Retired Veterinarian Philip Bookman Dies at 95
Philip Bookman, a veterinarian who owned and operated the Burlington Animal Hospital in Burlington, NJ, from 1954 to 1968, and the Country Club Plaza Animal Hospital in Willingboro, NJ, from 1968 to 1987, died May 26, in Voorhees, NJ, at the age of 95.
Born in Newark into a deeply Orthodox Jewish family, Dr. Bookman’s family soon migrated to Brooklyn, where he grew up in East New York. After high school he ventured to the Deep South to attend Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, in Auburn, AL, studying veterinary medicine. He reported that the day after college graduation, he received an Army draft notice. But, as he told the story, the Pentagon determined that his services were more needed as a meat inspector. He was sent back to Newark, where he worked, ironically, at a porcine slaughterhouse, and was later sent as a U.S. Government meat inspector to New Haven and Middleton, CT.
He was married to Miriam (Glantz) Bookman in 1954. They had two children, Alan and Francine.
During his career as a veterinarian, Dr. Bookman at various times served as president of the Southern New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, on the Executive Board of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, and was an honorary member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He also held membership in the Burlington Kiwanis Club, and was a past-president of the Greater Willingboro Lodge of B’nai B’rith.
Outside of his professional life, “Doc” Bookman was an avid storyteller and performer. He treasured a worn notebook full of photocopied and handwritten pages of jokes that he would produce and mine at various social gatherings for any willing audience. He was an accomplished pianist, and endlessly entertained wherever a piano could be found, performing Gershwin, or playing and singing early 20th century standards and show tunes. He also enjoyed golf, table tennis, and loved to play and teach Bridge. He and his wife Miriam were also devotees of “round” dancing, and for years they attended events, competitions, and conventions devoted to that pursuit.
Dr. Bookman’s daughter Francine died suddenly in 1994 at the age of 35, three weeks after being diagnosed with systemic Scleroderma. Philip was also predeceased by his wife Miriam in January 2009.
Dr. Bookman is survived by his son, Alan (Terri) Bookman, granddaughter Zo Bookman (Julian Hammond), and companion Marilyn Prant.
Relatives and friends are invited Tuesday beginning 10:30 am to
PLATT MEMORIAL CHAPELS, INC.
2001 Berlin Road, Cherry Hill, NJ
where funeral services will begin promptly at 11:00 am. Interment will follow at Crescent Memorial Park in Pennsauken, NJ.
Memorials may be made to the Scleroderma Foundation, Delaware Valley Chapter.