LARGO, Fla. — Nathan L. Belkin, Ph.D., founder of the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA), died here Monday at the age of 83, the association reports.
Born in St. Louis, Belkin worked in the textile services industry for 40 years, serving companies such as Angelica and Fashion Seal. He founded ARTA in 1982 in response to legislation that, if passed, would have given a substantial advantage to disposable products over reusable textiles, ARTA says.
Belkin moved to Largo, in 1979 and retired in 1991. More than 200 of his articles were published in clinical and trade journals, including American Laundry News. A Jewish War Veteran, he was a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service during World War II. He was also a Hadassah Associate.
“Nate was one of a kind,” says Nancy Jenkins, executive director of ARTA. “His intelligence and drive allowed him to pursue his passions, one of which was promoting greater appreciation for reusable textiles. He remained interested in what ARTA was doing and freely offered his opinions, which were appreciated. I will miss our conversations.”
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Elaine; five children, Joseph Belkin, Rebecca Rosenstein, Deborah Shapiro, Ruth Hoffman and Wendy Belkin; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Graveside services are planned for today, at Chapel Hill Memorial Park in Largo. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Hadassah or the hospice or charity of the donor's choice.