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Arthur Faris

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Dr. Arthur S. Faris 1926-2011 Shaftsbury has lost a prominent and compassionate citizen and physician in the passing of Dr. Arthur S. Faris. Dr Faris, who with his late wife Dr. Elizabeth C. Faris partnered for four decades in a family medical practice in Shaftsbury, and who also took major roles in public affairs and educational issues, died March 7th at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington at the age of 84 after a lengthy period of declining health. The Doctors Faris came to Shaftsbury in 1954 after searching for a community in need of medical practitioners, bringing with them a strong sense of dedication to their practice, and to family medicine, and soon became an important part of community life. Their concern for low-income members of the community led them to accept a surprising variety of payments in kind for their services: no one was ever turned away for want of ability to pay. In the same vein, they continued to serve Medicare patients when many others would not. Passionately dedicated to education, Arthur was a founding member in 1963 of the Mt. Anthony Union School District Board, where he worked tirelessly for years, with a handful of other visionaries, to build the new school and to develop a modern education program in Bennington. Later, Art and Bette Faris would mentor in the Practice Preceptorship Program, allowing second-year medical students to join their practice for the summer to enhance their education. In local affairs he was elected to the Shaftsbury Selectboard, which he chaired, and at other times had been elected lister and auditor, and was a member of the zoning board. When Dr. Arthur Faris retired in 1993 he left a lengthy legacy. That year he was honored as "Physician of the Year" by the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians, a group he had previously served as president. Both Doctors Faris, as a couple, were honored that year at a special celebration by a grateful community. Arthur Faris was Bennington County medical examiner for many years, was Shaftsbury's town health officer, and served as physician for the Vermont Veterans Home and the Stanley Tools and Globe Union plants. A proud veteran of World War Two, where he served in the Army in Europe for three years, Dr. Arthur was also a member of the board of the Veterans Home. He was active politically, served as vice chairman of the Shaftsbury Town Democratic Committee, and was usually in the front row at annual town meetings asking provocative questions or quizzing the school board about student test scores. For many years the Farises practiced family medicine from offices in their Main Street home, a house that was already known as "the doctor"s house". In 1976 they began construction of the Shaftsbury Medical and Dental Center a few yards away, and it opened in 1978. Dr. Faris was an avid fly fisherman and was a long-standing member and past president of the Wantastiquet Trout Club in Weston. He was also an enthusiastic vegetable gardener. A life-long learner, he was blessed with an insatiable curiosity and sense of wonder for the world around him. Dr. Arthur Slee Faris was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 10, 1926, to Edwin L. and Caroline (Slee) Faris, and grew up mostly in Forest Hills. A precocious student, he entered Queens College at 16, though his education was interrupted when he enlisted in the Army at 17. After the war, the GI Bill sent him to Princeton to complete his pre-medical training and in 1948 he entered Albany Medical School, where he met his wife, and they graduated together in 1953. After residency in Quincy, Mass., the couple moved to Shaftsbury. He is survived by his three sons: Tom of Jericho, Chris of Rutland, and Greg, of Paris, France; a daughter, Ann, of Manchester; and a cherished grandson, Jaalid Amoroso of Manchester. A memorial service is planned for the summer. Funeral arrangements will be made with Hanson&Walbridge Funeral Home. Donations in Dr Faris's memory may be made to The Free Clinic of Bennington, c/o Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home P.O. Box 957 Bennington, Vermont 05201. To send the family personal email condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com. The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home 213 West Main Street Bennington, Vermont.

Published in Bennington Banner from Mar. 9 to Mar. 10, 2011
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