Arthur Seidman has logged more than 15,500 hours during the past 23 years—and is still going strong
Arthur Seidman, a Great Neck resident and North Shore University Hospital volunteer, celebrated his 102nd birthday surrounded by hospital staff, family and friends.
A Northwell Health volunteer since 1995, Seidman spends at least six hours a week assisting patients and their families in the surgical waiting room at North Shore University Hospital, comforts patients at Northwell’s Monter Cancer Center and serves on North Shore’s auxiliary board as chairman for the Tribute Fund and the Car Raffle.
Kicking off the festivities was Lisa Breiman, director of volunteer services at North Shore, who presented the guest of honor with an oversized birthday card, balloons and a cake that was enjoyed by Seidman’s many friends and family in attendance, including his daughter, Jane Krakauer, granddaughter Kim and loving companion, Alice Weiss, also of Great Neck.
“I’m pleased to announce that Arthur holds the record for time served as a volunteer,” said Breiman. “After 23 years with us, Arthur has logged in more than 15,500 hours of service. He is the epitome of what a volunteer should be.”
The highlight of the celebration was the surprise appearance of entertainer Brian Bergdoll of Broadway Singing Telegrams, dressed in a tuxedo and jaunty hat, who performed a medley of hits in character as Seidman’s idol, Frank Sinatra.
After applauding vigorously to the performance of “My Way” and “Young at Heart,” Seidman smiled at the much younger entertainer and said, “You know, you’re pretty good.”
In May 2017, the 93rd annual Great Neck Memorial Day Parade was dedicated to Seidman, who had recently turned 100. Each year, the committee dedicates the parade to a worthy Great Neck resident who is either actively serving in the U.S. armed forces or has previously served and warrants special recognition.
Seidman served as a first Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1941 to 1946 as an Artillery Forward Observer in the field artillery. His position put him directly in harm’s way during combat. He was recognized for his heroic achievement in connection with military operations in the Pacific Theater against opposition forces in Luzon, Philippines, in January 1945. He redirected heavy and accurate artillery fire, and the mission successfully destroyed the enemy’s heavy machine gun fire as well as an enemy cave position. For this action, Seidman was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
His dedication and exemplary action also earned him the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Army Occupation Medal.
Seidman returned home to his wife, Lillian, whom he married in 1941, and began his career in the garment industry, where he worked for 50 years. He is the proud father of Jane and Steven, and a loving grandfather of Kim, Kyle and Margot.
Later in 2017, at 100 years young, Seidman was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame, which recognizes the brave men and women who have led extraordinary military and civilian lives, and was honored by then-Senator Elaine Phillips.
“Arthur Seidman is a true American hero for his fearless service in the military and his tireless dedication to his community,” said Phillips. “I am truly honored to recognize Mr. Seidman as a newly inducted member of the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame.”
His commitment as a volunteer is legendary. During a recent snow storm, when en route to the hospital from his Great Neck home, Seidman offered a ride to a much younger volunteer who required assistance getting to his post.
Describing his feelings about turning 102, a very emotional Seidman said, “I’ve lived a very eventful life. I’ve always tried to be as good as I could be. For me, coming to the hospital and working with other people who are really in need is a reason for me to get up in the morning. This is a labor of love. I love being here. I hope they’ll let me come back for as long as I can.”
Find out more about volunteering at North Shore University Hospital at 516-562-4947.