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Robert Buxbaum
  • Donations may be made to Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston www.chameleonarts.org/ Boston Artists Ensemble http://bostonartistsensemble.org/; The Trustees of Reservations http://www.thetrustees.org/; or VNA Care Hospice http://www.vnacarenetwork.org/.

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Memories & Candles

“Having moved away from the Boston area (Brookline), I've only just learned of Dr. Buxbaum's death. I was greatly saddened. I was a patient of his ...Read More »
1 of 27 | Posted by: Howard Husock - Rye, NY - friend

Memorial Day '15 Accordion on Cherry 02465 “My favorite memory about the Buxbaum family was phoning home to follow up on a question Ann had. Immediately my ear was filled with loud crisp...Read More »
2 of 27 | Posted by: Rena Celeste - S Grafton, MA

Memorial Day '15 Accordion on Cherry in W Newton
3 of 27 | Posted by: Rena Celeste

“Bob was a very lucky man to have such a wonderful wife in Anne. But who deserved her more than Bob? We counted ourselves lucky to know him. ”
4 of 27 | Posted by: Barney Freiberg-Dale - Newton, MA

“Leave a condolence or a memory. ”
5 of 27 | Posted by: Alice & Martin Axelbank - Newton, MA

“Dr. Buxbaum was our Internist at Harvard Community Health Plan from the early years through over 30 years at Harvard Vanguard. We were saddened to...Read More »
6 of 27 | Posted by: Glenice and Gaylen Kelley - MA

“Bob was my biggest personal inspiration when I was young, forming my values, and looking for a mentor in whom I could really believe. I believed I...Read More »
7 of 27 | Posted by: Ross Neisuler - Newton, MA

“I just love the photo of Bob to the left of this box. I see his warm blue eyes and his gentle smile. Bob was always listening...you could hear him...Read More »
8 of 27 | Posted by: Judith Seltzer - Ashland, MA

“My thoughts and prayers are with you and all the family. I remember working with Bob in the Kenmore center years ago in Internal Medicine and urgent...Read More »
9 of 27 | Posted by: ann butler - Marietta, GA

“So sorry to read this news, Gretchen. Your dad was so welcoming of me when I first started at Harvard Community Health Plan in the early 80s. Loved...Read More »
10 of 27 | Posted by: Jack Bernazzani - foxboro, MA

“During the early 1970s we were introduced to the Buxbaum family as our host family for the METCO (Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity)...Read More »
11 of 27 | Posted by: M Joyner - Dorchester, MA

“Sorry for your loss. I remember us kids sledding on the hill in the backyard Eddie Martens ”
12 of 27 | Posted by: Edward Martens - Newton, MA

“Bob was wonderfully helpful to me when I was caring for my very elderly mom a number of years ago. I will always think of him with great kindness and...Read More »
13 of 27 | Posted by: Marian L. Knapp - Chestnut Hill, MA

“My regrets on the death of Dr. Buxbaum. He was my first personal physician at Harvard Community Health Plan and took good care of me for a number...Read More »
14 of 27 | Posted by: K.R. Kaffenberger - Cambridge, MA

“Wonderful memories from when our children were young and we shared so much. A good man, a great a man, our loss. ”
15 of 27 | Posted by: Ed and Cathy martens - MA

“Had worked with Bob at Harvard Community Health Plan and over the years as it evolved. He was very special and we will all miss him very much. Our...Read More »
16 of 27 | Posted by: A friend

“Please accept my condolences on the loss of this very special man. I had the honor of working with him at Spaulding for 10+ years. He was a kind and...Read More »
17 of 27 | Posted by: Gail Deneault - Sharon, MA

“It wasn't long ago that I was admiring your Iceland pictures and now I understand why the recent pictures showed Dr. Buxbaum looking less robust. I...Read More »
18 of 27 | Posted by: Peg Metzger - Wellesley, MA

“Leave a condolence or a memory. ”
19 of 27 | Posted by: joel edelstein - boston, MA

