After graduating from Lakewood High School, Dr. Rab enrolled at Temple University, but the draft interrupted his studies in 1943. Dr. Rab served in Morocco, Italy, France, the Rhineland, and the Ardennes. He was honorably discharged in August 1945 as a sergeant following a foot injury, earning a European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and a Purple Heart.
In 2007, he self-published a book about his time in the Army, titled Thanks Again God, I Survived, dedicating it to his comrades who did not make it through the war.
Upon returning from Europe, Dr. Rab finished his studies at Temple and began his career as a dentist, operating his own office in Lindenwold for 25 years.
Sensing that the area needed higher-quality medical care, Dr. Rab and a team of doctors purchased an empty plot of land in nearby Stratford in 1965 and broke ground on what would become John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, now part of Kennedy Health System.
"He'd drive me past an empty lot and point, saying, 'This is going to be a hospital someday,' " his son recalled.
It wasn't until the PATCO High-Speed Line opened in 1969 that Dr. Rab's career as a dentist began to take off.
"The train ran right by his office," his son said. "Before that, he was serving farmers. People could get right to him and to the hospital after that."
As his farming clientele began to age, Dr. Rab sensed that the market was ripe to begin purchasing real estate. He bought plots from the children of farmers who had inherited property but dreamed of lives removed from horses and tomatoes.
"The younger generation all wanted to go to college, so they sold their parents' land," Gary Rab said. "He had so many contacts in the area because he'd spent years pulling all of their teeth."
As a child of the Depression, Dr. Rab never thought twice about giving strangers money, advice, or free dental care. As he amassed more real estate and became a landlord, his rooms often filled with friends in need.
"He went beyond his extremes to help people," his sister, Eva Portnoy, said. "He couldn't stop himself from giving things away. It's how we were raised."
In addition to his son and sister, he is survived by a daughter, Ellen Costello; a son, Syd; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. His former wife, Shirlee Fleischman, died in 2009.
There will be no public service. The family requests that memorial donations be made to charities that benefit disabled Army veterans.