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Obituaries

DR. MURRAY CHARLES ARKIN

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.

You are invited to view the funeral service of Dr. Arkin by clicking here.

Online Condolences

  1. Miriam Center says:

    Murray and I have known one another since we were six years old. He was always bright, always smiling and always a joy to know. He was part of my history and a wonderful person. God rest his soul.

  2. Chuck Eaton says:

    Dr. Arkin successfully treated me for allergies, then became my primary physician. I had the pleasure of visiting him on his last day before retirement. He was very happy to know that his work had freed me from seasonal allergies and the problems they caused.

    A man who is genuinely happy for another’s good health is a true friend. Dr. Arkin loved his patients.

    He was my friend.

    Chuck Eaton

  3. Barbara J Teft says:

    Dr Arkin was my doctor for several years and i have never met such a caring person. He surly will be missed.

  4. Tom Sharpley says:

    Dear David and Lawrence,

    I haven’t seen either of you in many years-I hope you both are well!

    I saw where your father passed away on Sunday and wanted to tell you both that I will put the two of you and your families in my prayers. It is always difficult to lose a parent and wanted you to know that I was thinking of you. Take care.

    Sincerely,

    Tom (Tommy) Sharpley

  5. Dr. Mel Berlin says:

    After just recently returning back to Savannah, I find that my comrade and friend-dear Murray– has passed ! RIP old friend !! For 4 years, he and I walked to and from OLD Savannah High til graduation! We both joined the Army at the same time and crossed paths in Japan. Practiced at the same time till I went back to Duke to teach! Always good friends and shared many memories !! God bless him !!!! I loved him ! Mel Berlin M.D.

  6. Terri Patillo says:

    Godspeed, Dr. Arkin. You were a true Savannah gentleman.

  7. Deb Jospin says:

    David, Lawrence, and Jonathan – When I heard that your dad had passed away, my heart broke. Like my dad, Murray was truly “old school” and I loved him. May he be at peace, and may his memory be a blessing. Love to you all – Debbie

  8. Mary Alice Garvin says:

    Dr. Murray was a dear friend and a school mate through our school years graduating from SHS together in 1945. Years later we became next door neighbors for more than 25 years until he moved to the Atlanta area to be near his family after the passing of his dear wife June. We kept in contact via phone until recently. He will be missed by many of us who knew and loved him. He truly came from the ‘greatest generation’ and was always concerned for his fellow-man.
    May you Rest in Peace my friend. Mary Alice Garvin

  9. Martin Melaver says:

    David, Lawrence, Jonathan

    Your dad was always one of my dad’s favorites, and so we “inherited” him from the set-up as a quasi family member. I loved his laugh– more like a guffaw– and the way that fast-food outward style masked a fierce commitment to the things he was passionate about: the proper practice of medicine, the JEA, his golf game, and of course his family. One of the stories my dad use to love to tell was the time your dad called my dad at work and got him immediately. “Norton, is that you?” “Yes, what’s up Murray?” ” You answer your own calls yourself?” Yes, Murray.” “God, I could never do that. If I did, I would never get anything done.” And of course your dad got so many things done over the years. Buy you all know that. When I channel your dad, I hear him saying “June” with such a complex blend of emotions, musical chamber music piece vocalize in one syllable. It said it all. I loved your dad, as so many others did. A cliche of course, but he will be deeply missed.

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