Robert Mandelkern, 87 years of age, of West Hartford, died (February 23, 2013) at Hartford Hospital from complications due to Parkinson’s Disease. Bob was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. He was a member of Congregation Beth Israel of West Hartford. Bob was owner of a wholesale diamond firm in New York City until his retirement in 1985. He then returned to school and earned a B.S. in Exercise Physiology and led exercise classes for seniors in nursing homes and residences.
Bob was an avid basketball and tennis player. He was an active member of the CT Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association. Bob was a participant in the successful effort to secure the passage of the bill funding stem cell research in Connecticut. From 2006 to 2011, he served as a member of the CT Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee. He was also the Connecticut State Coordinator of the Parkinson’s Action Network. He leaves his wife June; three sons, Nick and his wife Carol of Fairfield, Michael and his wife Myrna Rasmussen of Irvine, CA, and Peter and his partner Pamela Adams of Clinton, OH; and five grandchildren, Talya, Carmi, Ronit, Neal, and Nora.
Bob was a true friend of the Yale Stem Cell Center. He, and his lovely wife June, were deeply committed to supporting the work of the Center. They attended many of the Center's functions, even though it was a physical challenge. In June 2008 he spoke to a packed audience of students and staff about the importance of stem cell research on diseases such as Parkinson's. We will never forget our friend.