In Memoriam

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Merle Edward Greenstein ’59

A picture of Nasi and Merle Greenstein

Nasi and Merle (’59) Greenstein

Merle Edward Greenstein ’59, July 1, 2010, in Portland, from complications related to prostate cancer. Merle earned a BA in economics at Reed, graduating with honors, and entered the University of Chicago law school on a scholarship. Illness forced him to leave school and return to Portland and his family business, Acme Trading and Supply, a scrap metal recycling company. Merle had a knack for the work, for innovation, and for creating business relationships. By the time he retired in 1991, Acme Trading and Supply had evolved into the Manufacturing Management Group. His work in metal exporting, particularly to China, garnered the Export Award from President Nixon in 1970. Merle was a philanthropist, humanist, and social activist, with an encyclopedic mind and photographic recall. He is remembered for his lack of bias and his respect for others, as well as for his humor. He led fundraising drives for two projects, “Anne Frank in the World” and “Anne Frank: A History for Today,” and served as chair of fundraising for the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. He also served on the board of directors for the YMCA, the Portland Opera, the Oregon-Fujian Chinese Sister State Association, the Alzheimer Development Committee, the Waverly Children's Home, Metropolitan Family Service, and the American Jewish Committee Oregon Chapter. In 2008, the American Jewish Committee recognized Merle's 55 years of community service, presenting him with the Maurice D. Sussman Award. Merle and his wife, Nasi, were cofounders of Komak, a Portland nonprofit that provides financial assistance to cancer patients and their families. Survivors include his wife; three sons and two daughters; four grandchildren; and his sister. Merle's mother, Tillie Germaine Schnitzer Greenstein ’32, also attended Reed

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2010

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