No stranger to the town of Durango, a light of the community went out on June 29, 2020 as Bart J Rabkin departed this world. While details are forever unknown, Bart went under while enjoying one of his retirement pastimes, fishing on Pastorius Lake. He lives on in his family, his mother Shirley, his wife Paula, daughters Jessica and Melissa, step sons Josh and Ronnie, 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Bart graduated from CW Post with a degree in Political Science in 1977. Starting his adventure in Durango as a 25-year-old with a dream, he and close friend Gary Broad obtained the Durango Diner in 1980 which has since been a staple of Durango. Looking for a change of pace, Bart sold his share of the diner to his partner in 1999. His energetic nature got the best of him and he later opened Bart's Deli before retiring to spend more time with family last year. He enjoyed his pastimes hunting with his lab Osito, golfing, fishing, and above all, spending time with his beloved family. Always active in, and wanting to give back to his community, Bart annually supported the youth in the La Plata County Fair, coached lacrosse in the youth leagues, donated food to various benefits including Chocolate Fantasia, and was a familiar face that always had a smile for the passerby.
Not large in stature, but large in life, Bart was the epitome of big things in small packages. His laughter will continue to be heard from those who knew it. His generosity and compassion will live on in those who felt it. From occasional free fudge macaroons to the patrons of his deli, to the love and support he provided for his family, we will never know the countless lives he touched. He left his mark on the world and all of our hearts. There are not enough lines available in this column, and not enough words in the English language to describe such a special soul. Our hearts ache but they are forever filled with love for this one-of-a-kind man. Till we see you again, Bart...
Published in The Durango Herald on Jul. 7, 2020.