Five Towns native Dr. George Elkowitz was a devoted family man who always took the time to be active in veteran’s affairs. The longtime Woodmere and Lawrence resident and United States Army veteran Elkowitz died on Jan. 20 in upstate Rye Brook from natural causes. He was 89.
Born on Sept. 28, 1931 in Brooklyn to Paul and Lillian Elkowitz, George enlisted in the Army in 1953 near the end of the Korean War, where he was assigned to the Army Medical Corps. His job was to coordinate with wounded soldiers coming back to the U.S. and assess their capabilities and what they could do after being discharged from military service.
Honorably discharged in 1956, he pursued a career in dentistry and moved to the Five Towns. His son Aaron Elkowitz said that his father’s career in dentistry lasted for roughly a half a century.
“He practiced dentistry for 50 years, first in Brooklyn, then in Cedarhurst, and the last 10 years with me in my office,” Aaron said. “He loved treating patients and he touched the lives of everyone he took care of.” Aaron has a dentistry practice in Manhasset.
Polly Van Raalte is a longtime Elkowitz family friend. She described Elkowitz as being a special person. “He always had a smile on his face and he was wonderfully active in veterans' affairs,” she said. “He was so lucky to have such a fantastic family and they were lucky to have him.”
Elkowitz was passionate about helping fellow veterans. He was a longtime member of the Lawrence-Cedarhurst American Legion Post 339. This included serving as the post’s commander from 1990 to 2012.
Current Post 339 commander Syd Mandelbaum said that he knew Elkowitz and his family for roughly 30 years and described Elkowitz as a great representative of the post.
“George led the post with dignity and patriotism throughout his time as commander,” Mandelbaum said. “He was dedicated to helping veteran’s and it was a privilege to work alongside him.”
Predeceased by his brother Edwin, Elkowitz is survived by his wife Ellen, his children Robin, Aaron and Stuart, his brother Lloyd and many other family and friends.
Funeral services were held graveside on Jan. 24 at the Mt. Ararat Cemetery in Lindenhurst, where Elkowitz is interred.
“His love for his family, his friends, patients and of course his model trains were everything to him,” Aaron added. “We will love and miss him always and he will live on forever through all of us.”
In lieu of gifts, the family requests that donations can be made in Elkowitz’ name to the Smilow Cancer Center Greenwich Building Fund. The donation can be made at: https://bit.ly/2NnsHcP.