August 28, 1924 – April 29, 2021
With sadness, we announce the passing of Eugene L. Bronstein, MD., age 96, on April 29, 2021. Eugene was married to Enid Bronstein, of Great Neck, NY and later Naples, FL, for 60 devoted years. He is survived by Enid, as well as his brother, Alan J. Brown MD and family, his daughters Diane Bronstein Wayne MD (Jeff), Carolyn Bronstein, Ph.D. (John Tapper) and five grandchildren, Elizabeth and Andrew Wayne, and David, Lauren and Adam Tapper. Eugene, or “Gene” as he was known, was a first generation American born to Isidore and Dora Bronstein, Jewish European immigrants who came to the United States to escape antisemitism and the pogroms experienced in Russia and Poland. Named for labor reformer Eugene V. Debs, he grew up during the Great Depression and learned about socialism, trade unions and the Wobblies, developing a lifelong commitment to the fair treatment of others. He volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1941 at the start of World War II, leaving his college studies at the University of Alabama to join the war effort. Eugene served as a seaman apprentice and bugler, and ultimately earned the rank of midshipman. After WWII, Eugene received his medical degree from the University of Maryland Medical School and embarked on his life’s work as a pioneering radiation oncologist. As a physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and later in private practice in Flushing, Queens, he published some of the earliest research on the use of combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat lymphoma. He was a passionate advocate for his patients and a kind, caring physician who extended the lives of thousands of patients, always trying to give them more time with their loved ones. Gene was modest, kind and motivated to help others, traits that left a deep impression on everyone who had the good fortune to know him. His family was always at the center of his life, especially enriched by Enid, whom he met at the Lake Tarleton Club in New Hampshire on a fortuitous 1960 summer vacation. He valued education greatly and appreciated the excellent public education he received at Jamaica High School. He delighted in his children and grandchildren’s academic accomplishments and was proud that his calling as a physician continued with the next generation. Raising daughters in the 1970s, he absorbed many of the lessons of the American women’s movement and parented Diane and Carolyn with feminist principles, insisting that they pursue higher education and professional careers and encouraging them as they juggled the demands of work and family. His family members and friends will miss him immensely. Eugene’s legacy of love, kindness, decency and respect for others will continue to guide them.
A private family funeral is being held on May 2, 2021 with Rabbi Shoshanah Conover of Temple Sholom of Chicago officiating. Donations in Eugene’s memory may be made to: The National World War II Museum, New Orleans.
Amy Rose Bloomfield
May 6, 2021
What a beautiful obituary for a life well-lived. My deepest condolences to all who loved Eugene.
May 3, 2021
Gene and Enid Dorothy and I had great dinners in Naples. Everyone here at the Monaco is saddened by the passing of this extraordinary person. He set the bar extremely high and was example of what should be.
May his memory always be a blessing.
May 1, 2021
My heart goes out to all the Bronstein family—his loving wife Enid; his wonderful daughters Diane and Carolyn and their families; and his devoted brother Alan—for the tremendous loss they have suffered. Gene lived a remarkable life, detailed so beautifully in this obituary. As Alan’s sister-in-law, I enjoyed being with Gene and his family at many joyful family gatherings, from Thanksgiving dinners when the children were young to the graduation and wedding celebrations in later years. Gene was a caring and compassionate man who was loved by everyone. I will always be grateful to have known him. His legacy will live on.
May 1, 2021
Together with my late wife Jean we met with Eugene many times during our vacations in Naples, Florida. He was a gentle man and we enjoyed our poolside chats and conversations. Our lives were made richer from knowing Eugene. My thoughts are with his brother Alan and his wife and family
Rest peacefully Eugene