Richard A. Fink
Published 6:36 pm Thursday, December 22, 2011
Lt. Col. Richard A. Fink, U.S. Army (retired) of Tryon died Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011 at St. Luke’s Hospital, Columbus.
Born and raised in Oak Park, Ill., he was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Fink. A graduate of Oak Park and River Forest Township High School, class of 1936, he attended Lawrence University, attaining a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration in 1940. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon national fraternity.
After a brief stint in the business world he was drafted into military service in January 1942. After basic training he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the wartime Army of the United States. He attended numerous Army service schools and graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1957. Following his graduation in 1957, he accepted a commission in the regular U.S. Army.
He commanded troops in North Africa and Europe during WWII and in Korea during the conflict there. In the following years, he served two additional tours in Europe and in the 1960s was stationed in Iran, where he was a member of a group serving as advisors to the Imperial Iranian Army.
Lt. Col. Fink was promoted through the years and at the time of his retirement he was serving as a liaison officer for the deputy commander of all U.S. forces in Europe and as such was stationed at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Europe). During his military career he was awarded, in addition to numerous service medals, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart and the Legion of Merit, which is awarded by the president of the United States.
Lt. Col. Fink was an avid yachtsman. Following his retirement after 28 years of military service he married Marianne A. Hazle in 1990. The two spent summers on their yacht cruising the Great Lakes from their home port in Saugatuck, Mich.
During the summer of 1990 they took their ship on a “grand voyage,” traveling more than 2,000 miles from Saugatuck, Mich. to Georgetown, S.C. Upon completing this voyage they gave up their home in Michigan and made Tryon their permanent residence. In the following years, using Georgetown as a home port, they cruised numerous times down to and around Florida.
Lt. Col. Fink is survived by his wife, Marie A. Hazle Fink of Tryon; one daughter, Suzanne MacDonald of Buena Vista, Colo.; one stepson, Rupert Hazle of Austin, Texas; one stepdaughter, Vana Bolling (Dr. Tom Bolling) of Newport, Tenn.; a step-granddaughter, Victoria Bolling, as well as a niece and nephew.
Memorial services will be held in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. in the spring of 2012.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills at 130 Forest Glen Dr., Columbus, N.C. 28722 or to St. Luke’s Hospital at 101 Hospital Dr., Columbus, N.C. 28722.
An online guest register is available at www.mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com. McFarland Funeral Chapel, Tryon.