Mattituck resident Arnold A. Urist, M.D., died May 22 at the age of 77.
Dr. Urist was born March 25, 1934, in the Bronx to Minnie and Herman Urist. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School there in 1951 and earned a B.A. in history from New York University in 1955. He attended Fribourg University in Switzerland for pre-clinical medical training, and graduated in 1961 with an M.D. from the University of Basel. While there, he met Liselotte Hildebrand, a physical therapist, whom he married on Oct. 21, 1962, in Great Neck.
From 1961 to 1962 Dr. Urist completed his internship at Meadowbrook Hospital (now Nassau County Medical Center) in East Meadow, served two years’ residency in internal medicine at the Veterans Administration hospital in Brooklyn and began his senior residency in internal medicine at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. He joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps and deployed to Vietnam, commissioned as captain, and served as acting director of medicine at the 67th Evacuation Hospital in Qui Nhon. During his tour of duty, he became commandant of a dispensary clinic that treated an average of 300 patients per day.
After his discharge in 1968, Dr. Urist completed a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Downstate Medical Center, King’s County Hospital, in Brooklyn. In 1970, he moved with his family to Mattituck and began his private practice, first on Marlene Lane and later on Love Lane. He was an attending physician at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport for 34 years, where he served as chief of medicine in the late 1970s. He was also an attending physician in internal medicine at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. He retired from his medical practice in December 2004.
According to family members, he was an avid angler, skilled in both saltwater and freshwater fishing, and could often be found on the waters of Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound. He was a crossword puzzle enthusiast and an opera buff, family members said, as well as a devoted New York Yankees fan.
Dr. Urist is survived by his wife of 49 years; his daughters, Andrea, of Brooklyn, and Theresa, of Cambridge, Mass.; his son, Daniel, of Boulder, Colo.; his sister, Irene Simon of the Bronx; and three grandchildren.
A celebration of Dr. Urist’s life will take place Wednesday, June 1, at noon at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue.
Memorial donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders, P.O. Box 5022, Hagerstown, MD 21741 or ACCESS, 31 St. James Ave., Suite 520, Boston, MA 02116.