Gary Bernard Witman
August 3, 1949 – April 30, 2018
Gary B. Witman, M.D., 68, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, April 30, 2018. Born in New York and raised in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, he was the son of the late Seymour and Ruth (Malamud) Witman, and is survived by his wife Dee Dee (Zarum) Witman.
He was an Eagle Scout, a lover of sports, an avid traveller, and an accomplished skier on the U.S. Ski team.
A graduate of Rutgers University, Dr. Witman received his medical degree from SUNY Medical School, Downstate. He continued his training at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, followed by Brown University and then Yale – as the American Cancer Society scholar in medical oncology – and became a program director at the National Cancer Institute as the head of all twelve comprehensive cancer centers throughout North and South America.
During his accomplished career in oncology research and internal medicine, Gary never put aside his hands-on work treating patients whose lives were on the line. He ran several Boston area emergency rooms where he thrived in what he called “battlefield” conditions.
With an uncanny talent to counsel, comfort and diagnose, he demonstrated his great love for all around him with warmth, humor, confidence and a depth of great humanity. His was the first and second medical opinion of countless friends and relatives, and was regarded within the medical community as a “physician’s physician.”
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three children, Samantha Witman Friedland, Zachary Witman, and Amanda Rose Witman Speiser; two sons-in-law, Michael Friedland and Brian Speiser; three grandchildren, Emmanuelle, Juliette and Hershel Friedland; and three brothers Leonard, Philip, and Michael.
As accomplished as he was in his younger life, his achievements paled in comparison to his last eight years, when he suffered a life-altering accident, rendering him a quadriplegic. Despite his injury, his brilliance and passion for others only grew stronger; he relished his expanding family, and continued to work as a fulltime physician.
Funeral services will be held at Temple Emanu-El on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 11am: 99 Taft Avenue, Providence, RI.
Shiva will be held at the Witman family home: 64 Hazard Avenue, Providence, RI: Thursday evening 6-8pm; Friday afternoon 2-4pm; Saturday evening 7-9pm; Sunday afternoon 2-4pm.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Temple Emanu-El Providence, RI, and the United Spinal Association www.unitedspinal.org, in memory of Dr. Gary B. Witman.
- Funeral Service Thursday, May 3, 2018
Gary Bernard Witman
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May 3, 2018
We shared imported coffees, the best beans we would hunt down, with a good danish and enjoy them at 2 or 3 oclock in the morning if there was any down time. We would talk about family, kids, Boy Scouts . We had alot in common.
Over the past two decades plus, he taught me things Medical and not, that I will never forget, Gary had an uncanny ability to teach and earn your comprehension.
I had heart surgery a couple of years after his accident and he and Dee Dee came to see me at the Brigham and Womens in his chair, I will never forget that.
Gary has left a Legacy of Life, Love, Family and Dedication to his art form ( medicine ). He will be sorely missed in the EMS community and especially in my heart. God Bless my friend
Jennifer Weatherford- DeAndrade
May 2, 2018
What an incredible man. I worked with Dr Witman at Good Sam!! You surely will be missed. ALWAYS IN MY PRAYERS
May 2, 2018
So sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of working with him and have to say he was one of my favorite doctors.