Arthur Stein, who lived on Bluff Road in Amagansett during the summer, died of leukemia after a long illness last Thursday in New York City. Mr. Stein, who was 81, founded a company called Display Technologies in 1959 that was known for a device that allowed single beverage bottles to slide to the front of convenience store refrigerator shelves. He was known locally for his many interests and the lemon yellow and robin’s-egg-blue Citroen Deux Chevaux 2CL he drove about town.
Mr. Stein was an original member of the East Hampton Tennis Club, a life member of the Art Students League of New York, and a former member of the board of trustees of the Victor D’Amico Institute of Art (the Art Barge) in Amagansett.
A painter, Mr. Stein had received a jurors’ award from the National Academy of Art. An international backgammon player, he also was honored as a whist champion. He also collected specimen conifers.
Mr. Stein was born on Oct. 15, 1930, in Jersey City, a son of Morris Stein and the former Estelle Roth. He grew up and went to school in Weehawken, N.J., before going to Brown University, from which he graduated in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He served in the Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Japan, where he learned to speak the language fluently.
Mr. Stein came to the East End in the late 1960s and bought one of the historic Bluff Road summer houses in 1976. His gardens were once featured in The Star. After retiring in 2001, he spent much of his time reading history or painting on his house’s wide porch. Despite the proximity of the ocean, Mr. Stein was said to prefer his garden. He was known to ask why anyone would lie on the sand when they could sit on the porch and look at a garden.
In 1991, Mr. Stein and the former Jan Cranston were married. She survives, as do his children of a former marriage: Jonathan Stein of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Allison Stein of Santa Monica, Calif. A brother, Larry Stein of Cave Junction, Ore., and two grandchildren also survive.
A service was held at the Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel in New York City on Feb. 3. Mr. Stein had been a fund-raiser for his alma mater, for which memorial contributions were suggested. They can be sent to Brown University, P.O. Box 1976, Providence, R.I. 02912.