A longtime Greenpoint business owner and Holocaust survivor, Howard Kiffel, passed away last weekend.
Mr. Kiffel was 95 years old and passed away on Sunday, March 29th after complications from the Covid-19 virus.
He owned and operated Howard Machine Shop at 34 Norman Ave. since around 1968, and was known to have an open door for all of the artists and makers in the neighborhood. Mr.Kiffel continued to service the neighborhood until his death.
As a young boy Mr. Kiffel lost his parents during the Holocaust, but managed to escaped Poland before settling on the East Coast in the U.S..
Artist Gabrielle Shelton operated a metal shop down the street from Mr. Kiffel and says that his guidance helped her start her own business. “He was always honest, polite and patient and an absolute gem of a human,” she said.
“When I started getting into the finer lines of metal fabrication he welcomed me in, gave me business advice, told me that 1/32” tolerance was like the Grand Canyon and I had to start thinking in thousandths. He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather and neighbor. “