Richard Michael Edelstein of East Hampton, 47, who managed several restaurants and other establishments on the South Fork over the past 20 years, died at Southampton Hospital on Sept. 7. A sister, Marcia Darrow of Pelham, N.Y., said he had had a heart attack at work.
Mr. Edelstein was born in Manhattan on Dec. 15, 1964, to Harvey Edelstein and the former Ruth Salzberg. Two years later, they moved to Montauk full time. Mr. Edelstein graduated from the Montauk School and, in 1983, from East Hampton High School.
After spending a year at a college in Boca Raton, Fla., he transferred to Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I., where he received degrees in hotel management and institutional restaurant management — “a field he was made for,” said his sister. He lived for a time in New Jersey while working as a senior sales manager at the Drake Hotel in Manhattan, “but Montauk was always his heart,” Ms. Darrow said.
Mr. Edelstein returned here to help another sister, Jody Kalafut of East Hampton, take care of their father before his death in 1991. Afterward, he stayed on and picked up where the elder Edelstein had left off: He became a member and the secretary of the Montauk Friends of Erin, and the treasurer of both the Montauk Lions Club and the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. He especially enjoyed being involved with the St. Patrick’s Day parades in Montauk and Manhattan, said his sister.
The establishments where he worked included the Hermitage on Napeague and the Surf Club in Montauk. He most recently served as front desk supervisor at c/o The Maidstone, where “he was very happy working with the team, especially Sophie and Par, and made the lobby a fun place to be,” said Ms. Darrow. Mr. Edelstein also worked full time in accounting at the East Hampton Airport.
“When he moved back to the area, he bonded with many Montauk people including Ron Glogg, Richie Weiss, Eric Rottach, and many others. He also reunited with his old childhood gang,” Ms. Darrow said. Mr. Edelstein also made a lifelong friend, Michael Book, and became godfather to Mr. Book’s son Tyler. His three nieces called him Bear, his sister said, “because his bear hugs always made things better.”
Mr. Edelstein played a good round of golf, and enjoyed trips with a brother-in-law to the Big Smoke in Las Vegas, a convention of cigar aficionadoes. “He really lived a lot in those 47 years,” said Ms. Darrow. “His life should be celebrated with laughter, joy, and love, just the way he would have wanted.”
Mr. Edelstein never married.
Cantor Debra Stein of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons officiated at funeral services, held at Main Beach on Sept. 9. He was cremated, and his ashes will be scattered around Montauk Point.
The family has suggested memorial donations for the East Hampton Village Ambulance Association, 1 Cedar St., East Hampton 11937, the Montauk Friends of Erin, 28 South Delphi St., Montauk 11954, or the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, 44 Woods Lane, East Hampton 11937.