OBITUARY

Harry S. Romanowitz MD

Harry S. Romanowitz MD, affectionately called Hesh by friends and family, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 2, 1949, the only child of Eva and Abe Romanowitz. Loving husband to Sheila and adored father of Daniel, Avra and his son-in-law Seamus, Hesh was also beloved brother, dear cousin, sweet uncle, cherished friend, celebrated pediatrician, trusted mohel and irreplaceable member of the community. Dr. Romanowitz suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke but died peacefully with his family at his side on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

Born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, Hesh, a child of Holocaust survivors, met Sheila at Brooklyn College, where he majored in Russian and Chemistry. He earned his MD at Yale and completed internship and residency in Pediatrics at the University of Rochester.

After eight years in private practice, Hesh was appointed the first full-time Chair and Pediatrician-in-Chief at Stamford Hospital, a position he held for the next twenty years. Under his capable leadership, the hospital developed a superb Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and full-service Children’s Health Center, and added multiple Pediatric subspecialties. Hesh established, fostered and maintained a full-time pediatric “hospitalist” program, providing the highest quality inpatient care for infants, children and adolescents, decades before Hospital Medicine became a national trend. Named one of Connecticut Magazine’s Top Physicians, he was an innovator of afterhours pediatric urgent care facilities and sat on the faculties of Yale University School of Medicine and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Despite his busy professional career, Hesh found time to be deeply involved in the community. As a board member and then President of Student Health Services, he helped create Stamford’s first school-based health center at Stamford High School. He served for a decade as Chair of Stamford’s Holocaust Memorial Committee and was a member of the Board of Directors of many local institutions including the Early Childhood Learning Center, ARI, Jewish Family Service, ADL’s Fairfield County Civil Rights Committee, and Fairfield County March of Dimes. He was on the Advisory Council to the State of Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate and was also Chair of the Ferguson Library Board of Trustees and received the Friends of the Ferguson’s Community Service Award in 2009.

His love for Jewish culture and language leads the list of many diverse passions. Hesh thoroughly enjoyed telling jokes and stories, listening to and collecting music, watching football and late-night TV, going to baseball games and movies, attending concerts, musical theatre and innumerable cultural events. His extensive travel experiences included visiting family, friends, historic sites and diverse communities worldwide, and having what he would call “adventures.” Most of all, he relished his role as a provider of care and counsel to all. Spending time with family and friends, near and far, was most precious. Of his achievements, he considered his greatest to be proud father to Avra and Daniel.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his honor can be made to The Holocaust Memorial Committee, PO Box 2466, Stamford, CT, 06906. These donations will be used for Holocaust educational programming including scholarships enabling young people to participate in the March of the Living.

Services Friday, March 1 at 11 a.m., Temple Beth El 350 Roxbury Rd., Stamford, CT. Interment at Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, NY. For online condolences, visit www.leopgallagherstamford.com.

Services

  • Funeral Service Friday, March 1, 2013
  • Interment Friday, March 1, 2013
REMEMBERING

Harry S. Romanowitz MD

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March 21, 2013

Dear Sheila,

I just received notice from the Yale Alumni Association of Harry's passing. I had the great privilege of sitting next to you and Harry at our last Class of 1973 Medical School Reunion. What an uplifting experience it was for me to sit next to just a beautiful couple! The entires in this guest book say it all - we have lost a real mensch.

With sympathy,

Marvin Miller
Dayton, Ohio

Suzanne Sullivan

March 16, 2013

I'm so sorry to hear of Dr. Romanowitz's passing. He took wonderful care of my 2-yr-old just last month when he cut his head and needed stitches. I'm sure many, many people benefitted from his warm and comforting bedside manner.

J Brenner

March 14, 2013

A fine man, teacher and example to all.

Rest peacefully Hesh.

John Brenner

Robert Zwang

March 12, 2013

My dear friend and family,

We learned about Hesh the following day I returned from Israel and quite honestly couldn't process the news as reality. Just came from "left field," and as a shock.

Hesh was a doer, community minded, fun and a sweet gentalman.

May his name always be a blessing and reminder of a good life lost.

Love,

Rob and Ellen Zwang

Ina and Bob Morrow

March 11, 2013

Dear Sheila and family,
Words can't even begin to express how devastated we were to find out (albeit belated) about Hesh.
Please know that he was so special to us and Rebecca and we will never forget how great he was as a doctor and friend.
Ina and Bob Morrow

March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013

Jerry Levy

March 11, 2013

My brother-in-law Hesh was the younger brother Vivian and I always wished for... but in so many ways he was our older brother as well!

Hesh was the consummate host... a Jewish mother and father all rolled into one... His motto was “What can I offer you?” When he was sitting shiva for his mother, I tried to be Heshy... but after running myself ragged I finally had to admit that I could not do it as well as the original.

Who else was interested in so many areas of human knowledge... medicine and sports and theater and languages (Yiddish, Russian, Hebrew) and music and movies and media, to name just a few. Who knew so much about so many things? Who else, for instance, knew the Jeopardy answers quicker than Alex Trebek...and Alex had the answers right in his hand!

But most important to us were Hesh's special qualities of heart. All we had to do was mention that we liked a certain show, and before we could count to ten, he had recorded it for us. He would wait patiently in line to get us theater tickets. With Auntie Sheila at his side, Uncle Hesh joyfully traveled to Florida to officiate at the brit milah of his grandnehew Jesse, and to Thailand (!) on two occasions, to officiate at the brit milah ceremonies of his grandnephews Aaron and Aaden. He simply couldn't do enough, for those who were lucky enough to be his friends and his patients, and for us, who were lucky enough to be his family.

Zekher tzaddik liv'rakha... may our lives be blessed by the memories he has bequeathed us, and by the example of a life well and truly lived.

Elizabeth Bailey

March 11, 2013

I met Dr Romanowitz only a few times, but I was so touched by his warm, friendly, gentle manner. I am so sorry for your loss.

Cigall Goldman & Sheryl Daboosh

March 10, 2013

Our deepest sympathy to the Romanowitz for your loss. Hesh made such a positive impact on so many families, his memory is sure to live on.