Arthur S. Rosenblatt
NORFOLK — Arthur S. Rosenblatt, 83, passed away peacefully on Oct. 29, 2021, at Noble Horizons, where he had been living since 2015, due to ill health.
He was born in Boston, Mass., on April 21, 1938, the beloved second son of Doris and Eliot Rosenblatt. His brother, Norman, his nephews Mitchell Rosenblatt and Andrew Rosenblatt, and a niece, Susan Potas, survive him.
Throughout his childhood and adolescence in nearby Revere, Mass., he was an excellent student, always at or near the top of his class. From the age of 7, he worked outside of school hours, helping out at his father’s store or selling papers as was expected then.
His love affair with the theater started early with his enthusiastic participation in the high school dramatic club. It was there, too, that he honed his considerable verbal skills on the debate team.
His outstanding academic record earned him several scholarship offers. Arthur chose Princeton, where he found a circle of lifelong friends. Outside of academics, his great love was the Princeton Triangle Club, which each year put on a variety show, written by the students, and which toured the country during the Christmas break. He had many star turns that showcased his comedic flare.
After graduation in 1960 with a degree in English in hand, he toured Europe for nine weeks with the rest of the cast, courtesy of the Department of the Army.
After his return, Arthur joined the U.S. Army Reserve, fulfilling his six-month tour of duty at Fort Dix. He then went into advertising, working for many years at Liberty Mutual first as copywriter, then Creative Director and ultimately as Advertising Director. For two years he worked as Director of Communications for a company that made a hovering lawnmower, the Flymo.
Though the product never really found its niche in the United States, the job took him regularly to Great Britain, which began a long and happy connection and provided opportunities to enjoy the London theater. His last corporate position was as vice president of the National Union Electric Corp. and its subsidiary, Emerson Radio Corp.
Arthur turned to writing of a different sort with the publication of a children’s book, “Smarty,” in 1981, published by Little Brown and Company. In 1982 he left corporate life for good and devoted himself to writing for young people. His books included “Danger Mouse: Noah’s Park” as well as a number of mass-market children’s books for the hugely popular Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and Cabbage Patch series.
He wrote a one-act play, “Please Hang Up,” still being performed, and Barron’s study guides for “King Lear” and “Richard III.”
It was about this time that Arthur moved to Norfolk. It was like going home for him as so many of his close friends lived here, welcoming him with open arms. Enough could never be said about the mutual love, caring and closeness that developed and only grew until his last days.
He served three terms as first selectman, and along with revitalizing a downtown that sorely needed it, upgraded the town landfill to a transfer station, oversaw needed infrastructure work, instituted a town advocate for children and families and supported the arts, particularly the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. In honor of his efforts Norfolk received an American Hometown Leadership Award in 1998.
Arthur was also a dedicated member of the Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department for many years, with stints as president and vice president.
Ever a lover of good food and an excellent cook himself, Arthur also wrote reviews and features for Food & Wine, the Albany Times Herald and the Hartford Advocate, among others. He ventured into radio as well: “Cooking with Arthur” out of the University of Connecticut’s Torrington branch, and “The Gadabout Gourmet,” on Robin Hood Radio, WHDD.
Throughout his life, the personal relationships he cherished with dear friends in the community and beyond brought him the most joy. Although faced with worsening health, which meant moving to Noble Horizons, he stayed connected through phone calls, emails and visits, nor did he ever lose his prodigious memory, often astounding his visitors with what he recalled of their lives.
He was very much loved by all the staff, who invariably treated him with kindness and respect.
For those who would like to honor Arthur’s memory with a donation to one of his favorite charities, he designated the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, the American Cancer Society, and Noble Horizons.
According to his wishes, a memorial service will be held in the spring on the Norfolk Village Green.