01.13.13

Dr. Arnold H. Serow

  Dr. Arnold H. Serow passed away peacefully on January 12, 2013 after a brief illness while at Connecticut Hospice.  In his final hours, he was accompanied and comforted by loving members of his family. Born in New Haven on October 8, 1918 to Isaac and Helen (Elman) Serow, Arnold was a bright, sensitive and loving man of honor and integrity.  An aficionado of the arts, he had a particular passion for ballet and theater.  A graduate of University of Michigan and Tufts School of Dentistry, Arnold served as a dentist in the U. S. Army and practiced dentistry in New Haven for many years. Predeceased by his first wife Leah and a brother Dr. Nathan Serow,  Arnold is survived by his wife Eleanor, his sons Bob (Eileen) and Billy and his step children Melissa (Carey), Allison (Kenneth) and David Rachleff and a sister Adele Small. He also leaves his five precious grandchildren- Erica, Lindsay, Andrew, Jamison and Julie, affectionately known to them as their “Poppy” and several neices and nephews. 

   Graveside funeral service at the Mishkan Israel Cemetery, Jewell St., New Haven, Tuesday morning at 11. Period of mourning will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to CT. Hospice, Inc. or Congregation Mishkan Israel.

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5 Comments

  1. Harold Horton said,

    01.14.13 at 5:20 pm

    We will miss Arnold a thoughtful and sensitive man. His patients were always a concern of his. Our condolences to his family. Diane & Harold Horton,DMD

  2. Ronni W,ardlaw said,

    01.15.13 at 11:29 pm

    What a beautiful service you had for Uncle Arnold. He would have been proud of all of you.
    Bobby and Billy and David, your speech’s were perfect. They reminded us of who your father really was with humour, sadness, and with very much love.
    Ellie, I really realized today how much you did for him. You did it on your own, selflessly, and with love…and you did it for a very long time.
    That makes you a very special person.
    So when I went back to the hospital and the nurses said “how was your uncle’s funeral”…I said it was sad, it was humorous, and it was perfect.
    Love You
    Ronni
    Love you
    Ronni

  3. David Rachleff said,

    01.16.13 at 12:01 am

    Arnold was a loving fixture in our family since my mom (Ellie) married him 18+ years ago. I will miss him dearly and was honored and grateful to have known him. With love, David Rachleff

  4. Bob Serow said,

    01.16.13 at 12:55 pm

    So many of us were blessed by my father. I will let my eulogy of him speak for itself:
    A final goodbye to Poppy

    Good morning and welcome. On behalf of my family-Eileen, Erica, Lindsay and Andrew- thank you for coming.

    A favor before I begin. My dad loved humor, so if some of my words tickle your funny bone, please feel free to chuckle. By the same token, despite his outward demeanor, my dad was really an old softie, so if you feel tears welling up in our heart, please join me in a good, cathartic cry.

    We are here to say goodbye to a VERY good person, a man of extraordinary strength and decency who gave unselfishly to those he loved. For those of us whom he touched, our lives are forever enriched.

    Ellie, words cannot begin to express my thanks to you for your love and devotion to my dad. Because of you, his days sparkled with joy and brightness in the Indian summer of his life.

    On his final days at Hospice, my family and I gathered by my dad’s side as he slept comfortably. My children expressed their loving farewell through a beautiful 14th century Tibetan prayer:

    “When my time has come
    And impermanence and death have caught up with me,
    When the breath ceases, and the body and mind go their separate ways,
    May I not experience delusion, attachment, and clinging,
    But remain in the natural state of ultimate reality”

    I like to believe that my dad heard these beautiful and sensitive words.

