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Dr. Harold Wechsler

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Dr.  Harold Wechsler Obituary
Dr. Harold Wechsler

AGE: 85 • Lakewood

Harold "Hal" Wechsler, 85, of Lakewood died peacefully on Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

Hal was born July 30, 1931 in New York. He was raised in the Bronx and predeceased by his parents Rebecca and David Wechsler, and brother, Bernard Wechsler.

Hal is survived by his devoted wife of 56 years, Helene, their children Lee, Gregg and Dale, their spouses Nancy Wechsler and John McCarthy and took the most pleasure in time spent with his grandchildren Jamie, Ashley, Aaron, Rachel and Jared. Harold was a dedicated Tufts Jumbo c/o 1953 and a member of Phi Epsilon Pi. He went to George Washington Medical School, and then NYU Medical School graduating in 1957. He completed his internship at NYU and residencies at NYU and Hahnemann, the latter of which brought him to Jersey Shore Hospital Medical Center (formerly Fitkin Hospital).

Hal had an indefatigable career as a board-certified general surgeon, the first in Lakewood, and was on staff at Paul Kimball Hospital, CentraState Medical (formerly Freehold Hospital) and Jersey Shore. He was a man of habit--working long hours, coming home for family dinner and then falling asleep while watching the news, newspaper in hand and glass of Johnnie Walker nearby. He brought gastric bypass surgery to the area in 1980. Later in his career, Hal elected to focus his work on general breast surgery, which always garnered a few chuckles, and which afforded him more regular hours and more time with his family. Harold was known as a skilled, kind and patient physician by his fellow doctors, nurses and patients. He retired begrudgingly at the age of 74. He never forgot how to be a doctor, making sure his own doctors, nurses and family always knew who was really in charge.

Hal never quite learned to cook in his retirement, but the way he prepared his breakfast each day, you would've thought he was a master chef. He did learn to do dishes, much to the delight of his family. He was living proof that an old dog can learn at least one new trick.

Hal loved to read, especially history, war and Louis L'Amour books, and his daily Wall Street Journal. He was an avid follower of the stock market. Hal loved to ski, taking his family out to the Rockies whenever and as long as he could. Many family memories were created on these trips. Hal loved to play tennis, and joined Hollywood Country Club in 1987. While a member, he never did quite become the golf master he had hoped to be.

Hal was a man of quiet wisdom, strength, pragmatism and grace which he passed on to everyone who was fortunate enough to know and love him. He valued and treated everyone he met equally. He always said "never judge someone else until you've walked in their moccasins." He lived with no regrets--always believing that "you live every day like it's your last because one day you might be right." He was a rock, who helped many survive whatever storms came their way, and he will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved him.

Funeral services will be held 1:00pm Sunday, February 12, 2017 at Beth Am Shalom, 1235 Hwy. 70, Lakewood, NJ 08701. Interment will follow at Beth Olam Memorial Park, Lakewood, NJ. Donations in Hal's honor may be made to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Chai Lifeline Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Belkoff-Goldstein Funeral Chapel, Lakewood, NJ.
Published in Asbury Park Press from Feb. 9 to Feb. 11, 2017
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