Anyone who knew Arthur Rubinoff knew he lived his life to the fullest. He marched to the beat of his own drummer, followed his own set of rules, and had a damn good time in the process. He was also one of the smartest people you’d ever meet, able to converse with everyone and anyone, regardless of their interests.
It’s hard to sum up a man like him in just a few words, but I’ll try.
There was the public Arthur. Charismatic. An amazingly talented dentist. An art collector, a wine connoisseur. A gardener. A rebel. A lover of women. An unbelievable cook. A father, a husband, a friend. A maker of nicknames. There was never a more gregarious, intense, emotional, multi-tasking person. Not only did he attack life with an unsurpassed passion, he also practiced gentleness, humility and kindness.
There was also the private Arthur: Daddy, Grandpa Treats. The sensitive, loving, humble, warm, sweet man. Who would tell you, and anyone else who would listen that he was proud of you. Praise your accomplishments. Tell you that you were beautiful. That you were a wonderful mother. An amazing cook. An excellent dentist. A good provider. A great dancer. An amazing musician. An excellent student. A great artist. Daddy didn’t give praise for the sake of it, but when he did, it meant something. Daddy had pictures of us, and the grandchildren all over his office, and no matter what procedure he was doing, he always would take our calls. “Hello. Which one is this? What do you want? That’s not important…why did you call?”
Our childhoods were unconventional with our Daddy, but boy were they a whole lot of fun. We went to plays, museums, country fairs, the planetarium. We never just sat around watching TV.
Every visit with Daddy started with the opening of the glove compartment, where the candy would tumble out. Jujubes, black babies, licorice, you name it. Obviously, that’s how he got his name, “Grandpa Treats” as he always arrived with goodies for the kids. Never empty handed or empty hearted, he loved his grandchildren so much. I’ll never forget his face when my daughter Skylar was born, and he held his ‘pumpkin’ for the first time. That pride was repeated 9 more times, as each of his much-loved grandchildren arrived to enrich his world.
Daddy had several passions in life, His family. His artistry as a dentist. His commitment to finding a cure for Neuroblastoma, and to raising money for the James Burrell Fund.. He believed in the importance of education, and was always asking about the kids’ marks and if any of us adult childen wanted to take courses. He had conviction: he didn’t make any decision lightly but once he did, he stuck by it.
With Paddy, he finally found his life partner. He loved, respected, and admired her. She brought richness to his life he didn’t have before, with family, friends, and travels. Paddy, thank you for being such a wonderful wife to daddy, and for finally getting him to be on time. He loved you so much.
A few more things maybe you didn’t know. Random people used to give him tastes of their dinner in restaurants. He loved spicy food. He would eat just about anything, but drew the line at blood pudding. He bought art because he liked it, not because someone told him it had value. He loved traditional Jewish food like brisket. He always took a doggie bag when he ate at someone’s house
What we know, as his children. He taught us how to love, what love means, and how to say ‘I love you’ with ease. He taught us that if you love your work, you’ll want to go every day. He taught us that you can find joy and richness in everyday things. He showed us that you can connect on a personal level with everyone you come into contact with; that everyone is a potential friend.
Once Daddy said to me: Its not where you’re going, its who you’re with. It’s the people who matter. Its not the place, or the money you spend. That’s how he lived his life. People were important to him: his loved ones, his children, his grandchildren, his patients, his friends. His legacy is of love, life, generosity, and learning. This world will not be the same without Arthur Herbert Rubinoff (he would kill me if he knew I said his middle name). I used to say it to him, and I’ll say it again, “Look around. This is ALL because of you.”