2002-11-13 / Obituaries

Robert A. Seitz

Robert A. Seitz, M.D., retired physician, Cold Spring, NY, died on November 4, 2002 at Westchester Medical Center, NY of a ruptured aneurysm. He was born on June 18, 1922, son of former Mayor August Seitz and wife, Marion, in Ardsley, NY and earned his medical degree at New York Medical College in June 1946.

He graduated from Ardsley High School where he played the violin in the school orchestra. He attended Columbia College and served in the U.S. Army until March 1946. He married Marjorie Michael, a registered nurse, on September 6, 1947 at Lion Lutheran Church near Shawnee-on-the-Delaware, Pennsylvania. After earning his degree he interned at Jersey City Medical Center (NJ) and at New Rochelle Hospital (NY). He entered private practice on January 1,1950 in partnership with Dr. Ralph M. Hall, surgeon and family medical practitioner in Cold Spring. Dr. Seitz was chief of anesthesiology at Butterfield Hospital and also had a practice of family medicine. In addition, he at times covered the anesthesia needs of Highland Hospital, Beacon, Peekskill Hospital (now Hudson Valley Hospital) and Putnam Hospital in Carmel before they became fully staffed. In those days a morning OR schedule, afternoon and evening office hours and house calls made for many a 14 or 6 hour work day.

He closed his office in Cold Spring in 1965 and entered a residency in anesthesiology at Grasslands Hospital (now Westchester Medical Center) Valhalla, NY. He then taught for one year in the Anesthesiology Department before joining the Poughkeepsie Anesthesia Group at Vassar Brothers Hospital, NY. He retired in June 1986.

He served as Haldane School physician for many years and was elected Putnam County Coroner for a number of years. He served as officer and president of Putnam Medical Society and was a member of Dutchess County Medical Society, as well as the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He was a member of Continental Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, New York City, the Cold Spring Methodist Church and he and his family were active members and performers of the Dutchess County Ballet Company.

Continuing his love of music he took organ music lessons together with his family once a week for many years with Helen Jimenez, a local teacher and musician. He was a member of the Avalon Skate Dancing Club at the Avalon Roller Skating Rink in Newburgh and earned his first dance bar with his daughter Linda s his partner. While working toward the same goal with two younger daughters, Laurie and Margie, the Avalon went out of business. Just getting to the rink was an adventure as the Beacon/Newburgh Bridge had not been built and crossing the Hudson River in choppy waves and wind or in winter with ice floes hitting the ferry was very exciting.

He enjoyed camping and hiking and together with his family and dogs often hiked to the Fishkill Fire Tower to be greeted by Mr. Ketcham, the fire ranger. Another favorite hike was to the top of Bull Hill in Cold Spring, a frequent early Sunday morning activity.

An avid fisherman and golfer, often after 48 hours on call at the hospital, he took his Boston Whaler out of the marina at Milford, CT and went fishing in his favorite spots on Long Island Sound. He belonged to the Long Island Fisherman’s Association, the Highlands Country Club, Poughkeepsie and Riviera Golf Club, Daytona Beach, FL.

Always an animal lover, he enjoyed a number of rescued cats and dogs as pets and finally became active in American Kennel Club’s various activities for pure bred dogs. He was a member of the Empire Saluki Club of America. His Salukis were show in many of the Northeastern States (also Florida, Kentucky and Canada) in Conformation and occasionally Obedience and Coursing Trials. In the mid-80’s his Salukis took part in the TV show on ABC, "live with Regis and Kathy’" in a Christmas show featuring animals from Bible Lands.

Living family members include his wife, Marjorie; a daughter, Linda, and son-in-law, Michael Wickenden, Hyde Park, Vermont; a daughter, Laurie, and son-in-law, Scott Maclean, Salinas, California; a daughter, Marjorie, Toronto, Canada; a son, Robert, Fort Myers Beach, Florida; and a sister, Marion Kyff, Deerfield Beach, Florida. There are four grandchildren: Michael and Marjorie (Maggie) Wickenden and Rebecca and Benjamin Rael.

Funeral arrangements are in through Clinton, Inc., Cold Spring, NY.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.


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