Jack Rubinstein, 93

Meticulous architect, family’s emotional rock


Jacob “Jack” Rubinstein was an architect, and designed many homes in the Five Town, including his family’s own house in Woodmere, where his wife, Edith, still lives. He also helped to restore the Nassau County Museum of Art, and designed cabanas and bathrooms along the sand in Atlantic Beach.

A Woodmere resident since 1960, he died on March 21. He was 93.

“He lived a long happy life,” Edith said, “He loved his family. Nothing too unique, but it was important.” They were married 65 years.

Before attending Yale University, Rubinstein enlisted in the army at 18 as the U.S. entered World War II. He was stationed in New Guinea.

He enjoyed gardening, origami and playing bridge and tennis with Edith into his 80s. “He was very meticulous,” said his daughter, Madelyn. “It’s why he was such a good architect.”

Madelyn said that her father brought joy to everyone he encountered. “He was the life of the party anywhere he went,” she said. “He loved music, he’d break into a Gilbert and Sullivan song whenever you asked him … He enjoyed life, I don’t think I ever saw him sad or depressed.”

His son, Roy, said that his watching his father showed him there’s a time to be serious, and a time for fun. “You obviously emulate your father while growing up,” he said. “I may not be as meticulous as he could be … But I do think sort of his general attitude [rubbed off on me], you have to be serious at time, but also have a sense of humor.”

Daughter Ellen said that she’s found herself asking, “What would dad do?” In some recent stressful situations and according to her, it’s helped. “He would tell me you should relax more,” she said. “That’s something I’m trying to keep with me.”

Around 10 years ago, Rubinstein brought white daffodil flower bulbs to plant at Ellen’s home in New Jersey. While she claims not to have inherited his green thumb, the flowers bloom every year, and after a prolonged winter, Ellen said they had finally bloomed again during the last week of April, about a month after her father’s death. “He took care of himself emotionally,” Ellen said. “We can all take a lesson in that from him.”

Rubinstein is survived by wife Edith, and their children Ellen, Roy and Madelyn, and his grandchildren Sarah and Samuel.