Arthur Ross Germond
August 30, 1931 – January 6, 2020
Arthur Ross Germond died January 6, 2020 at age 88, shortly after visits from his loving family. He was born August 30, 1931 to Ross McKinley and Beatrice Wilder Germond in Santa Barbara, CA. After graduating from Mamaroneck High School in New York in 1949, he went to Williams College, where he graduated in 1953 with a BA and a love of learning that was sustained throughout his life, most notably in history, literature, art, and music as well as his major, math. He met his future wife, Mary Jane Briggmann, who preceded him in death in 2002, when they both worked at Equitable Life Assurance, where he was an actuary for more than 30 years until his retirement. He was a resident of Massapequa Park, Long Island for his entire adult life. He was a passionate lover of opera from a young age and co-authored, with Henry Wisneski, the book, Maria Callas,The Art Behind the Legend (Doubleday 1975). As a research historian of the royal families of Europe, he contributed numerous articles to the scholarly international journal, The Augustan Omnibus. He was an intellectual giant with a powerfully retentive mind, but also an inveterate New York Yankees fan and devotee of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine. A great and humble teacher, he found pleasure in imparting his knowledge to others. Arthur was the beloved father of Barry Jay Germond and Karen Margaret Germond, and treasured grandfather of Amber, Christopher (Sarah), Jordan, and Jennifer Dunlap and uncle to numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his sister Sandra (Howard) Pritz and was preceded in death by his wife and by his parents. Viewing and visitation will be held Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 2-4:00 and 7-9:00 p.m. at the James Funeral Home (540 Broadway Massapequa, NY 11758) with a service at 8:00 p.m. Guestbook to post messages and tributes for the family available at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/funeral-homes/massapequa-ny/james-funeral-home/7329.
- Visitation Saturday, January 11, 2020
- Religious Service in Chapel Saturday, January 11, 2020
Arthur Ross Germond
Sandra Germond Pritz
January 14, 2020
Memories of the melody of life of my brother, who was 7 years older than I—
I remember waking up to hear my teen-aged brother laughing out loud as he read PG Wodehouse’s stories of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster in bed on a Saturday morning. And I will treasure the memory of his discourse last week about James Joyce’s Ulysses in response to his granddaughter’s question about his favorite book. His love of literature was wide-ranging!
I still picture sitting on his lap as a youngster while he played records of his favorite operas and told me their stories. And now I am a fan of HD operas, as are most of my family. Arty would certainly would subscribe to this quotation from Plato: Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” This reminds me that Arty did not travel much physically, but he traveled widely through the arts. He knew a lot more about places I have been privileged to visit than I, and he knew its history as well.
Who among us could write an article, much less in their 80s, for The Augustan Omnibus, An international Journal of Nobility, Heraldry, Geneology, Chivalry, History, and Royalty? Just this last year, I remember him saying he wanted to live to complete a certain section of his work on it, and when I asked if it had been done, he said yes. James Joyce said, ”Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.” Arty believed that life is for living, not merely existing.
We grew up with our parents’ admonishment born of the Depression, Waste Not Want Not. And we have both lived that, the effects of which my daughter and son-in-law are trying to remedy at present, but it strikes me that my brother was extravagant when it came to open-handed generosity toward others and much more frugal with himself, yet always being drawn the classics in any purchase… and that was true of his life in general. He was a classic... such a gentleman!
January 11, 2020
Art had an excellent sense of humor. It was prevalent many years ago at an afternoon outing at the Jackman's home. He had us chuckling away with a favorite coconspirator of his, Cliff Jackman.
For many years after that, Aunt Laurie and I would recollect and enjoy again, that memory of a fun time.
May Art rest in peace with Maryjane, in the hands of God.
January 11, 2020
I wish I could have known you better. We would have had a lot to talk about, because I am a Classical/ Opera singer. I could have learned a lot from you. You were a good kind man. Wishing you goodness and light in your transition to the afterlife.
January 11, 2020
When I think of the memories I have of our Grandfather, I am struck by two things in particular: his unbelievable memory, and his overflowing love for our Grandmother. Our Grandfather was a quiet man. However, something we all learned as we grew older was that if you simply asked the right questions, then you would unlock the treasure trove of vivid memories that he kept just beneath the surface. He had the gift of memory and the incredible mental capacity to organize those memories to share with others. Perhaps the best example I have of both of these traits occurred when I introduced him to my wife Sarah. Trying to make conversation, Sarah asked about how he had met our Grandmother. He told us of the beginning of their story, and of one of his favorite memories of them early on. The story goes something like this:
My Grandmother’s brother was very sick, and she desperately wanted to seek insight into how his condition might all play out. She decided to go to Atlantic City to see a tarot card reader. My Grandfather offered to accompany her on the trip out of the city…keep in mind this was very early into them dating, perhaps the second or third date. They went to see the reader. She told them that she saw a future for her brother. Her brother lived for several more years and had two more kids. It turned out that the card reading wasn’t the only premonition that came true… As they were walking away from the reading, the reader stopped them and said to my Grandmother, “That’s a fine man you’ve got there. You are going to be very happy with him.” As my grandfather said that very line of the story to us he began to cry with an overflowing of emotion. To see that amount of overflowing love in such an unrestrained and uncontrollable way leaves an impression on you.
I certainly don’t know everything about my Grandfather, but I do know this: He loved my Grandmother so incredibly much, and he is up there with her today smiling down on all of us with the love of his life.
January 10, 2020
Every summer I have fond memories of when Art and his wife Mary Jane would spend a day with me and my family in my parents' back yard in Southampton, New York. I would try to get Art alone so I could converse with him about the things we both liked, especially opera. To this day when I listen to the Saturday afternoon live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera on the radio, I say to myself, "I hope (bet) he's listening too!"
One time we were all playing "Trivial Pursuit" and I was lucky to have him as my partner. But shamefully I talked him out of an answer; I was wrong and he was right, and we lost!
He was a wonderful gentle man.
January 10, 2020
Our grandfather always blew us away with his mind’s capacity for details and memories of books, news, his own life. Get him talking on a subject he knew and loved and he could unleash the most astounding trove of stories and information. One of my sister and I’s best memories of this is actually our last memory of him. We went up to visit him in the rehab center, knowing it would likely be our final goodbye, and we spent hours picking his brain for stories from his life and the memories of ours that overlapped with his. Eventually, we wound up innocently asking him what his favorite book is. His response took us chapter by chapter through James Joyce’s Ulysses like he’d read the book yesterday and not decades ago. The way he shared it inspired everyone in the room, my sisters, my mom (his daughter), his sister, his niece, to give one of the most challenging books ever written a read. We had hoped he’d be around to go through it with us. Instead, we’ll just have to stumble through it ourselves, together, all the while with the gift of knowing that because we asked that innocent question, we get just one more connection to and insight into the beautiful and vast mind of our Grandfather by way of what that mind loved.
Love from Granddaddy’s granddaughters,
Amber, Jordan, Jenny
January 9, 2020
What a remarkable man! I wish all of his family comfort in cherished memories of him
Marilyn Smith, Columbus, OH