Sunday, March 27, 2011

Honoring their memories

I would like to acknowledge the passing of several wonderful people, whose lives were of service to others, each of whom played a big role at Community General Hospital over many years.

John Morrissey, Jr. passed away on March 23. He was 94 and very much “a gentleman of the old school.” An attorney with the Mackenzie Hughes law firm, Jack practiced law for 70 years. He was a kind and considerate man, whom I admired. Jack joined the Board of Directors at Community General Hospital in 1981, and he served as an officer for most of the 1990s.

One of the original volunteers at Community General, Louis Ketchum died on March 11. Over her decades as a volunteer, Lois gave 9,000 hours of service. She and her husband, Gordon, were mainstays in the volunteer organization. Gordon passed away in 2002. He had a considerable volunteer career himself with 4,700 service hours. A very community-minded couple, Lois and Gordon were a wonderful part of Community General.

William Burke, MD, died on March 11. Bill was a thoracic surgeon who practiced at Community and at other Syracuse hospitals. He worked as a physician into his seventh decade. Bill was well known for his affability and his athleticism. He was a Major in the US Army and was very proud of his service as a MASH surgeon in Vietnam. I will miss his humor and commentary in visits over coffee in the cafeteria.

Finally, I would like to remember Brendan McGrath, our colleague in senior leadership at Community until his untimely death on March 13, 2010. Brendan died in a fierce windstorm in Westchester County while visiting his daughter and his first grand child. We miss his decency and quiet kindness.

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