Long­time Mont­gomery Me­dia colum­nist passes away

The Colonial - - OPINION - By Linda Finarelli


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.

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