    My dad’s last true hurrah was the celebration of his 90th birthday. As my gift to him, I wrote a poem, Olde Too Poppy. My dad loved humor, so along with expressing my love for him, my verse was spiced with a bit of levity. I would like to share a few lines with you:

    “Aglow shiny crown and knowing grin
    You must take note from son, not so thin
    That you have reached a milestone place
    Relax, enjoy, celebrate with grace

    Some of the things I recall, this toast
    Long walks downtown, mourning JFK ghost
    And from late tube’s Friday Nite maze
    Up from slumber, catching the great Sugar Ray

    For me, life ever so blessed
    Reflecting on your 90 years, must confess
    Are gifts you imparted, ever so well
    A slight tear finds my cheek, for a dad so swell

    And what of these gifts, your lasting legacy
    Let me ponder, let me see
    Oh, not much, as I recall
    Just some values- ethics, honor, decency- that’s all”

    For me and my family, my dad died too young, but I take comfort to think of him now, in his final resting place where, unencumbered by the shackles and limits of advanced age, he is joined with my mother – and who knows, maybe the world’s silliest poodle Tony is with them.

    There they are, hand in hand, walking briskly, hearing the melody of violins dancing in their souls and he, with that warm and ever- knowing smile, bringing tears of joy with his eternal wit.

    I have lost the best of fathers and a wonderful, warm friend. If there is consolation to be gained, it is knowing that my father:

    • a proud man, died with dignity

    • a man of peace, died in tranquility

    • a sensitive and intelligent man, was never patronized

    • and, a man who, above all, loved his family, died in comfort, soothed by the warmth of his family’s love- he was never alone, to the very end.

    Well dad, it’s time to say goodbye- you did real good. You always said that “life is for the living” and as you rest, be assured that I will try to do as you did… live the life of a good man.

    Thank you for your love. I love you and will miss you- always.

  5. billy serow said,

    01.17.13 at 6:17 pm

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Here is my eulogy for my dad:
    How ironic that we are here today. I’ll explain. I think the main quality I inherited from my father was his sense of humor, and I have a theory about why it was such a dominant part of his personality. He told us of the story of how he always wanted to be a doctor, but his family was poor and needed income from him and his brother, Nate…and so, he became a dentist. IT was an occupation he did not exactly embrace. He was painful allergic to many of the chemicals used in Dentistry, and he knew that people inherently did not enjoy coming to see him. So, while you were a captive audience in that chair, he would proceed to do his private stand up act just for you. He also knew how to beat a joke into the ground, and make you love it even though it was usually a groaner of a joke, bringing me back to the irony of where we are today. Literally every time my father passed a cemetery, he would say, “Deadest part of town”. And believe me, that’s a lot of cemeterys. We laughed, not from politeness but because he had the gall to keep beating the same joke into the ground. Well Dad….welcome to the deadest part of town. IT’s been waiting for arrival.
    Another of my father’s tiresome jokes was that he was always looking for, in his words, a middle aged 18 year old girl. My mom would roll her eyes every time he said. In another ironic twist of fate, he managed to find that girl…Ellie, who is probably responsible for keeping Arnold around for so long.
    My favorite story my dad told, which really illustrates his quick, daring mind, took place in the early 50s. Arnold was a great theater aficionado, and took every opportunity to see shows whenever he could. He went into New York to see a popular melodrama, which was so terrible that …in the climactic scene where the start crossed lovers each enter the stage from each side, one lover exclaims, “What are you doing here?, and the other lover said, “What are YOU doing here?” and my father yelled out in the audience, “What am I doing here?!?! Needless to say, my dad got the biggest ovation of the day.
    In short, my father was kind of a hybrid – a man’s man who could engage you intelligently on any topic, a great Giants and Yankees fan, a man who got his hands dirty with gardening, building, sculpting, a man who was an excellent musician, pool player, appreciative and knowledgable about Fine Art, Dance and Theater. He made sure that Dentistry was what he did – -not who he was.
    So Dad, you have lived a full, long, wonderful life. We are glad to have had you around for so long – you have the title of the longest living Serow in history. I can only imagine my mom yelling at you from up there, saying”where the hell have you been? I’ve been waiting for you for years….and my dad would say, “sorry…I had to get to the deadest part of town.”