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John A. Cifala

Death Notice
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CIFALA Dr. JOHN ANTHONY CIFALA April 21, 1922 - February 23, 2013 Dr. John Anthony Cifala, DO, age 90, passed away at Ann Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, surrounded by his family, on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Dr. Cifala was born April 21st, 1922 in Washington, DC to Joseph and Vincette Cifala. From the age of 8 years old, he wanted to be an Osteopath after he was healed of a serious injury by Della Mattson, DO. At age 13 years, he was the youngest person ever to apply to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), although it would be 5 more years until he was allowed to attend. During his studies there, he met his wife Laura, an obstetrical nurse. Upon his graduation, Dr. John and Laura opened his family practice in Arlington, VA, where he practiced for 60 years, and she served as nurse and office manager. In 1948, Dr. Cifala was the first DO to be accepted into the Veteran's Administration in Washington, DC, where he was appointed head of the Physical Medicine Department. As a member of the House of Delegates of the American Osteopathic Association, he worked passionately to legalize the Osteopathic profession in all 50 states, which at that time had only a handful of licensed states. As one of the first Osteopaths on the East Coast, he also helped found the Osteopathic College of Rehabilitative Medicine and served as president. In later years, he became president of the Maryland, DC, and Virginia Osteopathic Medical Associations and lectured extensively on the importance of human touch in healing. Dr. Cifala is survived by his wife of 68 years, Laura Amalfitano Cifala, whom he frequently described as "my extraordinary life partner", and their six children (ToniAnn, John, JoAnn, Michael, Steven and Celeste), 17 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. He was a loving husband and devoted father and his memory will be cherished by the many he has touched. He also leaves two brothers, Peter (Jenny) Cifala and Joseph (MaryEllen) Cifala, and numerous nieces and nephews. Dr. Cifala was very proud that 18 members of his family became Doctors of Osteopathy. He is remembered as a legend and pioneer in the profession. Visitation will be at Murphy's Funeral Home, 1102 West Broad Street, Falls Church, VA on Friday, March 1 at 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be at Saint James Catholic Church in Falls Church on Saturday, March 2 at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, VA. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Sisters of Holy Cross, Office of Development, 407 Bertrand Hall, St. Mary, Notre Dame, IN 46556.Dr. Cifala was the first DO to be accepted into the Veteran's Administration in Washington, DC, where he was appointed head of the Physical Medicine Department. As a member of the House of Delegates of the American Osteopathic Association, he worked passionately to legalize the Osteopathic profession in all 50 states, which at that time had only a handful of licensed states. As one of the first Osteopaths on the East Coast, he also helped found the Osteopathic College of Rehabilitative Medicine and served as president. In later years, he became president of the Maryland, DC, and Virginia Osteopathic Medical Associations and lectured extensively on the importance of human touch in healing. Dr. Cifala is survived by his wife of 68 years, Laura Amalfitano Cifala, whom he frequently described as "my extraordinary life partner", and their six children (ToniAnn, John, JoAnn, Michael, Steven and Celeste), 17 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. He was a loving husband and devoted father and his memory will be cherished by the many he has touched. He also leaves two brothers, Peter (Jenny) Cifala and Joseph (MaryEllen) Cifala, and numerous nieces and nephews. Dr. Cifala was very proud that 18 members of his family became Doctors of Osteopathy. He is remembered as a legend and pioneer in the profession. Visitation will be at Murphy's Funeral Home, 1102 West Broad Street, Falls Church, VA on Friday, March 1 at 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be at Saint James Catholic Church in Falls Church on Saturday, March 2 at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, VA. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Sisters of Holy Cross, Office of Development, 407 Bertrand Hall, St. Mary, Notre Dame, IN 46556.

Published in The Washington Post on Feb. 27, 2013
Funeral Home Details
Falls Church, VA   (703) 533-0341
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