Elliot Monroe Greenfeld, 86
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. Elliot Monroe Greenfeld, 86, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on Wednesday, April 14.
Born and raised in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, NY as one of triplet boys born 20 minutes apart on December 31, 1934 to the late Dr. Solomon S. Greenfeld and Eva Aronson Greenfeld, Elliot graduated from Lafayette High School, attended and played basketball at Brooklyn College, and graduated from Ohio State University in 1956. He loved being a Buckeye and watched every basketball and football game, when possible.
He received his doctorate in dental surgery from New York University's College of Dentistry in 1960.
Over the next three years he was first an intern in oral surgery at Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica, NY and did his post-graduate residency in oral surgery at Bronx Municipal Hospital. He was board certified in oral surgery in 1967. He was also a member of the Freemasons.
Moving to Pittsfield in 1963, he started his oral surgery practice in the Onota Building on North Street, later joining Dr. Robert Cella in 1975 at Doctor's Park on South Street. He practiced in Pittsfield for over 41 years, retiring on September 15, 2004.
Dr. Greenfeld was a former board member and past president of the Jewish Community Center and a member of Congregation Knesset Israel. He coached many youth in basketball at the former JCC on East Street.
He was on the staff of all Berkshire County hospitals and active on many of their committees.
He was Vice Chief of Staff at BMC from 1978-1980, Chief of Staff from 1981-1983, and served as Chair of the Division of Oral Surgery from 1971 to 1973. He also served on the boards of BMC and Berkshire Health Systems from 1978-1991. He was a faculty member of Harvard School of Dental Medicine and UMASS Medical School.
Dr. Greenfeld taught in the general dentistry residency program since its inception at BMC in 1969 and was director of the program from 1986-1996. On May 2, 2007 he was the recipient of the BMC Honor Roll award established in 1992 to "recognize in a permanent way members of the medical staff whose work has brought honor and distinction to the profession and to the institution." He had been a delegate to the Massachusetts Dental Society and a member and consultant to the American Dental Association's Council on Hospital Dental Services and was a past head of the Berkshire District Dental Society. He was a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Dr. Greenfeld enjoyed a reputation as a caring surgeon, with patients commenting that he'd call them at home the evening of their surgery or procedure just to ask "How are you doing?" He was known for his magnanimity and believed in giving back to others and to his community, often waiving fees for those in need. An avid golfer, he served on the board of the Country Club of Pittsfield for several years.
He and his wife, Barbara, were instrumental in the development of the BMC Auxiliary Golf Tournament, raising funds for BMC programs and services, with Elliot also serving as the Master of Ceremonies. Known for his quick wit and stories galore, he could keep an audience laughing for hours.
He and his brothers were honored in 2006 by the Jewish Community House, the "J" in Bensonhurst, where he grew up playing basketball and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah, with the Coach Gold Alumni Achievement Award held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan.
Growing up in a large extended family in his beloved Brooklyn, Elliot loved his childhood and his life and spent hours telling stories of his friends from first grade through graduate school, and everyone agreed that his sense of humor and timing for storytelling was unparalleled.
After retiring from private practice, he said he "flunked retirement" and began working for Hillcrest Dental and later at the Dental Clinic run by CHP, mentoring and teaching new dental residents until two months ago.
Elliot was married June 7, 1959 to the former Barbara Kronick of North Adams. They met the summer of 1958 while working in the Catskills. Together they built a wonderful life, family, and large circle of friends and they would have celebrated 62 years of marriage in June.
Elliot believed strongly in treating everyone with respect, dignity, and compassion. He was ethical, fair, and honest and felt that a handshake and his word were his bond. He taught his children the worth of hard work, integrity, and always doing your best and "the right thing." He never complained even when his body was failing him and was thankful for every day. He was a truly contented man, a rare quality, who took each day as it came and coped with whatever life handed him. He was humble, not interested in fancy things. possessions or accolades. He adored his family, was proud of them, and "had our backs" no matter what, no questions asked. He believed strongly in education, pushed us all to be life-long learners, and to value others. He certainly had his share of illness and heartache but his positive attitude was stellar and his gratitude and love for others was evident. Elliot, daddy, papa...you are our hero and will be missed every day!
In addition to his devoted wife, Barbara, Elliot leaves his loved and loving children; Jenny Greenfeld and son-in-law, Bob Lezberg, Dr. Abby Gonik and son-in-law Walter, Seth Greenfeld and daughter-in- law, Liz. Words cannot do justice for the complete unconditional love he had for his precious grandchildren; Ashley Gonik, Jacob and Emma Lezberg, Lucas and Aaron Greenfeld. He also leaves his brother Michael Greenfeld and wife Linda, many nieces and nephews and a multitude of dear close friends and colleagues.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his beloved daughter Deborah Anne Greenfeld; in- laws, Joseph and Lucy Kronick, brother and sister-in-law, Arthur and Brenda Greenfeld, sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and William Mellow.
Elliot made a point of asking us to thank every person who helped him along this journey, in particular Dr. Harvey Zimbler, Dr. Sean Mullally, and Dr, Kevin Quiusky. Thank you to each Dr., nurse, therapist, orderly, aide, food service worker, and volunteer in every area of Berkshire Health Systems who were there for him. He enjoyed conversations with the custodians, techs, and residents that he was still helping to teach.
Donations in memory of Dr. Elliot M. Greenfeld may be made to the Berkshire Immigrant Center, 67 East Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201 or berkshireic.org. Please treat others with respect, value each and every person, and help those less fortunate. That is what our dad would want.
Funeral Services will be held on Sunday, April 18 at 1:30 pm at Knesset Israel, 16 Colt Road, Pittsfield with Rabbi David Weiner officiating. Burial will follow at Knesset Israel cemetery on Pecks Road, Pittsfield. Due to COVID restrictions, the service will be limited to the family but you may watch on livestream at https://knessetisrael.org/livestream or, using your ROKU/AppleTV/Kindle FireTV, view it on the Knesset Israel app on the Boxcast channel. As outdoor gatherings allow more people, you may attend the burial in person as it will not be livestreamed. Social distancing rules will be observed at the cemetery, and masks are required. Shiva will take place on Zoom, Sunday through Thursday evenings, 7-7:30 p.m. There will be opportunities to share stories about Elliot each evening. Zoom ID # 934-910- 554 Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/934910554