2009-01-28 / Obituaries

Salvatore A. Yannitelli

Salvatore A.Yannitelli, M.D., 91 of Battle Creek, died peacefully Friday, January 23, 2009, at Battle Creek Health System, due to complications of pneumonia. Dr. Yannitelli was well known in the community as a caregiver whose charismatic personality lit up a room. He took special pleasure when he would encounter people whose babies he delivered years before. He also possessed extraordinary diagnostic skills from which many of his patients benefitted.

Sal was born in Garrison, to Donato and Gelsomina (Venaruso) Yannitelli on September 9, 1917. He grew up in Garrison and graduated from high school in Peekskill. He did his undergraduate work at Cornell University and received his medical degree from Long Island College of Medicine. A diagnosis of tuberculosis interrupted his surgical internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. While being treated in upstate New York, his attending physician knew of work being done by Dr. Arthur Kimball Jr. at the Kimball Sanitarium in Battle Creek. This recommendation eventually took Sal to Battle Creek for continued care, after which he himself remained as the Director of the TB Clinic. Sal also completed an internship in Northville, MI. In 1949, he began his private practice in Urbandale, retiring in the late 1980s after 40 years of practice from his 710 North Avenue office.

Sal married Anita K. Huebner in Brooklyn, NY on December 18, 1940. He was preceded in death by Anita, his wife of 58 years, on December 24, 1998; by two sisters, Teresa and Mary; and two brothers, Albert and Donato. Surviving are a daughter and son-in-law, Christine Yannitelli and Dennis Manske of Kansas City, MO; a son Thomas Yannitelli of Orlando, FL; a son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Susan Yannitelli of Phoenix, AZ; three grandchildren, Massey Yannitelli, Dominic (Katy) Yannitelli and Meagan Yannitelli; and a special friend, Betty Leitch of Battle Creek.

Dr. Yannitelli was a 50 year member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Chief of Staff at Community Hospital, served on the Michigan State Medical Society Board of Directors, lifetime member of the Rotary Club, long time member of the Battle Creek Country Club, member of the Knife and Fork Club, and member of St. Philip Catholic Church. He was recently awarded the Lifetime Membership of the American Medical Society.

Sal enjoyed golfing, flower gardening, growing tomatoes and playing bridge. He also enjoyed boating and fishing at Gull Lake where the family often rented a cottage and where Sal taught his children and grandchildren to fish and water ski. He loved making memories with his family. Additional sources of enjoyment included fishing with the guys in Canada, skiing at Boyne and in Colorado and more recently, writing his autobiography. And of course, he loved to dance - his skill was well known by many women who he twirled to the music. Sal was an engaging, compassionate, positive, outgoing individual, full of vitality and warmth.

Visitation and a Mass will be celebrated near Battle Creek. Arrangements are through the Farley-Estes & Dowdle Funeral Home in Battle Creek. Memorial contributions in memory of Dr. Yannitelli may be made to the Battle Creek Community Foundation or to St. Phillip Catholic Church (Battle Creek). Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farlevestesdowdle.com.

In Sal's own words, he wishes everyone, "Goodness, kindness and lovel"

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