Obituary : Harold G. Plakins M.D
Harold Gregory Plakins M.D., of New Hope, Penn., and formerly of Wallingford, Conn., died on Saturday, Nov. 14, in Doylestown, Penn. He was 89.
Known as Greg, Dr. Plakins was a family physician who practiced for decades in Connecticut. Born in New York City on September 15, 1920, the son of Abraham and Bertha (Becky Stutchevsky) Plakin, he graduated in 1942 from Queens College, N.Y., and then enlisted in the United States Army. After infantry training, he was selected to serve in army intelligence, based on his unusual aptitude for languages. He served overseas during World War II as a French and German translator. After the war, he worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration in Germany, aiding in refugee resettlement. There he also met his future wife, Edith Sarah Fischgrund, and the two were married in her native Czechoslovakia in April 1947. The couple then moved to Zurich, Switzerland, where Dr. Plakins received his medical degree from the University of Zurich in 1952.
In 1954, Dr. and Mrs. Plakins moved to Wallingford, Conn., where he practiced until 1990, during which time he earned the distinction of being board-certified and re-certified in family practice medicine. Even after retiring from his own practice, Dr. Plakins continued to practice medicine for many years, particularly at Vernon Walk-In Medical Care in Vernon, Conn. Dr. Plakins was known for his skill in diagnosis, his up-to-date knowledge, the time he devoted to each patient, and his ability to speak with his patients in their native tongue.
Dr. Plakins was an avid skier and sailor. Regardless of the season or even the weather, he loved to take walks. He also loved classical music, antiques, and traveling. From the early 1960s on, he and his family spent a portion of every summer on his beloved Martha's Vineyard. In 1966, the Plakins family bought the former Leaming Arboretum property on Middle Road in Chilmark. Even at an advanced age, Dr. Plakins was always up for a swim at Lucy Vincent or Menemsha and a good walk at Sepiessa Reserve or the Menemsha Hills.
Dr. Plakins is survived by his wife, Edith; their three daughters, Naomi Plakins of New Hope, Penn., Ava Plakins of Doylestown, Penn., and Tamara Thornton (husband Jonathan) of Buffalo, N.Y.; and six granddaughters, Xana, Lydia, Becky, Dora, Emily, and Julia.
He was buried in the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center Cemetery in a private family ceremony on November 18. Funeral arrangements were handled by Chapman Cole & Gleason in Oak Bluffs. A memorial service in Pennsylvania will be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders: doctorswithoutborders.org.