DR. BERNARD ARTHUR, most recently of Haddon Township, NJ and formerly of Englewood, NJ and Coconut Creek FL, passed peacefully this morning after a brief illness at the age of 97. Born in Brooklyn, NY to Russian Jewish immigrants, Bernie, as he liked to be called, was an extremely bright student who graduated from high school at age 16. He went on to New York University to begin his dream of becoming a physician and after graduation found that entering medical school was a challenge due to quotas on Jews during that time. After a year off to do research and obtain a Master's degree, one school, the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, gave him the opportunity he sought and granted him entrance. He was always grateful to that institution for affording him the opportunity to earn his medical degree and fulfilling his dream. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army as a medical officer and was sent overseas to Europe and North Africa with the 39th Infantry 1st, 5th and 7th Armies. He served proudly as battalion surgeon for 2 years and then as medical officer with the 96th Evacuation Hospital. He received the Bronze Star for meritorious service in Sicily, as well as the European Theater Ribbon with 8 Battle Stars and one Invasion Arrowhead. While in London on leave, he met the love of his life, Ruth (1921-2002), who he married a few months later in the midst of WWII. He remained devoted to her throughout their 57 years of marriage. After the war, Bernie practiced internal medicine in Teaneck, NJ and became a thriving member of the community. He and Ruth doted on their only daughter, Gita and were thrilled when she married Michael Aquila and gave them their grandchildren, Gabrielle and Michael. Bernie retired from medicine in 1985 and moved to Florida where he thrived on early morning workouts at the gym and was instrumental in expanding the Wynmoor Ham Radio Club as he held an advanced ham radio operators license. Aside from his family, Bernie truly enjoyed his many friends, reading, playing bridge, photography, learning new skills such as sewing, upholstery, and Hebrew, doing New York Times Crossword puzzles in ink, skiing, and reminiscing with family. A finer man and best father there will never be. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to his favorite charities: The General Israel Orphans Home for Girls (www.gioh.org) and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (University of Cincinnati Foundation).
Published in Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News on Sept. 10, 2013