Thursday, May 13, 2021

Obituaries

Arnold Samuel Haftel

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Arnold Samuel Haftel, 86, of Middletown, beloved father and grandfather, died of natural causes on March 30, the seventh birthday of his favorite grandson and namesake, with his daughter by his bedside. Arnie was singularly devoted to his only daughter and by extension his three grandchildren, and he lived the later part of his own life finding enjoyment in ways he could enrich theirs. He would have given them the world if it had been within his power.

Although his daughter had the privilege of knowing him as a father for an all too short 36 years, Arnie had already lived an entire lifetime by the time she came into the world. Born on Long Island in 1933, he moved to Middletown as a child and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1951, later receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut. As a young man, he enjoyed participating in a variety of sports, especially baseball, tennis, and skiing. Arnie was also part of the family business, Monarch Builders and Developers, and helped to build numerous affordable homes around the Middletown area.

His family universally regarded him as the nicest brother and most fun, doting, favorite uncle. His daughter, however, born during his marriage in the 1980s, was the luckiest member of the whole family by virtue of simply being his child and being able to cherish him as not just uncle or brother, but father. He was a kind man who befriended people of all different backgrounds and became their benefactor, adopting in all but the legal sense his daughter’s best friend, Bunny Rodriguez, who became like a second daughter to him.

Arnie loved going for rides in his car around town, parking by the river to read the newspaper and listen to AM radio, and sharing big meals with family and friends at his favorite restaurants. He never forgot his beautiful dog, Caesar, he had 40 years ago, and thinking of time spent with his own favorite uncle, Bernie, never failed to bring joy to his face.

He is survived by his daughter Jodie Maisfehlt and her spouse Lillian, his granddaughters Hester and Ardith Maisfehlt, and his grandson Northrop Arnold Maisfehlt, all of Chester. He is also survived by his brother Seymour Haftel and his wife Sylvia of Florida; his sister Joan Myers of California; his aunt Rochelle Harrison of New York; nieces and nephews Stefanie, Brian, Dana, Gary, Erica, Seth, Michael, Sharon, and James; and many cousins. He was predeceased by his brother Carl Haftel and his wife Sandy, his sister Mary Ann Haftel, and his parents Morris and Edith Haftel. Many deep thanks go to the Hall family and to Emily Treme for taking care of Arnie in his own home during his final days.

Burial at the Congregation Adath Israel Cemetery on Pine Street in Middletown was for immediate family only due to current public health restrictions. Arnie would likely have appreciated flowers, but friends are also encouraged to donate instead to a charity of their choice in his name if they are so inclined, or to find a way to do a generous deed and make a difference for people who need it in their own lives. Doolittle Funeral Home in Middletown has been entrusted with arrangements, and friends may share virtual memories at www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.


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