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Robert L. Markovits, 78, of Stockbridge, world-renowned philatelist

Bob was an active participant in political debate in Stockbridge. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Berkshire South Community Center.

Robert Leslie Markovits, a long-time resident of Stockbridge, died Sunday morning, December 20, at the age of 78.

Bob had a B.A. and LL.B. from Cornell University and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University. An early interest in sports journalism culminated in his being the sports editor of the Cornell Daily Sun and, during one summer, an interim sports editor of the Middletown Times-Herald Daily Record. Bob was also an accomplished pianist who played not only classical music but also solo at restaurants and dance music as the leader of his own quartet.

Robert Markovits
Robert Markovits

Bob engaged in legal practice as a transactions lawyer and estate planner. He continued to practice until the day of his death. Bob was an active participant in political debate in Stockbridge. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Berkshire South Community Center.

Bob was also a world-renowned philatelist, who assembled and presented collections that won gold medals both nationally and internationally. He was the author of many scholarly articles on stamps, a contributing editor of Lynn’s Stamp Weekly, and a frequent speaker at stamp-collector meetings. An enormous collection of his research papers on stamps is housed at the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Penn. Bob was a valued speaker about stamps (and estate-planning issues) not only because of his encyclopedic knowledge, articulateness, and commanding presence, but also because of his sometimes-subtle, sometimes-not-so-subtle, but always effective sense of humor. That sense of humor and his enormous generosity of spirit caused him to be loved by family-members, friends, and care-givers. His great courage in the face of a terrible, debilitating illness that he did not allow to affect the positive, good-humored way in which he interacted with people earned him the respect of all those who knew him.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Ruth Lebovitz Markovits, of Stockbridge; his brother Richard Markovits of Austin, Tex.; his daughter Lisa Markovits Kohn, of Quito, Ecuador; his son Kenneth Markovits, of Charlotte, N. C.; three grandchildren — Ariel and Rafael Kohn and Esther Markovits; his nephews and nieces — Daniel Markovits, Stefanie Markovits, Benjamin Markovits, Julia Markovits, Rebecca Markovits, James Lebovitz, Michael Aarons, and Anya Singleton; grandnephew Harper Aarons; cousins Estelle Markovits Schwartz and Warren Markovits; and brother-in-law Richard Lebovitz.

Robert Leslie Markovits was the elder son of William and Dorothy Markovits of Middletown, N. Y.

The funeral service for the late Robert L. Markovits will be held on Wednesday, December 23 at 11:30 a.m. at FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME in Great Barrington. Burial will follow at Ahavath Sholom Cemetery in Great Barrington.

Donations in his memory may be made to Muscular Dystrophy Assoc.-earmark for IBM research and assistance or Hadassah Hospital-Neurology Department through FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to his family or sign the guestbook, go to www.finnertyandstevens.com

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