October 30, 1926 – January 3, 2021
Harold Chafkin, MD, of Middletown, NJ passed away on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 at Riverview Medical Center.
Harold was a beloved husband of 68 ½ years to Barbara, adored father and father-in-law to Martin Chafkin and Kathryn Kaufmann; Tabatha Chafkin, DVM, and DD Montgomery; Leigh and Phil Ober; and Michael Chafkin; loving Grandfather to Julia and Will Chafkin, Michelle and Evan Ober, and Grant N. Chafkin; and dedicated caregiver extraordinaire to thousands of patients, colleagues, friends and anyone who needed that old-school medical diagnosis and care that came from hands-on diagnostics, a stellar memory, an avid hunger for knowledge and a relentless passion to ensure his patients got the best care to live a quality life. A more generous spirit, playful soul and bigger heart one could not find. He was a fabulous joke teller and a late-in-life golfer, infamous for his relentless retrieval of every golf ball.
He has left an indelible imprint on all who had the privilege and pleasure to enjoy his company, hugs and care.
Harold was born on October 30, 1926 in Brooklyn, NY and lived in Philadelphia until the family moved to Brooklyn. He graduated high school at 16 and enrolled at Brooklyn College. He enlisted in the US Navy and trained at the Great Lakes Training Center as a Radio Technician, then served on the tanker USS Maumee from 1944 to 1946. Discharged in San Diego, he returned home and then resumed his pre-med studies at Syracuse University until he graduated magna cum laude in 1949; he was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to graduate from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 1954, then served two internships at Beth Israel Hospital. He served his residency at Beth Israel Hospital and completed his residency at Montefiore Hospital Medical Center where he was elected Chief Medical Resident in his final year.
He met the love of his life, Barbara Berger, while at Syracuse and they married on June 29th, 1952. After making their first home in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Long Island City, NY, they moved to NJ where Harold set up a private practice in internal medicine and practiced at both Monmouth Medical Center (until 1968) and Riverview Medical Center. Since 1967, he was an Attending Physician at Riverview Hospital, in Red Bank, where he was also the Director of the Department of Medicine for 7 years, and founded and was the Director of all Critical Care Units at Riverview from inception to 1996. He also served on the Board of Managers at Monmouth School of Nursing, and was Chairman of the Board of the Therapeutic Abortion Committee at Monmouth Medical Center, in Long Branch. At Riverview, he was also the vice chairman of the Riverview Medical Center Foundation and Chairman of the Grants Committee as well as a member of the Thanatology Committee and Ethics Committee. He subsequently joined the Barnabas Health Medical Group practice in Middletown where he continued serving patients until he retired at 89.
Harold and Barbara built their home in Middletown where they have lived happily for 56 of their 68 ½ years of marriage, raising their four children and enjoying their grandchildren.
We are so blessed to have known him and felt his love and care. We miss him already.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
January 11, 2021
No words could describe the sadness I feel losing this amazing man. My words may fall short, but they are sincere non the less. Dr. Chafkin or has I affectionately called him Chaffy, was someone I spent 6 and half years working with and for. Whenever I even stepped away for 30 seconds and he needed something, the whole office would hear him yell, "Where's Kelly?"
He taught me many things, one of them, kindness and respect. Doc was one of the most brilliant people I ever had the honor to know. He made me laugh, diagnosed me, showed me what fun it was to work with him. But the one thing he always told me is that, being a doctor was fun for him. He loved having a puzzle to figure out and solving it. Has many have said over the years, he is the best diagnostician they know. I had the honor to know him and his beautiful family. I never seen someone who loved his family more. May he rest easy now and that his family finds comfort in knowing he touched so many lives. Love always and forever Kelly
January 10, 2021
I had the privilege of working with Dr Chafkin at the MHC in Middletown. He was the kindest man who had time for everyone. We all loved him, had a great sense of humor, great bond with his patients he was the best. He will be missed.
January 9, 2021
We are really so sorry for your loss. Please let us know if we can be of any help to you at this time. We'd be most happy to do whatever is needed.
Ruth and Larry Korn
January 8, 2021
Barbara & Family:
On behalf of the Medical Staff Of Riverview Medical Center our deepest condolences.
Harold was an icon in the medical community. He was the ultimate physician: kind, caring and compassionate. Although he was a "senior physician" he was always "clinically current "
We were all in awe of his knowledge and judgment. He was a great teacher, mentor and friend.
He will be sorely missed
Joseph Cauda, MD Joseph Reichman, MD
President, Medical Staff Chief Medical Officer
Riverview Medical Center
WALTER and Susan Kahn
January 7, 2021
Dear Barbara, ...
We send you our love and deepest sympathy
Walter and Susan Kahn
January 6, 2021
Dr. Chafkin took wonderful care of my mother and my grandmother before her — and me for a time. He was knowledgeable and kind. My mother, especially, trusted him completely—and considered him a friend. May he rest in peace now as a reward for his many years of service to others.
January 5, 2021
I had the privilege of working with Dr. Chafkin at the Health Center on Rte 35 in Middletown. He was a wonderful man and doctor. He knew every one of his patients so well and was genuinely caring. I would go to him frequently with questions about diagnosis and treatment and he always took the time to explain things and to advise me. I am so sorry for your loss.
January 5, 2021
Sorry to hear about your loss. We still have so many great and fond memories of you and Harold. We still live in Florida, but in Sarasota not in Boca Grande. We remember your visit to our "little" house in Boca Grande and all the great times we had up in New Jersey with you and Harold.
Beverly & Tony