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1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Dr. Felix E. Demartini


Dr. Felix E. Demartini of Vero Beach, Florida, died at the age of 96 on Monday, November 7, 2016. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey on September 9, 1920, he was the son of Andrew and Regina Demartini. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 67 years and childhood sweetheart, Mildred Van Valkenburg Demartini, and by his brother Andrew L. Demartini. He is survived by his three children, son Felix E. Demartini, Jr. and wife Wendy of Littleton, Colorado, son Dr. Paul D. Demartini and wife Bette of Westport, Connecticut, and daughter Lisa D. Ogburn and husband Charles of Atlanta, Georgia, nine grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and by his brother Robert J. Demartini and his wife Carol of Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Dr. Demartini grew up in Ridgefield, New Jersey and graduated from Dwight Morrow High School and Cheshire Academy. He was a star guard and co-captain of the football team at Columbia College, from which he graduated in 1943. He then attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating in 1946.

He spent his distinguished medical career at Columbia University's medical complex, for many years as a physician and Professor of Clinical Medicine. In 1977, Dr. Demartini became the first doctor to serve as both President and CEO of what was then called Presbyterian Hospital at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Under his direction and guided by his uncompromising dedication to the hospital and the quality of its care, the hospital undertook a modernization program which ensured its international healthcare leadership into the 21st century, including the construction of the Allen Pavilion and the Milstein Hospital Building. He finished his term as President of Presbyterian Hospital in 1983 and retired in 1985.

Dr. Demartini and his wife moved to Vero Beach, Florida in 1988. He continued to be involved in medicine by serving for many years on the Board of Directors of the Indian River Memorial Hospital and was active in fund raising for the Indian River Medical Center Foundation until shortly before his death.

In addition to spending as much time as he could with his cherished family, Dr. Demartini thoroughly enjoyed the game of golf. When he lived in New Jersey, he was a member of Knickerbocker Country Club and won the Thunderbird Invitational Golf Classic Pro-Am in 1967 playing with Billy Casper. He joined Hawk's Nest Golf Club in Vero Beach in 1987, and served as its first president. He was also a member of the U. S. Seniors Golf Association. He had four holes-in-one, the most recent at the age of 85, and he shot his age or lower until the age of 90.

A private memorial service for Dr. Demartini will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Indian River Medical Center Foundation, 1000 37th Place, Suite 101, Vero Beach, Florida 32960.

Arrangements are under the direction of Strunk Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach.

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Published in the TC Palm on Nov. 17, 2016
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