Hoekelman, Robert A., MD
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Canandaigua: Robert A. Hoekelman, MD, age 85, died March 7, 2013 surrounded by his family at the M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center in Canandaigua.
Dr. Hoekelman was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Ann (Sheeler) Hoekelman in 2006, and his only sibling, Ruth (Hoekelman) Smith in 1985. He is survived by four daughters, Gretchen Hoekelman of Canandaigua, Kathryn (Richard) Wissler of Pittsford, NY, Jane Hoekelman of St. Louis, MO, and Alison "Sally" (Robert) Cushing of Crozet, VA; eight grandchildren, Connor McNealus, Thomas and Stephanie Wissler, Karl, Kara and Ted Carstensen, and Sarah Jane and Molly Cushing; several cousins, nieces, nephews; and sister-in-law, Sally Breuhaus.
Dr. Hoekelman was born and raised in Cliffside Park, NJ and was the son of Robert and Rosetta (Dempster) Hoekelman. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his pediatric training at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Hanover, NH and at the former Babies Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center. Following his training, he served two years in the US Navy Medical Corps during the Korean Conflict. In 1955, he became Canandaigua's first pediatrician when he joined the Canandaigua Medical Group. He served as Chief of Pediatrics (1957-67) and Chief of the Medical Staff (1964-65) at FF Thompson Hospital. In 1967, he joined the faculty of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry as Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics. He became a Professor and the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the medical school from 1983-1993. Following his chairmanship he became Associate Dean of the Medical School from 1993-1995. He retired in 1997 but continued to be active in teaching at the medical school until 2004.
As a resident of Canandaigua, Dr. Hoekelman was a member of the Canandaigua City Planning Commission and served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, and the Community Chest. He was a founding member and former President of the Sonnenberg Gardens Board of Trustees and was Co-chairman for the 1967 "New" FF Thompson Hospital Fund Drive. In 1968, the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce named him "Mr. Canandaigua" (Citizen of the Year).
Besides his pediatric practice in Canandaigua, he served as the school physician for the Canandaigua City School District for seven years. He was Medical Director for the Ontario County Physically Handicapped Children's Program from 1965-2003 and was Medical Director of Ontario County Public Health Services from 1999-2003.
During his tenure at the University of Rochester, Dr. Hoekelman wrote grants and received funding for 26 research and educational projects. He was an internationally sought medical consultant and visiting professor at over 25 institutions worldwide. He was editor of 13 medical textbooks, and 5 medical journals and authored over 250 textbook chapters and monographs as well as articles and editorials in scientific journals. He was a leader in the establishment of the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester. He received numerous awards for his contributions to child health care and medical education, including the American Academy of Pediatrics Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Education in 1998.
He enjoyed skiing, gardening, Dartmouth football and the Buffalo Bills. He and his wife traveled all over the world especially enjoying their 50th Wedding Anniversary trip to Provence.
The family would like to thank the staff of Rosewood at M.M. Ewing CCC for the wonderful compassionate care he received.
Friends may call Friday, March 22 from 4-7 PM at Johnson-Kennedy Funeral Home, Inc., 47 North Main Street, Canandaigua. A Celebration of his Life will be held Saturday, March 23 from 1-4 PM at The Inn on the Lake, 770 South Main St. in Canandaigua.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Hoekelman Center c/o The Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Box 777, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642; or Sonnenberg Gardens, 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424. Condolences may be offered at:
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Mar. 10, 2013