Charles B. Fink
August 2, 1932 – February 25, 2018
Charles B. Fink, prominent Providence architect and Professor Emeritus of the Rhode Island School of Design School of Architecture, passed away on February 25, 2018 at age 85 at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, comforted by his close family members. Son of Moe and Betty (Cohen) Fink, known by most as Chick, he was a resident of Providence and Newport, graduating from Hope High School and attending Brown University where he was named a Francis Wayland Scholar. Chick transferred after freshman year to MIT to attend its five-year architecture program, where he won a six-month Skidmore, Owings and Merrill travel fellowship which he used to study and draw the architecture of Europe.
Chick worked full time until age 80, when one of his final projects was designing renovations for Belvoir Properties of several units in Rhode Island Hospital where he ironically became a patient briefly during the design process. Architecture and art were so central to him that as recently as a few days before he died, he astonishingly sat up and completed a drawing, from memory, of the Rhode Island State Capitol. Beloved by his clients who often became his friends, he was known to design an entire house on a matchbook cover in an hour. Architect of innumerable significant projects, he left his impression on the landscape of Rhode Island. His portfolio included home designs and renovations all over the state, including homes along Ocean Drive in Newport; commercial buildings, hospitals, banks, public housing – an array of design projects, from renovating kitchens to designing cities. Each project was as important to him as the other, and each was born out of his respect for natural forms and environmental considerations.
Embracing life, Chick was an avid sailor purely for the aesthetics, pouring himself into restoring and sailing his old wooden ketch and his antique Chris Craft runabout. Rejecting modern boat electronics, he taught himself and others celestial navigation for the RI Power Squadron. Amongst his other interests were his passion for music, where he initiated an introductory survey course at RISD as well as studying the cello. Chick had served as editor of the MIT Lampoon humor magazine, where he refined the art of caricature in his cartoons, which remain treasured by friends and family recipients. In recent years, Chick also became a crossword puzzle aficionado. Of all his projects, he himself probably most loved his renovations of the Beechbound Carriage House in Newport where he resided for many years, alongside his co-owner clients who became his very dear friends.
Charles B. Fink is survived by his wife Judith (Appelbaum) Fink, his daughter Amy Fink Levine, and his granddaughter Julia Rachel Levine. He is also survived by his loving brother Michael Fink and wife Michael W. Fink, sister-in-law Ruth D. Fink and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his elder brother, Edward L. Fink. He is also survived by devoted and beloved friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at the Sugarman-Sinai Memorial Chapel, 458 Hope Street, Providence with burial in Swan Point Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to The Providence Preservation Society, Miriam Hospital, or Hallworth House. Shiva will be held at the home of Edward Fink, 229 Slater Ave, Providence; Wednesday and Thursday 7-9PM.
- Funeral Service Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Charles B. Fink
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February 27, 2018
Offering my sincere condolences to the family. May the wonderful memories continue to provide a measure of comfort and peace to your family. Please be strengthened and encouraged by the words found at 1Thessalonians 4:14