“My deepest condolences to your family. We enjoyed seeing Bob every year at family camp at Kingsley Pines. He will be greatly missed. What a truly...Read More »
20 of 27 | Posted by: Suzanne Caldwell - Alexandria, VA

Audio Memory: Click play to listen

21 of 27 | Posted by: Charlie Tracy - Brookline, MA

“Dr. Buxbaum was my doctor back in the 70's at Harvard Health and he was always a very kind and caring doctor. My condolences to his family. ”
22 of 27 | Posted by: A. Morrison - ME - Acquaintance

“My sincere condolences. Bob was a valued colleague, friend and mentor during our long careers at Harvard Community Health Plan and Harvard...Read More »
23 of 27 | Posted by: Joseph Zorn, MD - Lexington, MA

“I was one of the original patients at Harv. Comm Health Plan. Dr. Buxbaum was my Dr. for over 25 years. I never quite lost weight as he wished. ...Read More »
24 of 27 | Posted by: Jean Michaels - Boston, MA

“Dear Ann and Family: So sorry for your loss. Bob will always be remembered as a very special part of the fabric of Newton.Carol Stapleton ”
25 of 27 | Posted by: A friend

“This is a lovely remembrance of a very special man. His intelligence, humor, wisdom and kindness were gifts to all of us as well as examples in how...Read More »
26 of 27 | Posted by: Sarah Menchu - Newton, MA

“So sorry for your loss. What a good long life Robert enjoyed. So many cannot say the same. He was one of those the Bible call especially strong. Ps....Read More »
27 of 27 | Posted by: A friend


Robert Buxbaum died on Saturday, March 12, at age 85, 15 months after his diagnosis of brain cancer. He died as he had wanted, at home, supported by hospice care. Until his illness, Bob was a practicing physician who devoted his long career to preventive and palliative care. He was an activist in public health, taking cutting-edge public policy positions on health for the poor, urban planning for healthier lifestyles, and end-of-life care. He was the son of the late Lillian (Tousman) Madway, and Edwin C. Buxbaum. He graduated in 1952 from Harvard College, and received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1956. He leaves his wife, Ann (Shocket) Buxbaum, and their children: Laura Buxbaum and her husband Brian Dunn; Carl and his wife Dawn Sykes Buxbaum; Paula Buxbaum and her husband Douglas Jones; and Gretchen Nash, as well as seven grandchildren: Jesse Dunn; Isaac, Maia, and Alison Buxbaum; Wylie Jones; and Owen and Nolan Nash. He also leaves his brother Richard and his wife Marjorie, and their daughter and son, Sarah and Peter.
From 1957 to 1959, Bob served in the Public Health Service at San Carlos Apache Reservation in San Carlos, AZ. He completed his medical residency in Madison, WI, and then moved to Newton to serve as one of the first physicians at the Harvard Community Health Plan (later Harvard Vanguard), where he worked for the next 45 years. Later in his career, he focused on end-of-life issues and palliative care, forming a geriatrics and palliative care team with which he continued to practice until he was 84.
He married Ann Shocket in 1955. For the next 60 years they shared their lives, their work, and their enthusiasms. Throughout his life, Bob had many varied passions: His enthusiasm for exploring new ideas and projects did not abate in his older years. He celebrated his 80th birthday by getting a large tattoo--a replica of a Native American design that he loved. When others his age had settled in their rocking chairs, he and Ann were exploring new territory: traveling around Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic on a Russian icebreaker; hiking and kayaking in remote areas in Iceland; and, just before he was diagnosed with his final illness, a walking/hiking trip on six islands in the Azores. Bob was always interested in who you were and what you had to say, and he and Ann regularly welcomed people from near and far into their home. He loved music—to listen and to play; he began playing the oboe at 35 and participated in informal chamber groups until he became ill. Even in his illness, Bob maintained his cheer, his balance, and his strength. He left life as he lived it, with equilibrium and grace, greatly loved by those he left behind.
Donations may be made to Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston www.chameleonarts.org/
Boston Artists Ensemble http://bostonartistsensemble.org/;
The Trustees of Reservations http://www.thetrustees.org/; or
VNA Care Hospice http://www.vnacarenetwork.org/.