Racquetball Equipment

Eugene Finton, 91, pharmacist, founded a medical supplies company

Eugene Finton

Mark Mulville/File Photo

June 11, 1931 – September 2, 2022

Eugene Finton, of Amherst and Delray Beach, Fla., a neighborhood pharmacist who became a medical supply retailer, died Sept. 2 at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center after a short illness. He was 91 years old.

Born in Ostrava in northeastern Czechoslovakia, the son of a sportswear and workwear manufacturer, he and his family escaped separately after the German invasion in March 1939 and were able to reunite in Poland.

Their stay in Poland, however, was short-lived. After the Nazi attack in September 1939, he and his family began a harrowing journey that took them through Ukraine, Moscow, through Siberia and by steamship to Japan and Honolulu before finally arriving on the American continent and to come to Buffalo to join relatives.

“For 31 months we ran, we moved, we suffered from hunger, fear, anxiety and terror, but we were lucky or fortunate to have always had a length ahead of disaster!” he wrote in an account of their escape. “My dad was shrewd, or maybe just very lucky, and made decisions that saved us time and time again.”

Mr. Finton attended Fosdick Masten High School and graduated from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy in 1952. He served in the Army National Guard and attained the rank of State Sergeant -major.

He owned and operated Wil-More Drugs, an independent pharmacy on Buffalo’s East Side, before buying Benson’s Drug Store on Kenmore Avenue in 1965. As the pharmaceutical business became dominated by national chains, he turned the attention of Benson to medical equipment and it became Benson’s Surgical. Supply Co. He retired in 2006.

A longtime member of the Buffalo Launch Club and the former Westwood Country Club, he was a competitive tennis, handball, squash, racquetball and basketball player for many years. He also enjoyed boating, swimming, golf, cooking and travelling.

He was an avid backgammon player and duplicates bridge player, earning 2,241 master points and achieving Ruby Life Master status.

He was a longtime member of Temple B’Nai Shalom, now Temple Beth Tzedek.

Survivors include his 41-year-old wife, Jo Kaplan Nasoff-Finton, retired deputy director of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency; one daughter, Cheryl DiVita; two sons, Stewart and Joel; two daughters-in-law, Avamir Nasoff and Sivan Nasoff; one sister, Karla Wiseman; and six grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, the former Rolene Neifach.

Services were held September 4 at Temple Beth Tzedek, Amherst.