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Dr. Jerome Jacob Rolnick

August 27, 1930 — July 1, 2015

Dr. Jerome Jacob Rolnick, 84, a long-time resident of Highland Park and then New Brunswick, N.J., died Wednesday July 1 at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick.

Born in Trenton, N.J., on August 27, 1930, Dr. Rolnick received his BS degree in pre-med from Pennsylvania State University in 1954. He earned an MS from New York University in 1956 and his medical degree from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium, in 1963. While in Belgium, he drove a taxi cab to learn the language and support his family, and taught at the American School for English.

Returning to the United States, Dr. Rolnick completed his medical residency at St. Peter’s hospital, specializing in cardiology, and was selected as chief medical resident. Dr. Rolnick set up his private practice on Easton Avenue in New Brunswick, and served as a cardiologist in a career spanning four decades. He was one of the founders of the St. Peter’s cardiac catheterization lab and president of the Middlesex County chapter of the American Heart Association. He was appointed in 1972 to the faculty at the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Rutgers Medical School. Dr. Rolnick was the first physician in New Jersey to implant a pacemaker.

Dr. Rolnick enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Monmouth during the Korean War. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.

Dr. Rolnick was also an accomplished carpenter, making fine wooden boxes and wood furniture from his basement in Highland Park, which he called J.M. Craftstudio. Some of what he made he sold at his wife’s Raritan Avenue store, Margaret’s Craft Shop. He loved fishing, his ’66 Ford Mustang convertible, and Long Beach Island. He kept a running list of life lessons in a book he called “Rolnick’s Rules,” including what he felt was one of the most enduring: “Life is a trade-off.”

Dr. Rolnick was married for 46 years to Margaret Kleinman Rolnick, who survives him. He is also survived by six children, Karen Rolnick (Douglas Munson), Lawrence Rolnick (Kimberly Rolnick), Susan Rolnick (Thomas Knight), Joshua Rolnick (Marcella Kanfer Rolnick), Rebecca Rolnick-Fox (Brian Fox), and Jenn Rolnick Borchetta (Frank Borchetta); eighteen grandchildren, Crystal, Karina (Kurt), Erin, Layna (Sean), Blair, Austin, Brandon, Dillon, Niclas, Meaghan, Emily, Meyer, Heshel, Lev, Pella, Jonah, Gideon, and Kaya; and one great grandchild, Sloane.

The memorial service will be held Friday, July 3, at 10 am at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, 222 Livingston Ave in New Brunswick, with internment to follow at Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge.

Arrangements are under the direction of theCrabiel Parkwest Funeral Chapel, 239 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
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