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OBITUARY

Joseph John DiBartolo, MD

June 27, 1942April 9, 2021
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Joseph John DiBartolo, MD died peacefully in his sleep at home on April 9, 2021 surrounded by his devoted family and faithful dog. Since 2009, he dealt with Parkinson’s disease and later, a rare brain tumor with grace and fortitude.

Joe was born on June 27, 1942 to Ben and Jean DiBartolo in the Bronx, NY. He was blessed with a large and loving Italian family and a devoted circle of close friends. He had limitless energy, exuberance for life and a wicked sense of humor.

He attended elite parochial schools from elementary school through college. He was always an extraordinary athlete and exemplary student and never once missed a day of school. Without the slightest detriment to his scholastic performance, Joe played on the football, basketball and track teams at Mount Saint Michael Academy while consistently maintaining an A+ grade average. He excelled in Latin studies, which proved to be helpful in his medical career.

He graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in June of 1964. He was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Society. He loved the “Fighting Irish” and even had a shamrock tattoo to prove it.

He received his Doctor of Medicine from New York Medical College in June of 1968 and served on the Student Senate.

A unique dual residency in orthopedic surgery through Tulane Medical School and the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) provided top notch training. He was a Lt. Commander and served at the Public Health Service Hospital in Staten Island, NY and then at the Presidio in San Francisco. He trained under Dr. Jack Hughston, considered the father of sports medicine, in Columbus, GA alongside his fast friend, Jim Andrews (another renowned sports medicine icon). He served as chief of orthopedics at the USPHS hospital in New Orleans, where he met his wife, Suzy, who was a student at Tulane.

He moved to Stuart, FL in 1973 to partner with George Turmail, MD in an orthopedic surgery practice. They were a dynamic duo until Dr. Turmail’s untimely death in a plane crash in June 1985.

These were the glory years of medicine in Stuart--no trauma centers. Whatever happened while on-call was handled locally. While in private practice as an exceptionally talented board certified orthopedic surgeon, Joe was foremost a beloved healer and practiced the true art of medicine without monetary motivation. He regarded every patient as if they were his friend and family and vice versa.

He was a vegetarian (motivated by his love of animals). He had a photographic memory, which people tapped for sports and music trivia, car data, phone numbers, birthdays, etc. He loved sports, music, dancing and good times with friends and family. He served on numerous boards and held many interesting certifications, such as in diving medicine and hyperbaric oxygen.

He founded Hospice of Martin County along with nurse Ceil Fury and served as its first Medical Director from 1982-1984 on a strictly volunteer basis. As fate would have it, he was cared for by Hospice in his home the last year of his life. He was team physician for Martin County High School from 1976-1991 and was Chief of Orthopedics at Martin Memorial Hospital in the 90s.

His steadfast devotion to his Catholic faith never wavered from childhood through his end of life.

He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Suzy, two daughters, Laura Von Bishop (Matthew Von Bishop) of West Palm Beach, FL and Elizabeth DiBartolo (Matthew Ouimette) of San Francisco, CA, brother, Bill DiBartolo (Philip Godlewski) of Yonkers, NY, sister, Bette Ann Roos (Artie Roos) of Charlotte, NC, precious aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and faithful dog, Jackson.

Visitation: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Aycock Funeral Home, 505 S Federal Hwy, Stuart, FL.

Mass of Christian Burial: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1200 SE 10th St, Stuart, FL. Burial to follow at Fernhill Cemetery, 1501 S Kanner Hwy, Stuart, FL.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Treasure Coast Hospice (1201 SE Indian St, Stuart, FL 34997), the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast, Inc., or Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County (P.O. Box 910, Hobe Sound, FL 33475).

Services

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021

  • A Mass of Christian Burial

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021

  • A Graveside Service

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Memories

Joseph John DiBartolo, MD

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Elizabeth DiBartolo

April 21, 2021

Dad, it’s hard to grasp the fact that you are gone. Although you are gone, you will NEVER be forgotten. Your memory and spirit will live on every day in those of us who were lucky enough to have known and loved you. You were a true philanthropist and humanitarian, a doting and loving father and husband (and son, brother, etc.), a skilled and compassionate surgeon/healer, a fun-loving and true friend, a smart and witty character, a compassionate and helpful neighbor, a steadfast lover of animals, an amazing athlete, a devout man of faith, and the list goes on and on. I couldn’t have asked for a better father, and I miss you more than words can express. I cherish all of the time we were able to spend together and will treasure my memories of you always. I will try my very best to carry on your legacy. I take comfort in knowing you are in heaven with all your loved ones who have gone before you and in knowing that we will be reunited again one day. I love you beyond words. Rest in peace.
~your loving daughter, Liz

