Samuel Joseph RAZOOK II
January 3, 1949 – November 29, 2019
Samuel Joseph Razook II was born on January 3, 1949 (the elder of twins), to Sara Chalhub Razook and Fred Salim Razook. Sam graduated from Forest Hills High School in West Palm Beach, Florida, and then attended Emory University in Atlanta. Sam joined St. Elias Eastern Orthodox Church when he first arrived in Atlanta and remained a member for 53 years.
After college he entered dental school and obtained his DDS degree from Emory University School of Dentistry. Dr. Razook formed strong friendships in all three schools, many of which he maintained throughout his life. During his last year in dental school he met his future wife, Sara (“Sally”) Nolting, on a blind date. They had been married 44 years at the time of Sam’s passing.
Dr. Razook embarked on an unusual career path after completing dental school. This journey included service in the Indian Health Service on a reservation in South Dakota, time in private practice and a return to Emory for subspecialty training in prosthodontics, mentored by his friend Dr. Ken Turner. Sam developed a keen interest in dysfunction of the temporomandibular (jaw) joint. He directed the Facial Pain Clinic at Emory for several years. Sam was then encouraged to pursue another residency, this time in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, by a second admired mentor, Dr. Roger Meyer. After completion of this residency he took the required exams to become board certified in both prosthodontics and maxillofacial surgery.
Dr. Razook and Thomas Berry, MD, DDS, formed a partnership in private practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery in 1989. They had an exceedingly successful association as close friends and professional colleagues for 25 years. Sam ended his private practice experience and joined Clear Choice Dental Implant Center. Dr. Berry began practicing at Clear Choice at the same time and their professional connection and friendship continued.
After retirement Sam took up two long-postponed activities not often tackled by those in their 60s—learning to play the piano, and taking up golf. Although both hobbies could be very frustrating, he derived great pleasure from each. Golf offered him the opportunity to acquire new friends and sharpen his sense of humor while trying to better his swing. He was a talented wood worker and crafted large pieces of furniture, then mastered turning pens on a lathe.
Sam’s devotion to family superseded all other aspects of his life. His love for his wife Sally, children; Samantha Jill Razook, and Mathew Dryden Razook; and granddaughters Eleanor Hope, and Olivia Grace, was unsurpassed. He entertained first his children, then his grandchildren, by dinner table presentations on esoteric topics such as particle physics. The recipients of these monologues will remember them forever. The importance of education was emphasized, and Sam was extremely proud to see both Samantha and Dryden complete advanced degrees.
Although his retirement travel plans were cut short by illness, Sam and Sally were able to tour Iceland, take a wonderful family trip to Spain, and travel with friends on the bourbon trail in Kentucky. His determination to take these tours in spite of overwhelming radiation and chemotherapy-induced tiredness was an inspiration to us all. He eventually succumbed to a malignant brain tumor about seventeen months after initial diagnosis. He closed his life with the generosity, humor, dignity and strength of character with which he lived it.
We are grateful for the care provided Sam by physicians and staff of the Piedmont Brain Tumor Center, MD Anderson certified. Of this august group, we are most thankful for treatment and counsel provided by neuro-oncologist Dr. Erin Dunbar.
Sam was predeceased by his parents and survived by his wife, daughter, son, granddaughters, sister Kathleen Razook Howard, brother Fred Salim Razook, brother Richard John Razook, and extended family.
The family will receive visitors at H. M. Patterson and Son Spring Hill, 1020 Spring St. NW, Atlanta, on Friday evening, December 6th from 5 to 7pm. There will be a brief Memorial Service at St. Elias Eastern Orthodox Church, 2045 Ponce de Leon Ave., NE Atlanta, on Saturday, December 7th at 11am. Immediately following the Memorial Service there will be a Mercy Meal in the adjacent church hall, which will include tributes celebrating Sam’s life.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to St. Elias Eastern Orthodox Church or charity of your choice.
- Visitation Friday, December 6, 2019
- Memorial Service Saturday, December 7, 2019
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