Longtime Dentist Ralph Mezrow Dies at 96

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When Mezrow passed away Aug. 2 at 96, he left behind not only a loving family but a legacy of satisfied customers.

Louis E. Bricklin still has every one of his teeth and, thanks to Dr. Ralph Mezrow, so did his 96-year-old mother until she passed away.
That’s how efficient the dentist from Gladwyne, who was one of the first to move into the area when it wasn’t a Jewish neighborhood, was in taking care of his patients.
When Mezrow passed away Aug. 2 at 96, he left behind not only a loving family but a legacy of satisfied customers.
“He lived and died with his patients,” said Bricklin, an attorney at Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg LLC, who remembers first going to Mezrow’s office when he was a little boy and never changing dentists over the next 40-plus years. “He cared about you.
“I remember he was always checking on your home care. Doing all sorts of things to make sure you held onto your teeth until the day you died. When my mother passed away, she had every one of her teeth.”
Mezrow’s personal touch wasn’t just limited to the office.
According to his son, Steven Mezrow, when their mother, Lora, was seriously injured in 1997, their father became her primary caregiver until her death this past January. Then, in his later years, he was in regular contact with his other son, Craig, his daughter, Gail, and especially his seven grandchildren.
But whenever Steven Mezrow thinks of his father, something else comes to mind.
“His intellect,” he said. “To the day he died, he was sharp as a tack. Through his years of experience and his wisdom, he was just very understanding to friends and family. He was used as a sage.”
A 1938 graduate of Olney High, Mezrow went to Temple University and later Temple University School of Dentistry before going off to serve in the Army during World War II. He returned to complete his residency at Sydenham Hospital in Manhattan, followed by a fellowship at Columbia University Hospital.
He eventually returned to the Philadelphia area, opening a practice in Merion which lasted 57 years.
Religion also was important to Mezrow, who had a long affiliation with Beth David Reform Congregation in Gladwyne.
“Every year during the High Holidays I’d look at the front row, and he’d be sitting there with Lora,” Bricklin said. “It was part of the way I told time.”
A graveside ceremony took place at Montefiore Cemetery in Jenkintown. In tribute to Mezrow’s love of opera, Beth David Cantor Lauren Levy performed operatic arias.
In tribute to his years as an Army captain, he was buried with full military honors.
Contact: jmarks@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0729

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