Arnold Abelson Sr., 98, Middlebury
MIDDLEBURY — The Abelson family mourns the passing of Arnold D. Abelson on March 7, 2021, at the age of 98. A devoted husband, a loving father and grandfather, an irreplaceable friend, Arnold was an inspiration to all who knew him.
The son of Russian immigrants, Arnold earned an engineering degree from Cornell University and served in the U.S. Army Signal Core in the Pacific during World War II. After the war ended, he earned a CPA degree from NYU and a law degree from The City University of New York; with these degrees he launched a successful career in wills, trusts and estates in Manhattan. He was a tried and true Democrat, and a free-speech and abortion-rights advocate. As a philanthropist, Arnold gave generously to several causes, including establishing a scholarship for the benefit of Addison County (Vermont) Home, Health & Hospice personnel.
Arnold was also an avid traveler; he and his wife of 70 years, Mildred, travelled widely, from Boston to Borneo, visiting over 120 countries before moving to Vermont full time. Arnold continued traveling in his second marriage to Carol, even while using a wheelchair.
Arnold had several hobbies which he pursued with professional passion. He mastered fly fishing and loved to spend the early dawn or the fading dusk on Vermont lakes. He began woodworking while living in suburban Roslyn Heights, New York; eventually he built a small wood shop in Vermont where he finished a wooden Adirondack Canoe.
Arnold spent all his summers on the shores of Echo Lake in Rutland County, Vermont, where his father had established a boys’ camp. Years later Arnold conserved this property, which abuts the lake and many acres of surrounding forest. This land is now managed by his two sons.
Arnold lived at the Residence at Otter Creek in Middlebury for the last decade.
Arnold is survived by his wife Carol Milkuhn, by his sons — Skip and wife, Ila, and his son Donald and his husband Joseph — and by his granddaughter Sasha, the founder of Love Leo Rescue in Los Angeles, California. ◊
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