Woodland Pond resident and social activist Annette Finestone celebrates 100th birthday

Annette is wearing black (with the baby in her lap)

Friends, relatives, neighbors and admirers celebrated the 100th birthday of Annette Finestone at Woodland Pond in New Paltz on Saturday.

Annette Chait Finestone was born in the Bronx. Before her first birthday, the family moved to Accord, New York where her parents opened Chaits Hotel and Bungalow Colony. After graduating from Hunter College and the University of Wisconsin, Annette embarked on a career that led to her assignment in Japan as the head of the personnel service for the United States War Department. While in Japan, Annette photographed many memorable scenes of the devastation that defined Japan in the 1940s that later became her inspiration to continue her studies in photography. Her works have been displayed throughout local art exhibits both in the United States and abroad.


The Finestones traveled the world during their time together and were eager to explore other cultures. Upon her retirement in 1988, Annette participated in the Women’s Convoy to Central America, a trip that promoted international women’s solidarity. A source of great pride for Annette was a stirring tribute to Max delivered at the House of Representatives by Maurice Hinchey as a member of Congress on September 3, 2003, to honor Max’s 81st birthday. The couple was lauded for their lifelong support of equal opportunities for all and stewardship of our lands and rivers. Highlighted was Max’s testimony nearly 64 years ago before Senator Joseph McCarthy defending the precious rights of free speech, thought and assembly.

A lifetime of raising two daughters, traveling the world, participating in protests, movements and demonstrations, supporting social causes and inspiring young and old, Annette Finestone has made her home at Woodland Pond. She continues to be an active, involved, provocative, well-know and well-loved resident.

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill was in attendance on Saturday to offer Annette a unanimously approved assembly resolution honoring her 100th birthday.

“I have known Annette Finestone and her late husband Max for decades and stand in awe of the rich tapestry of their lives that includes activism and a lifelong fight for social justice, equal opportunity and protection of the natural environment,” said Cahill.

Annette her sister, Dorothy Goldsmith, age 97