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John Wilsey

Obituary
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Wilsey, John
John Colver "Jack" Wilsey, for 40 continuous years a surgeon at The Greenwich Hospital, died on March 11, 2014 after what he called "a good run" and a short illness. Jack was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1924, attended Montclair College High School, class of 1941, and Princeton University, class of 1945. In 1943, while at Princeton he enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman V12 USNR, a rank he held until shortly before he matriculated at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1943. In 1947, he began an internship at Bellevue Hospital, Columbia Division, followed by a surgical residency. There, in 1948 he performed the first successful open-chest cardiac massage, a procedure that is (thankfully) no longer necessary. In 1949 he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps, Regular Army, and continued at Bellevue in the US Army Civilian Residency Training Program. In addition, in 1950 he completed an exchange surgical residency at the Cleveland Clinic. Shortly thereafter, Jack was ordered to join the First Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) for the Inchon Invasion in Korea. While in Korea, he was promoted to Captain and then, in a battlefield promotion, to Major M.C. He completed his residency at Bellevue upon return to the U.S. and was then ordered to Tripler Army Hospital, Territory of Hawai'i, to be Chief of General Surgery. In 1954, he was certified by the American Board of Surgery, and in 1956, he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. When he resigned his commission in 1954, he entered the private practice of surgery at The Greenwich Hospital, where he subsequently served as Senior Attending Surgeon and Chief of Staff. In 1985, he traveled to the Karolinga Institute in Stockholm Sweden to study stereotactic fine-needle aspiration of non-palpable mammographic abnormalities. He brought the technique to The Greenwich Hospital. This new procedure Significantly diminished invasive procedures and increased the accuracy of breast cancer diagnosis. Early in his practice, Jack partnered with John W. Gerster, MD, and together they brought Robert E. Reber, MD, and Philip J. McWhorter, MD, to join them in Greenwich. They all enjoyed years of happy surgical practice. In 1994, Jack retired from surgical practice, and was named to the Emeritus Staff of The Greenwich Hospital. Dr, Wilsey was predeceased in 1991 by his wife of 44 years, Elise Winsor ("Tippy") Wilsey. He is survived by his wife Anne Wilsey, his sister Marian McMaster of Bonita Springs, FL; his children, Suzanne Wilsey of San Carlos, CA Joan Wilsey Rapoport of Yonkers, NY, Peter Wilsey of Guilford, CT, and Jay Wilsey of Lakewood, CO; his grandchildren, Sara Colodner of New York, NY, James Rapoport of Zurich, Switzerland, and Brett Wilsey of Lakewood, CO.; and his stepsons, Scott Johnson, Mark Johnson, and their families. Late in his life, Jack told his children, "I want to acknowledge the expertise and devotion of my colleagues at The Greenwich Hospital in making my diagnosis and attending to my care." His family reiterates Jack's heartfelt thanks and would also like to thank The Greenwich Hospital Hospice Program for the excellent care they provided. Service and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Greenwich Scholarship Association In memory of John C Wilsey. P.O. Box 4627 Greenwich, CT 06831

Published in GreenwichTime on Mar. 16, 2014
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