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Jack Posnick

1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Jack Posnick Obituary
Dr. Jack Posnick

June 6, 1925 through May 11 2016

Private services were held for beloved Bay Area physician Dr. Jack Posnick, 90, who passed away on May 11, surrounded by his loving family.

Jack was born on June 6, 1925, in Rochester, Minn., but spent his early years in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He came from a poor family. His father was a junk peddler, supporting his children with what little money he made each day. His father wanted Jack to join him in the junk business, but instead he followed his heart and pursued a medical career.
Jack was the class president in his senior year of high school. He served in the Army's medical corps during World War II, from 1943 to 1946, and was sent overseas for 26 months. The Army sponsored him on the G.I Bill, and he was accepted into the University of Iowa, graduating in 1952. Upon completing medical school in Iowa, where he was sixth in his class, he moved to California to pursue his career, specializing in internal medicine and endocrinology.

"I talked so much that everyone told me I should be a lawyer," Jack told others. "Going to medical school on the GI bill was the best decision I ever made, although I'd probably have more money if I was a lawyer."

During his residency at UCSF, he met his beautiful future wife, Etta Shapiro, who worked in the radiology department. Jack was so smitten he wheeled patients back and forth to get her attention, instead of asking orderlies to transport them. They married in 1954. She preceded him in death in 2001.

Jack had a private practice in Burlingame for many years as an endocrinologist. He was considered a pioneer in weight loss, and published a book called Shape Up with recipes for a healthy diet. He was also considered an expert in diabetes and thyroid disease. After he retired from private practice in 1996, he sought fulfillment working with dying patients and their families. He began a long partnership with Mission Hospice, serving as their medical director for years – and was also a Pathways Hospice consulting physician until the age of 80.

Jack was highly regarded for his warm bedside manner. His philosophy was, "Caring for a patient is more than procedures and medicines. It's recognizing their feelings – including pain and sorrow. In order to really understand your patients' goals, values and needs, you have to give them your time. Never say 'I can't do anything more for you.' There is always something more that you can do."

Jack was a volunteer at the Samaritan Free Clinic and was involved in Barbershop singing for nearly three decades, performing in shows and charity events. He was an active member of Peninsula Temple Sholom before his illness.

Jack is survived by his three children: Sherry Goodwin (Steve) Susan Luker (Ed) and Howard Posnick (Joy).; his grandchildren Nicole Ibarra (Joel), Michelle Stahl (Nate) and Gregory and Jeffrey Luker; his great-grandson Noah Ibarra; his sister Shirley Siegel; his brother Milt Posnick; his nephew and niece Lewis and Lesley Siegel; and his longtime companion Dona Levin.

Burial was at Home of Peace in Colma. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that contributions be sent to Mission Hospice, 1670 South Amphlett Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94402.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on May 22, 2016
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