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1940 Robert Rapkin 2024

Robert Michael Rapkin

January 14, 1940 — March 5, 2024


Robert Michal Rapkin, known to all as Bob, was born on January 14, 1940 in the Bronx to Rose (Suprin) and Bernard Rapkin. He attended East Orange high school, where from his class of 1000, he was one of four to attend college. He went to Lafayette College, where he majored in English. He then attended medical school at Tufts University. He completed his internship at Mt. Auburn Hospital and his residency in Psychiatry at Boston State Hospital, where he met the love of his life, Bonnie Stark Rapkin who predeceased him. After his residency, he joined the Public Health Service, where he served from 1969-1971. He went on to lead what was then called the Drug Dependency Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital for six years, becoming an early pioneer in the world of addiction treatment. After his time at Yale, he opened a private medical practice in Guilford, Connecticut where he stayed until 1993. Hoping to make a larger contribution to the world, he left private practice in Connecticut and took a staff position focused on geriatric mental health at Penn Foundation in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, where he worked for more than 20 years. The last portion of his long medical career was spent in private practice focused on geriatric psychiatry in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  Bob had a great appreciation for the many patients he had the honor to serve in Bucks County. He was such a sought-after provider he continually had to turn away patients because he just didn't have enough time to see everyone who needed treatment. He was beloved among his patients and an incredibly skilled and kind doctor. He took great pleasure in his work and continued practicing medicine until his health forced him to retire at 83 - just a few months ago.

Bob was a bright light in this world - inquisitive, brilliantly smart, and always kind. He loved Coxton Lake, poetry, antique clocks, listening to classical and jazz music, model trains, playing the banjo, art, barbeque from Blooming Glen Pork Products, and everything from Bolton's Farm Market. 

He is survived by his daughter Meredith Rapkin, son in law Neil Toensmeier, and beloved grandson Isaac. He is further survived by his son Jonathan Rapkin and daughter in law Elaine, along with many friends and extended family who loved him dearly.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to any of the following organizations: HIAS PennsylvaniaMorris Arboretum or the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

His ashes will be buried alongside Bonnie in the North Jackson Cemetery in Susquehanna County, PA. A graveside memorial service will be planned for early summer and the online version of this obituary will be updated to reflect the plans once they are confirmed.

Arrangements are by Naugle Funeral & Cremation Service, Ltd. (215-536-3343) of Quakertown, PA.
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