Isadore E. Silverstein, a founding partner of what became the biggest accounting firm in upstate New York and a prominent figure in Buffalo's Jewish community, died last Thursday in Bethesda Memorial Hospital, Boynton Beach, Fla., after a brief illness. He was 88.
Mr. Silverstein -- called Iz or Izzy by his wide circle of family and friends -- died five weeks after his wife of 64 1/2 years, Elaine Elkin Silverstein, died of cancer.
The couple had lived primarily in South Florida since he retired in the mid-1980s.
Born in Nasielsk, Poland, Mr. Silverstein came to the United States with his family and settled in Buffalo in the mid-1920s.
Mr. Silverstein attended public schools in East Buffalo and graduated from Fosdick-Masten Park High School.
His studies at the University of Buffalo were interrupted when he enlisted in the Army in 1942.
He served in the Southwestern Pacific as a staff sergeant in the Signal Corps.
He returned to Buffalo after finishing his military service in 1946 and took night courses to earn his bachelor's degree in accounting from UB.
Mr. Silverstein opened his own accounting office in 1948 and, 10 years later, co-founded Silverstein and Freed, a public accounting firm. That firm grew into what is known today as Freed, Maxick and Battaglia, which is based in the Liberty Building in Buffalo but also has offices in Batavia and Rochester.
Mr. Silverstein, following in the footsteps of his father, Louis, was deeply involved in the Buffalo Jewish community. He served as a director of both the Board of Jewish Education and Temple Emanuel, a predecessor to the current Temple Beth Tzedek in Amherst.
In 1977, Mr. Silverstein received a leadership award from the United Jewish Appeal for his fundraising efforts, and he continued his work in Jewish fundraising causes after retiring to Florida.
He also was president of Erie Downs Country Club in Fort Erie, Ont., as well as the Montefiore Club in Buffalo. For three decades, he was treasurer of the East Buffalo Credit Union.
Survivors include his sons Howard and Stuart.
A memorial service will be held for both Mr. Silverstein and Mrs. Silverstein at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 9 at Westwood Country Club, 772 N. Forest Road, Amherst.