Arthur Greenspoon

May 19, 1943February 5, 2013

Arthur Greenspoon died suddenly February 5, 2013. Much beloved brother and brother-in-law of Stanley and Ellen , uncle of David (Marni) and Philip, great uncle of Edward, and dear special friend of Margaret Pooler. He was a generous friend to many, and loved mathematics, the Financial Times crossword puzzles, children....especially Justin, Chen-Chen and Elliot, and animals....most especially Panda Bear and Tiger Lily. A funeral service will be at 12 noon on Friday, February 8, 2013 at Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor with burial to follow at Arborcrest Cemetery. A reception will then be held at Mathematical Reviews, 416 Fourth St. Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to the Humane Society of Huron Valley or Epsilon Fund for Young Scholars: American Mathematical Society, 201 Charles St., Providence, RI, 02904. ( Please visit to leave the family your condolences.


  • Funeral Service

    Friday, February 8, 2013


Arthur Greenspoon

have a memory or condolence to add?

Emily Nolfo (nee Bonacarti)

November 10, 2020

I can't even tell you what made me think of Arthur tonight and Google his name. I was one of the first incoming freshmen women at Princeton. There were only about 150 of us, and that was very difficult time. I ended up becoming friends with a group of math students, including grad students (I was NOT a math major!). Arthur was one of these friends. He was very kind to me at a rough time. We all had hours-long conversations about just about everything at the student union. He used to place a green plastic spoon in his pocket every day and do the NYTimes crossword puzzle, in pen, in record time. I probably shouldn't share a story about picking him up at Kennedy Airport after he went to, I think, Afghanistan with Audrey, his girl at the time, but he came home with some interesting items, including a bag made of slabs of compressed hashish. We were lucky not to be stopped on the Jersey Turnpike! I don't know if his family will see this, but reading all the memories, it seems he remained the same person I knew. I wanted you to know though I was a minor person in his life, he made an impact on me and I still smile when I think of him.

Nat Silver

January 1, 2018

For a year, in the late seventies, we lived next door to each to each other in Ithaca, New York. It was a joy to have known him.

February 23, 2016

Stan... I still plan to find a picture I have of "Artie" from back in the day, as well as maybe that poem. It's somewhere in my fabulous archives. And, boy, how I feel for you and your "fam" (as we say in Detroit). This Thursday marks the first year since my dearest brother Linus passed away. He was just a loveable good guy in so many ways. On Saturday, we are doing a sort of O'Leary family Barzeit mashup for our dear brother & friend. My youngest sister is the wife of a Reconstructionist Rabbi. They live in Jersey, and Elliott has officiated now at two tragic deaths in our family in the past two years.

Kate O'Leary

February 22, 2016

Wow, I just found this obituary and I want to express to Arthur's family my deep regret, yet my warm feeling for Arthur. He was a constant presence on State Street, Liberty Street, at Borders Bookstore where I worked in the 1980s, and at Drake's candy shop. At the time, I was taking a poetry class at U-M taught by Alice Fulton. After coming back to life from a nasty cold, I was back at Drake's seeing my old friend deep in a tete-a-tete conversation with some young person. So I wrote a poem about the weird fuzzy coming back to life feeling you get after a lengthy cold. Arthur was the youngest, most energetic older person I had ever met in those heady days. And he was a dear heart. My deepest condolences to your family. Your Arthur, our Arthur, was a true gem of a man.

Joseph (Yossi) Silver

January 11, 2016

It has been many years since I interacted with Artie and Stanley in Outremont. Have many great memories until the age of about 16 when we went in different paths. Arrived mom was very protective. No matter where we went she would try her darnedest not to let Artie travel on a street car or a bus so was the constant taxi driver to baseball games, going downtown, to football games, and the library. She had so many car accidents that were never her fault that it became a joke. I miss missing out on adult contact with Artie. I hope that this reaches Stanley and the family. We talked about him often even though we were far apart.
Yiddish Silver at

Kim MacAdam

June 29, 2015

I am so terribly saddened to hear (late, I know) that Arthur, you are no longer with us. Though I know/believe/demand that you are somewhere in the universe adding to its brilliance. (Arthur, you would be arguing with me now were you here, asking what "know" "believe" or "demand" really means and whether each applies, to what degree, etc -- a finer, more questioning, curious mind never existed).

I knew him only through Sweetwaters, me as a 35-ish freelancer taking a break from writing, and him much older in years but somehow so young in spirit, touting his stack of mathematical research into the cafe each day -- both of us eager to share ideas and interact with other after too much time in our own thoughts.

I suppose we talked because we shared a great love of thinking about the meaning of things and he taught me many lessons about how to LOVE LIFE, and myself, and others (though he perhaps exuded and expressed his love more consistently -- not on a daily basis but minute by minute). Yes, he loved books, math, philosophy, film, and all cultural pursuits, but he was equally at ease talking about my bad dating experiences or younger self angst about the way to navigate my live, or just the seemingly mundane (like the way the sun shone for just a minute off a glass on the table, before it moved along and the moment was gone). But there really was no subject or experience that could not spur his keen observational powers, wit, and love of the "being here" nature of life.

Although my interactions with him were fleeting, it is a testament to how powerful he was in person. I have never met a more truly "happy to be here" person, one so certain of who he was and, yet, equally eager to learn about the "other" in each person he met, or experience he encountered.

Thank you, Arthur for giving those long, rambling, respectful, challenging, humorous conversations. They will be with me forever.

March 15, 2015

I miss Arthur every single day. He was a wonderful man who truly delighted in solving a puzzle, entertaining a child or understanding a new mathematical construct. I will always remember him with his folder full of the latest math papers, today's crossword, and a good used paperback mystery.

I take comfort in the fact that he is among the endless infinity of the universe, and that that universe is most likely showing him some of the mathematical perfect he was always striving to understand.


March 14, 2015

Thank you, Nathan, for your kind notice. I'm glad to know that Arthur was once "Artie"...he always had such a playful spirit anyway, even with his special intellect! Glad to know you knew him when...Robert

March 13, 2015

To all of those who have shared thoughts about Arthur I thank you. He was a great friend to all of us.

March 12, 2015

Sorry for the late entry. I grew up with Arthur Greenspoon. We were part of a small group of boys that played baseball, ping pong, football, and bowling together, went to elementary and high school and McGill together. He was "Artie" and " professor" to us, even as a young teenager. I lost touch with him after we graduated from McGill University in 1964. Only found about he was deceased recently. He was a great friend.

Nathan Zafran