Laura DiBartolo (Von Bishop)

April 16, 2021

I have so many beautiful memories of dad. He was not your ‘average Joe’ so to speak... my father made every holiday an absolute fairytale. He loved to surprise and spoil his family. We would have the biggest Christmas tree in Stuart that could barely fit in the house. On Christmas morning the living room was filled from top to bottom with gifts, toys, and treasures. My valentines card would be as big as me. Easter egg hunts and baskets of candy always exciting and fun. Birthdays over the top starting with blasting a record he bought me that sang a special birthday song with my name in it throughout the house to set the mood for the day!! Family trips were always an adventure and delight. I couldn’t have asked for a better father (or mother) and not a better childhood could be had.

I will love you forever dad and will be with you again I n the next life-
Your devoted daughter, Laura 💋❤️🙏

Paul Gotkin

April 14, 2021

Throughout my schooling, residency training and clinical practice of almost 40 years duration in Stuart, I have never met a doctor as exemplary as Dr. Di Bartolo.
When I arrived on the Treasure Coast in 1983 the field of Podiatric surgery was in its early evolutionary phase and not readily endorsed by all members of the Orthopaedic community.
As time went on, Dr. Di Bartolo and I began to refer to one another and eventually develop a close professional relationship whereby I performed complex surgery for his wife. I continue to display his letter of appreciation in my office.
He was extremely introspective and forward thinking, understanding that even in the early ‘80’s training and other variables differed markedly in our field.
He was directly and indirectly responsible for the treatment of thousands of patients in my specialty by allowing me to provide a glide path for other Podiatrists that followed on the entire Treasure Coast to obtain professional recognition. It wasn’t easy when I arrived. Most in our profession are unaware of this remarkably humble surgeon’s support and contribution to our profession.
All Treasure Coast Podiatrists owe his legacy much gratitude.
Dr. Joe was an extraordinary humanitarian. From my nascent days of practice, I began to realize that he would attend to patients in their HOMES following protracted days in his office or the operating room. Evenings, weekends or holidays were his modus operandi.
He was authentic. No superlatives can ever define his truly altruistic personality attributes.
I hold him in the highest esteem and have attempted to model the tenets of our practice by his impeccable service to mankind.
The Treasure Coast has lost an extraordinary Doctor and human being.
I will always miss him.
Respectfully,
Paul Gotkin


VIRGINIA Levy

April 13, 2021

You replaced my knee in 1999. I had an infection in my knee and you came to my house and took care of me. No doctor would ever do that nowadays. You were so wonderful to me I never forgot you. Rest in peace my favorite doctor.

Bette Ann Roos

April 11, 2021

Joseph, you were a big brother in every wonderful sense of the word. I've known you all my life and have never heard a negative word from you even when you were suffering. I know you are in heaven showing everyone how to have a good time. Say Hi! to Mom and Dad for me. I love you and I miss you. Your little sister, Bette Ann

Bernadette Kilgen

April 10, 2021

Joe, there are so many memories but I remember the day you were born. My mother, (your grandmother), visited you, her first grandchild, in the hospital that very day and me, her son, getting my appendix out at 17. She ran up and down all day!...Uncle Tony
I remember you waiting for Uncle Tony every night to finish dinner with your mitt and ball in hand....waiting for him to ask you if you wanted to play catch by any chance.....Aunt Mary
I remember my mother handing me mail for the first time and it was a "book" of postcards from Disney. It was from you and I was 4 years old. Nobody could have been more excited. I walked around with that book forever!....Bernadette
I remember coming to Fl and you opening your home to us and enjoying your pool and Rum Runners together.....Richie
You served this world good dear Nephew and Cousin. Now, rest in peace, Love, Aunt Mary, Uncle Tony, Bernadette and Richie

Philip & Sandra Brou

April 10, 2021

Joe was the Ideal Brother-in-law, husband, and father to his daughters. A kind man, a gifted surgeon and the most handsome man in any gathering, he was a bon vivant. and a natural conversationalist; he was the life of the party wherever he was. He and Suzy were a striking couple. To tell the truth, I was a bit jealous of him. May God rest his soul and watch over Suzy, Laura, and Liz.

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