Carlos F. Gonzalez, M.D., 83
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"Medical Legacy" of Citrus County
Born - Ponce, Puerto Rico - May 26, 1930.
Died - Crystal River, Fla. - May 26, 2013 (on his 83rd birthday).
Dr. Gonzalez, better known as "Dr. G," became a polio victim at the age of 3. His family packed up and went to live in the mountains of Puerto Rico, living close to a fast-moving river where he sat daily, allowing him to fight his polio and overcome it. He was paralyzed and walked with crutches from that time until he was a freshman in college, when he strengthened the muscles in his leg enough to eliminate his need for the crutches! In college, he participated in almost every sport that did not require running, including shot put, discus, swimming and more; and was awarded many athletic medals.
While in Boston attending Tufts University, Dr. G met his bride, Helen, who was attending the Boston Conservatory of Music. They were married in Windsor, Conn., in 1952. Dr. G worked as an Occupational Therapist in Connecticut from 1952 to 1955. In 1955, their first daughter, Laura, was born and they moved to Puerto Rico, where he began medical school. He received his M.D. degree, with honors, from the University of Puerto Rico in 1959. The family then moved to Ohio, where Dr. G completed his medical internship and surgical residency, and their second daughter, Gloria, was born.
The family moved to St. Clair, Mich., in 1961 where Dr. G began his private medical practice. While in Michigan, he founded the River District Hospital, and with his wife, Helen, founded the St. Clair Theatre Guild - which is still active today.
The effects of polio on his leg haunted him, and he had to give up surgery due to the many hours of standing that it required. The harsh Michigan winters made walking very difficult and painful and the family, seeking a warmer climate, relocated to Crystal River, Fla., in 1971.
At that time, the only hospital in Citrus County was Citrus Memorial in Inverness, and Dr. G would have to spend the night there many times each month while "on call," as there were no ER physicians at that time. His wife, Helen, and their two daughters would take a picnic to the hospital so they could all have dinner together and their daughters would not forget their "Dad" who had to work so many hours.
Seeing the need for a hospital in Crystal River, Dr. G founded Seven Rivers hospital with his friend, Pete DeRosa, in 1978.
Dr. G was very active in the community and his involvement and accomplishments included:
* Chief of Staff at Seven Rivers Community Hospital.
* Member of the Seven Rivers Community Hospital Steering Committee.
* Chairman of the Governing Board of the Seven Rivers Community Hospital.
* Member of the Citrus County Medical Society.
* Medical Director at Crystal River Geriatric Center.
* Staff Physician at Key Training Center.
* President of the Citrus-Hernando County Medical Society.
* Member of the Citrus County Health Planning Society.
* Member of the Inverness Elks Lodge.
* President of the Crystal River Rotary Club.
His numerous accolades included:
* Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice.
* Member of the American Medical Association.
* Member of the Florida Medical Association.
* Fellow of the American Geriatrics Society.
* Diplomate of the American Board of Chelation Therapy.
* FAA Medical Examiner.
* Medical Examiner for various Insurance Companies.
* Member of the Beta Beta Beta Fraternity.
* Member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Fraternity.
Whenever Dr. G had spare time, which was rare, he loved fishing, boating, scuba diving, and hunting. He had his private pilot license and enjoyed flying - even from Crystal River to Inverness to check on his patients. He had a love for classic cars and enjoyed listening to classical music.
Dr. Gonzalez is survived by his wife of 61 years, Helen; and two daughters, Laura Horn (Dr. Roy) of Crystal River, Fla., and Gloria Davenport (Tony) of Asheville, N.C.; grandson, Brett Mosley of Tallahassee, Fla.; and siblings Jose "Quique" Gonzalez, Asheville, N.C., Peter Gonzalez, Tallahassee, Fla., Mercedes Fernandez, Jacksonville, Fla., and Marta Sandler, Boca Raton, Fla. Dr. Gonzalez was preceded in death by a sister, Julia Gonzalez, in 1990.
Dr. Gonzalez touched many lives in Citrus County and will be deeply missed by his patients, colleagues, friends and, most of all, his loving family. He is definitely a True Legacy.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at St. Benedict Catholic Church, Crystal River, with Fr. Ryszard Stradomski, celebrant. Entombment will follow at Fero Memorial Gardens, Beverly Hills. Friends will be received from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at Fero Funeral Home, Beverly Hills. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Citrus County, P.O. Box 641270, Beverly Hills, FL 34464.
Published in Citrus County Chronicle from May 28 to May 29, 2013
Arrangements under the direction of:
Fero Funeral Home with Crematory
5955 North Lecanto Highway | Beverly Hills, FL 34465 | (352) 746-4551