Dr. William P. Gruzenski, M.D., 68, of Clarks Green died Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009, in the VNA Hospice Unit of Community Medical Center, Scranton, after a brief illness. His wife of 19 years is the former Jocelyn Anne Connors.
He was born Feb. 1, 1941, in Taylor, and was the son of the late Stanley and Julia Insogna Gruzenski. He was raised in Dupont, by his parents with his brother, John and enjoyed the many benefits of large extended family including grandparents, many uncles, aunts and cousins.
A 1958 graduate of West Pittston High School, he attended the Pennsylvania Military College, Chester, and received his Bachelor of Arts from King's College, Wilkes-Barre. While a student at King's, he was asked to teach Spanish at St. Nicholas High School, Wilkes-Barre. Continuing his studies, he attended the University of Scranton before receiving his medical degree from the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. He completed his medical internship at St. Mary's Hospital, San Francisco, Calif., and his residency in psychiatry at California's Napa State Hospital. He had served as a resident psychiatrist at McGill University in Montreal.
He was board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, earned several Continuing Medical Education Awards from the America Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, and held medical licenses in Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Idaho and Nevada. Dr. Gruzenski was appointed to the faculty of the American Institute of Hypnosis in 1972.
Dr. Gruzenski's distinguished career spanned more than 40 years. He was the chief medical officer for Clarks Summit State Hospital for 11 years beginning in 1997 and served as psychiatric supervisor from 2008 until his retirement on Aug. 1, 2009. He treated patients in private practice in Pennsylvania and California, and held positions as staff psychiatrist in Napa, Lake Tahoe, and Reno, as well as medical director positions in Houston, Stroudsburg, Reno and Blackfoot, Idaho. In addition, Dr. Gruzenski held several teaching positions, including supervisor of research at the Texas Research Institute, and professorships at University of Nevada School of Medicine, University of Texas Medical School, McGill University, University of Utah School of Medicine, and Idaho State University. He was guest speaker on several public service radio broadcasts, and wrote a weekly mental health article for the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
He was a member of the World Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Association, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and Our Lady of The Snows Parish, Clarks Summit.
Dr. Gruzenski was proud to have been chosen as part of the honor guard when famed rocket technologist Dr. Werner von Braun visited the Pennsylvania Military College, and he traveled throughout the U.S. as a member of the Pershing Rifle Drill Team.
Also surviving are two sons, William Paul, Apopka, Fla.; and Sean, Maitland, Fla.; their mother and former wife, Leona Sperazza Owens, Maitland, Fla.; three stepsons, Christopher Petlock and wife, Rachael, Sonoma, Calif.; Brian Petlock and wife, Lori, Altoona; Joseph Ryan Petlock, Pittsburgh; two stepdaughters, Mercedes Stiver and husband, Lee, Swansboro, N.C.; and Tara Petlock, Hagerstown, Md.; three grandchildren, Loren Petlock, Joshua Stiver and Lily Ana Petlock; a brother, John Gruzenski and wife, Mary, Laflin; and several nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be Wednesday, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of the Snows, 301 S. State St., Clarks Summit. Interment will be in Clarks Green Cemetery, Clarks Green. The family will receive relatives and friends Tuesday, 5 to 8 p.m., at Jennings-Calvey Funeral and Cremation Services Inc., 111 Colburn Ave., Clarks Summit, PA 18411.
Memorial contributions may be made to VNA Hospice of Lackawanna County, 301 Delaware St., Olyphant. For more information, directions, or to send an online condolence, please visit www.jenningscalvey.com
Published by Citizens Voice on Aug. 24, 2009.