Dr. Charles M. Plotz died peacefully at home in Brooklyn on Nov. 20, surrounded by his family. He was 94 and a summer resident of Menemsha for nearly 50 years.

Charles Mindell Plotz was born Dec. 6, 1921 in New York, a son of Dr. Isaac Israel and Rose Celia (Bluestone) Plotz. He graduated from Columbia College at 19 and received his M.D. degree from Long Island College of Medicine (now SUNY Downstate Medical Center) at 22. After his internship at New Haven (now Yale New Haven) Hospital, he married Lucille Weckstein, who survives him and with whom he shared 71 years of a wonderful marriage.

After serving as a captain in the Army Medical Corps and completing his residency, he entered the new field of rheumatology, becoming the first rheumatology fellow at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Charles participated in much of the seminal research in the field, and in the 1950s, together with Dr. Jacques Singer, developed the latex fixation test, which quickly became and has remained the standard test for rheumatoid arthritis.

His academic achievements made him a much sought-after participant in conferences around the world, allowing him to indulge his love of travel and leading to friendships with colleagues all over the world. In 1965 he was invited to spend a month heading the American medical outreach effort in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he gained firsthand knowledge of that then-peaceful part of the world.

He was for many years a professor at Downstate and was the founding chair of the family practice department there, a position he held until his retirement. He also maintained an active private practice and was beloved by his patients.

Above all, Charles lived life to its fullest. He was a connoisseur of fine food and wine, and the parties he and Lucille gave at their homes in Brooklyn and Menemsha were legendary among their friends and colleagues. He was a vibrant, active, fun-filled person, whether playing tennis, traveling the world with Lucille, telling a seemingly limitless supply of jokes (always delivering the right one at the right time) or shopping for food, which he continued to do to the end. As part of his lifelong commitment to improving the lives of others, he took the older two of his three sons to join the 1965 Selma to Montgomery civil rights march with Dr. King.

In addition to Lucille, Charles is survived by their sons, Dick and his wife Judy, Tom and his wife Cathy Klion, and Bob and his wife Sue; grandchildren Martha Ingols and her husband Kyle, Mike Plotz, David and Joanna Plotz, and Ben, John, and Mike Plotz; and great-granddaughter Rose Ingols. He was predeceased by his brother Dr. Milton Plotz and sister Ethel Berman.

His funeral and interment took place at Abel’s Hill Cemetery on Nov. 23. There will be a memorial gathering in Brooklyn at a later date.

Contributions in his honor may be made to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225 or bbg.org.