Dr. Robert (Bob) Rakov passed away peacefully on September 13, 2023, at home with his family at the age of 96. He was a beloved father, grandfather, and great grandfather to a family who were so lucky to have shared his life full of love, humor, and compassion for others.
The son of Dr. Daniel and Helen Rakov of Maybrook, he was born in the old Goshen Hospital where he was delivered by his father. He grew up in Maybrook and graduated as valedictorian of Goshen High School in 1944. He followed in his father’s footsteps and graduated from Syracuse Medical School, Magna Cum Laude, in 1950. He then completed his surgical residency at Pennsylvania Hospital. In 1951 he married the love of his life, Beatrice Hoover, whom he met at Allegheny College while visiting his cousin who was her roommate. He then served two years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy before moving back to Maybrook with his family to set up his surgical practice in Goshen, N.Y. He was chief of surgery at Arden Hill Hospital for over 20 years, as well as president of the Orange County Medical Society before his retirement in 1999. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Arden Hill/Horton Hospitals in 2001. His life’s purpose was the care and commitment to his many patients.
Dad greeted every morning with a smile, a whistle, and boundless optimism. He taught himself to fix almost anything by following around the plumbers and electricians who came to his house growing up. It was very common for him to come out to his car in the hospital parking lot to find a broken lamp or electrical appliance left by a nurse for him to take home to fix.
He had a lifelong fascination with aviation, starting with the formation of the “Maybrook Model Airplane Club” as a child. He obtained his pilot’s license while serving in the navy and went on to become a private pilot, serving as the long time board chair of the Orange County Airport.
But his true passion was his family and his children Kathy (Van Patten), Lisa (St. John) and Bobby Rakov. He was predeceased by his wife Beatrice, and his son Dr. Robert (Bobby) D. Rakov, a third-generation Rakov doctor. He is survived by his two daughters, his daughter-in-law Theresa Rakov, eight grandchildren (Jimmy Van Patten, Sarah (Van Patten) Greiwe, Will, Peter, Miles and Toby St. John, and Aleksei and Emily Rakov), three great-grandchildren (Jack, Ethan, and Max Greiwe), and a fourth great-grandchild, Eleanor Van Patten, is due in October.
There will be a Celebration of Life on Saturday, September 23rd at 11 a.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, 1 St. James Place in Goshen, NY.