Longtime Montgomery Media columnist passes away
Longtime readers of the Times Chronicle/Glenside News/The Globe will be familiar with the columns that appeared weekly in this space from a local physician, Dr. Milton Friedman, on a wide range of topics in a rather downto-earth style.
And so it is with sadness that we report today that our longtime colleague died April 17, 2014, at the age of 79.
For 40 years, Dr. Friedman regaled us with his thoughts on medical issues, everyday life and astronomy, the latter a passion of his that propelled him to serving for 36 years as president of the Rit- tenhouse Astronomical Society, the oldest astronomical society in the United States. As president of the society, he brought in speakers, some world-renowned, for the monthly meetings of the society at the Franklin Institute.
Many times when dropping off his column at our newspaper offices he would tell our staff of the next speaker he had lined up, enthusiastically describing the speaker’s accomplishments and how interesting the presentation would be. He would tell us about sightings in the heavens that were coming up and how to get to view them, always willing to share his knowledge and excitement.
Dr. Milt, as he was affectionately known in the newsroom, would hand-deliver his column— and after retiring and moving to New Jersey and Florida — email it for publication in the Times Chronicle and several of our other weekly papers. He received no payment for his work, but always delivered it on time, often calling to confirm receipt of it or report any minor delay, with no more compensation than being able to share information and his thoughts with our readers.
His columns often reflected his observations and attempts to understand the changes life confronts us with as we move from one stage of our lives to another. Technology and grandchildren and the relationship between the two, as well as growing older, provided recent fodder for his ruminations.
A longtime resident of Elkins Park, he practiced family medicine in Northeast Philadelphia for more than 45 years. A graduate of Central High School in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Jefferson Medical School, he interned at Albert Einstein Medical Center before start- ing his family practice.
Dr. Friedman was also a Vietnam veteran, serving in the Air Force from 1966 to 1968.
We will miss his weekly columns and his visits, when he would take the time to stop by the desks of those in the newsroom he had come to know, always taking an interest in our own lives. He was a knowledgeable, but humble man, and we are the better for having known him.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley, of almost 50 years; a daughter, Joann; a son, Mark and wife Jen; grandchildren Jacob, Rachel, Laney and Raina; and a sister, Eleanor Shmokler (Leon).
Follow Linda Finarelli on Twitter @lkfinarelli.