Cary S. Kart (1947-2021)

·3 min read

Jul. 22—Cary S. Kart, a University of Toledo sociology professor for 30 years whose teaching, research, writing, and community service concerned people as they age, died July 15 at home in Boynton Beach, Fla. He was 74.

He had pancreatic cancer, said his daughter, Renee Brodsky.

Mr. Kart, formerly of Sylvania, was hired to the UT faculty in 1974 after he received a doctorate in sociology from the University of Virginia.

"As my father always said, the university was a great place to be productive, and he very much thrived there," Ms. Brodsky said.

He was named chairman of the sociology, anthropology, and social work department in 1982 and served on the faculty Senate. He was widely published, and books he co-wrote included the textbook Realities of Aging and Human Aging and Chronic Disease.

He also served for years on the board of the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio.

"Cary was really a giant in the field of aging," said Billie Johnson, the Area Office on Aging's president and chief executive. "He inspired all of us. He especially inspired his students to pursue careers in the field of gerontology.

"He was a great guy. He'd crack jokes, but he really developed a strong rapport with the older adults who served on our board of directors," Ms. Johnson said. "It wasn't a job for him. It was kind of a calling and a mission. He was comfortable around older adults."

The Ohio Research Council on Aging named Mr. Kart its 1997 outstanding researcher in the state.

"He enjoyed his research," his daughter said. "He enjoyed mentoring students as well, especially graduate students interested in careers in gerontology and sociology. He enjoyed pursuing grants and coming up with new ideas.

"He was an excellent listener. He was good at guiding people to make their own decisions, but to see the full picture of what they were looking at," Ms. Brodsky said.

He'd observed family members aging, the full-time job that caregiving became when his uncle looked after his grandfather.

"It was a personal interest that became professional," his daughter said. "He was interested in people having good quality of life and in disparities between ethnicity and class."

He served on professional boards and was an expert witness in age-discrimination lawsuits. Mr. Kart continued his research in his retirement as a consultant with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

He served on the board of Jewish Family Service and was a member of Congregation B'nai Israel.

Born June 25, 1947, in Queens, N.Y., to Eleanor and Irving Kart, he was a graduate of New York's magnet Stuyvesant High School. He received a bachelor's degree in 1968 from Queens College of the City University of New York and a master's degree in 1972 from Adelphi University.

He continued post-doctoral studies in aging at the University of Michigan.

Mr. Kart was a stalwart fan of UT athletics, especially its football and men's and women's basketball teams. He followed the New York Knicks and traveled north when his hometown basketball team played the Detroit Pistons.

Surviving are his wife, the former Michelle Steinberg, whom he married June 15, 1969; daughter, Renee Brodsky; son, Jeremy Kart; sister, Ina Strolovitz, and a granddaughter.

Graveside services were Monday in West Babylon, N.Y. Arrangements were by Sinai Chapels, Fresh Meadows, N.Y.

The family suggests tributes to the American Diabetes Association; to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, or to Hadassah.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting