Co-founder of Valley Hospital, fitness devotee
Dr. Vincent W. Giudice of Saddle River, who practiced orthopedic medicine into his 90s and penned a newspaper column giving advice on keeping athletically fit, died Friday.
He turned 100 on Sept. 19 a milestone his granddaughter attributed to his walking up and down the stairs during his 47 years on staff at The Valley Hospital.
"That's how he got his exercise," Lisa Crean said. "He never took the elevator."
The Paterson-born Dr. Giudice (pronounced guh-DICE) was a founding physician of the Ridgewood hospital in 1951 and performed its first surgery.
His column, which appeared in The Record's Sports section, covered everything from the best athletic shoes for bunion sufferers to dealing with lower back pain. He fielded questions from readers, such as F.D. from Teaneck, who wanted to know how to break out of a golf slump.
"I asked Chi Chi Rodriguez this question about 30 years ago," Dr. Giudice wrote, referring to the Puerto Rican-born professional golfer.
"He told me that every golfer has a favorite club, usually a short iron, that he feels very comfortable with. He said he goes out with this club and the one giving him the most trouble. After hitting 10 balls with the easy club to get his timing, he tries to swing the troublesome club with the same rhythm. He alternates the two until it all comes together. & Since Jack Nicklaus sent his son to Rodriguez for lessons, I guess he knows what he is talking about."
Dr. Giudice's last column, on Nov. 11, 1987, implored readers to take cues from the pain and discomfort they feel when exercising.
"Listen to your body," he concluded. "It is trying hard to be your friend."
He apparently listened to his own body. The avid golfer and tennis player never needed orthopedic surgery himself. And he was exercising until the end.
"I took him to the emergency room a couple of months ago," his granddaughter said. "He was on a stretcher waiting to be seen, and there he was doing stomach crunches and leg lifts. & He never sat still; he was always moving, and always keeping his brain challenged."
Dr. Giudice retired from The Valley Hospital's staff in 1998 and from his private practice in Waldwick in 2006.
Anastasios Kozaitis, president of the hospital's foundation, said in a statement that Dr. Giudice was proud to have been among the first physicians appointed to the Valley medical staff and was a generous supporter of the hospital.
Kozaitis added that Dr. Giudice "was always the finest-dressed man in the room" and a "true gentleman of his era."
Dr. Giudice's first wife, Mildred, died in 1959. His children from that marriage, Vincent Giudice Jr. and Vanessa Hampson, died in 1999 and 2010, respectively.
His second wife, Emily, ran a company that sold household necessities such as oven mitts, tablecloths and her own invention a potholder containing a magnet so it could stick to a stove or refrigerator. Emily Giudice died on New Year's Eve 2006 after 42 years of marriage.
Interviewed for Emily's obituary, Dr. Giudice reminisced about the cruises they took, the ballroom dancing they enjoyed and his wife's sinful rice pudding.
"The way she made it, it took three days, I'm not kidding you," he said. "She would cook it, do something to it, then it would stand 24 hours, and then she would do something else to it. I don't know what the hell she did to it, but man, it was like ambrosia."
Dr. Giudice, formerly of Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus, is survived by three grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and three stepsons, Clifford Jacobs of Arlington, Va., Christopher Jacobs of Lake Oswego, Ore., and Russell Jacobs of Fallbrook, Calif.
The funeral Mass was held said Monday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel R.C. Church, Ridgewood. Arrangements were by C.C. Van Emburgh Funeral Home, Ridgewood.
Published in The Record on Dec. 11, 2012
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