Dr. Joseph Blumen, of Newport, R.I., passed peacefully on July 25, 2021, at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol, R.I. He was 88.
Joseph was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1933, to Dora and Elias Blumen. Along with older brothers Louis and David, the family moved to Newport soon afterwards. Dora and Elias owned and operated the Municipal Market, a small neighborhood grocery store at the corner of Bowery and Spring Streets. One of Joe’s earliest memories was the way the store’s plate glass window flexed and bowed during the Hurricane of 1938.
Dr. Blumen was a graduate of Rogers High School, Brown University, and Tufts University School of Medicine. In 1965, he enlisted as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, and served as Chief of General Surgery at the 67th Evac Hospital, Qui Nhon, Vietnam, and later on the surgical staff at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
In 1967, Joseph returned to Newport to practice as a general surgeon and primary care physician and to raise a family with Dale, his beloved wife and partner of 58 years. As a physician, he cared for generations of Aquidneck Islanders, often making house calls. As part of his holistic approach to medicine, he believed laughter was essential for health and well-being.
Dr. Blumen was an active member of the community. He was a Master Mason and member of St. Paul’s Lodge No.14 for more than 50 years. Joseph was a long-serving member of the Planning Board for the City of Newport and a trustee of the Seamen’s Church Institute. He also established the Dora and Elias Blumen Collection for the Study of Holocaust Literature at Salve Regina University.
Joseph considered his family to be the most important part of his life. He is survived by his wife Dale, his children Ethan (Tracy) of Sharon, Mass., Rebecca of Newport, R.I., Jonathan (Lisa) of Rutland, Mass., and Joshua (Jill) of Sharon, Mass., and his grandchildren Eli, Mira, Alexander, Maxwell, Liliana, and Violet.
Funeral services will take place on Wednesday, July 28, at 1p.m. at Temple Shalom, 223 Valley Road, Middletown followed by interment at Beth Olam Cemetery, 181 Wyatt Road, Middletown. The family will sit Shiva at Temple Shalom following burial.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Joseph’s memory may be made to “The Blumen Fund” to support the Collection for the Study of Holocaust Literature at Salve Regina University. www.salve.edu.
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