After living a long, full, and happy life, Martin Ettinger died on March 23 at his Leisure Village home in Camarillo. He was 95.
Martin was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 10, 1922. A graduate of Erasmus Hall High School, Franklin & Marshall College, and New York University Dental School, he married Mitzi Weinstein in December 1943. The marriage, which lasted more than 70 years until Mitzi’s death in 2014, was as remarkably happy and fulfilling as it was long lasting.
As a Navy dentist during World War II, Martin was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco. After the war and the end of Martin’s military service, he and Mitzi returned to New York where they raised two sons in a Peter Cooper Village apartment in Manhattan, near to their parents, Martin’s aunt, brother and sister-in-law, and two nieces. Their family was close more than geographically; it was the center of their lives.
When their sons reached nine and seven years old, Martin and Mitzi took them on a two-month long summer trip across the country. Extended summer travel became an annual tradition, taking the family all over the United States and to Europe, Canada, and Mexico.
Martin and Mitzi were committed New Yorkers, but found irresistible the pull of their first two grandchildren, who lived in California. They retired and moved to Leisure Village in 1985.
In New York, Martin was an exceptional dentist, serving his patients and the community. Dentistry alone did not define him, however. He had many interests and talents both before and after retirement, from golf, cross-country skiing, and hiking to photography, sculpting, drawing, theater, and chess.
Martin became the family patriarch, not because he sought the title, but in the recognition by others of the strength of his character and the warmth of his heart. He loved his family to the farthest branches of the tree.
Martin is survived by many who will be forever grateful for his presence in their lives, including his sons David and Henry Ettinger, his grandchildren Raychael Ettinger-Meek (and her husband, Kevin Meek), Steven Ettinger, and Lori Ettinger Waichman (and her husband, Mitch Waichman), his daughters-in-law Susan Ettinger and Jani Klebanow, and the last love of his life — 12-week-old great-granddaughter Grace Meek.