Dr. Murray Charles Arkin, 93, of Savannah died Sunday afternoon, June 6, 2021, at home with his family by his side. He was the husband of the late June Alper Arkin and the son of Ben Arkin and Henrietta “Yetta” Fallick Arkin and was preceded in death by Claudia Kantsiper (sister), Marvin Arkin (brother) and Marilyn Seeman (sister), all of Savannah.
Murray will be remembered by the many people that he touched over the course of his life and his devotion and dedication to his family and friends, his patients, the city of Savannah and the medical and Jewish communities.
Murray was born in Savannah on January 26, 1928. He attended Savannah High School and the University of Georgia before enlisting in the United States Army in 1946 and joining the Occupation Forces in Japan where he served in the Field Artillery and the Medical Corps. It was in that capacity that he decided to become a physician. Upon his return from overseas, he completed his undergraduate education at UGA.
After graduating from UGA, he enrolled in medical school at Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. After graduation, he completed his internship in Minneapolis (Minneapolis General Hospital), his residency in Internal Medicine in Hines, IL (Hines Veterans Administration Hospital) and a fellowship in Allergy and Immunology in Chicago (Michael Reese Hospital).
While in Chicago he met the love of his life, his wife June (1931-2017), and they married in 1956 and moved back to Savannah. There was never a question Murray would end up in Savannah. His love for Savannah can only be matched by his love for his family.
Upon his move back to Savannah, he started his private practice in 1958 and eventually built one of Savannah’s first multi-specialty internal medicine groups, Paulsen Square Medical Associates. Dr. Arkin was a devoted physician for 47 years and dedicated his time to leadership roles within the medical community through his service on the Board of Directors of Memorial Medical Center (13 years) including a stint as Chairman of the Board, Chief of Staff, Chair of Graduate Medical Education, Chief of Internal Medicine and a constant supporter of medical education.
Another passion of his was supporting the Savannah Jewish Community and various Jewish charitable organizations and causes throughout the world both financially and through dedicated leadership. Murray was president of the Savannah Jewish Federation from 1971-1973 as well as president of the Jewish Educational Alliance from 1981-1983. As president of the Savannah Jewish Federation, he invited and had the privilege of hosting Yitzhak Rabin, the future Prime Minister of the state of Israel, for a tour of the city of Savannah. One of the greatest honors in his life was receiving the Jack Malitz Levy Leadership Award, the highest recognition from the Savannah Jewish Federation.
Dr. Arkin could always be referred to as an “old school” physician. He would make daily visits to his hospitalized patients and in his earlier years, made regular house calls on his patients. He truly pursued his profession for the love of humanity. His compassion and connection with his patients inspired him throughout his career, and he would often be approached by former patients thanking him for his care and kindness years after his retirement. Friends and family knew him as a true gentleman.
Murray was quite the athlete. He will always be remembered for his love of golf which he played well into his ‘80s. He also enjoyed a competitive game of racquetball and handball with friends and could often be found roaming the health club at the JEA where he got so much satisfaction. He spent many Saturday mornings and Jewish holidays at the B’nai Brith Jacob Synagogue on Abercorn St. in Savannah, where he was a member his entire life. Dr. Arkin was a huge Georgia sports fan and remained passionate about the Bulldogs, Braves, Falcons and Hawks until his dying day.
Murray lived a very fulfilling life as part of the “Greatest Generation”, but his ultimate passion was his family. He devoted his entire life to his wife (June) and his three adoring boys (David, Lawrence and Jonathan) along with his three loving daughters-in-law, his eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was always there to provide love, support and generosity along with a big hug and kiss. He was also a wonderful brother and uncle to his two sisters and brother and all of their children. Murray was the last of a generation of four Arkins in Savannah, and he will truly be missed.
He is survived by his children, Drs. David and Eva Arkin, Dr. Lawrence and Lisa Arkin, and Mr. Jonathan and Marilyn Arkin. He is also survived by his adoring grandchildren, Jordan and Matt Fishman, Jarrett Arkin, Ross Cooper, Stephanie Arkin, Michael Arkin, Jason Arkin, and Adam Arkin, and by his great-grandchildren, Austin Fishman and Andrew Fishman.
The funeral service will be held at 1 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, June 8, 2021, at the graveside, Bonaventure Cemetery, conducted by Rabbi Avigdor Slatus.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the following charities: The Jewish Educational Alliance Arkin-Clark Garden Fund at https://savannahjewishfederation.givingfuel.com/jea-facility-funds or The Savannah Jewish Federation Dr. Murray and June Arkin Fund at https://savannahjewishfederation.givingfuel.com/sjf-campaign-funds.