1932 St. Xavier graduate turns 100 years old

Stuart Fink, shown with his wife of 55 years Estelle, will turn 100 years old on May 27. Fink and his family will attend a Mass in his honor May 27 at St. Louis Bertrand Church, where the couple are members. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

By JESSICA ABLE
Record Staff Writer

Stuart Fink has seen a great deal in his nearly 100 years of life.

The St. Xavier High school graduate — who will turn 100 on May 27 — is still as active as he was 30 years ago.

“He is very up on everything going on, especially politics and sports. He’s very ‘in the know,’ ” Susan Fink, his daughter-in-law, said.

The centenarian was raised in Louisville and attended St. Cecilia Church and School. At St. Xavier he played basketball, football and baseball. Additionally, Fink was a member of the orchestra.

After graduating from St. X in 1932, Fink began work with Monsignor Felix Newton Pitt at the Catholic School Board, where he made deliveries to the schools.

“Monsignor Pitt would let me drive his car,” Fink recalled incredulously in a recent interview.

Fink married shortly after graduating from high school and had three children. In 1951 his wife passed away and he was married in 1957 to Estelle Monroe. The couple had three more children.

Fink, who has always had a passion for music, became involved with the Silver Notes, a seniors singing group, fifteen years ago.

“I’ve always enjoyed music. I played the banjo in high school. I always sang anytime anyone played the piano,” he recalled. “I would take my banjo to dances. When the orchestra would take an intermission, I would get my banjo out and I would play and sing.”

The Silver Notes group performs approximately 40 times a year at various nursing homes, before civic groups and at the state fair. Recently, they were invited to sing at the state Capitol.

“We sing golden oldies, some popular music, patriotic tunes, some Irish music and Christmas songs,” Estelle Fink, the group’s administrator, said. “He’s the star of the show,” she added proudly, pointing toward her husband of 55 years.

Fink, who is in relatively good health, credits his family and faith to his longevity.

“Having a loving, caring wife and family to support you helps. Also, staying close to the Lord helps. In my lifetime, I’ve relied on my faith a great deal,” he said.

Fink plans to mark his birthday with several celebrations in the coming weeks. In addition to a party that was given by the Silver Notes on May 15, Fink and his family will attend a Mass in his honor at St. Louis Bertrand Church, where the couple are members, on May 27.

The centenarian has plans “to retire someday” but until then he has a jam-packed singing schedule.

“To me he is not any different than when he was 60 or 70 years old. He still sings to me everyday,” his wife said proudly.

Stuart Fink, third from left in front row, played the banjo in the orchestra at St. Xavier High School. (Photo Special to The Record, date approximately 1930)

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