being. He was my friend and trusted autograph dealer since the late 1980's. He stood out among his competitors in that field and for me was the very finest of all of them. I am sorry that I did not get to know him better because he was an interesting man and I will miss him.
August 13, 2019
John and I are so saddened to learn of Joe's passing. I was privileged to work for him and his wife Ruth for several years.
Joe' vast knowledge of American history was widely recognized, and his reputation as a documents dealer was one of unquestionable honesty and integrity.
As a dedicated marathon runner, Joe would occasionally limp into the office (that was moans and groans day); for the dreaded dental appointment (that was wear a red shirt day), and eating Sam's hot dogs (well, that was every day!)
An honest and good man, he is very much missed.
August 13, 2019
Oh Gee, Oh Gee. So many wonderful memories. What a great guy.
August 12, 2019
I have bought and sold items to Joe for thirty years. He was always a gentleman and a class act. I spoke with him approximately a week before he passed. My prayers go to Ruth and her family. I thank God we had him for over eighty years.
August 11, 2019
I think we met Joe and Ruth Rubinfine in the mid-60s. Joe would come to our house and buy manuscript material from my mother who handled that part of our family business. We were near each other as exhibitors at the Boston book fair a few times, and I sold a few things to Joe over the years after he moved to Florida. He was a sometimes customer of my wife, a book binder, who made protective cases for some his autograph treasures. Joe was an outstanding autograph and manuscript dealer, but, more importantly, he was a thoroughly decent and honorable man. Veta and I are deeply sorry to read of his death, and extend our sincere condolences to his wife Ruth.
August 10, 2019
Joe was a wonderful mentor to me as well. He was one of the first people I ever bought an autograph from and his catalogues were always an education. I remember once exhibiting at a Washington DC-area autograph show that was held the day of the DC Marine Corps Marathon. Joe showed up after completing the race, his face still flushed, and he made the rounds of the tables and bought some goodies to take home from several of us. Joe's smile could light a room and my sincerest sympathies go to Ruth on her, and our, loss.
August 8, 2019
Joe’s loss leaves a void but he is in a better place in Heaven. He was my mentor and friend. Words cannot express my grief.