Riverside Memorial Chapel
180 West 76th Street
New York, NY
GERSON--Charles D.,

died peacefully at home on May 21 after struggling with illness. He was 80 years old. Raised in Washington Heights, Charles loved playing sports, especially golf, while attending Bronx High School of Science and then at Cornell University. His choice of medicine as a career was a natural result of his interest in science and his general wish to care for people and to protect life. He attended medical school at the Downstate University of New York. After his internship at Cornell Division of Bellevue Hospital, he served as a Peace Corps Doctor in Nigeria through the Public Health Service. He returned to complete his residency medical training at Mount Sinai Hospital, followed by his fellowship training in gastroenterology there. His medical career was outstanding in several ways. From his initial work as a half-time Research Physician, he published over 60 articles, particularly focused on malabsorption. In the last decade of his career, as Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai, he became an internationally recognized investigator and collaborator in the area of functional G.I. illness. He was always a gifted teacher of house staff, and served in a leadership position at Mount Sinai, including Chief of the Gastroenterology Clinic, the Executive and Physician's Advisory Committees. But most of all he was an unusually sensitive and devoted physician and the many letters he received after retiring were exceptional tributes. Charles's zest for life was always apparent. He had a life- long passion for travelling, relishing adventurous experiences on every continent with his wife, Mary-Joan, often combining travel with teaching and research. He particularly enjoyed reading fiction and studying history, and he relished every aspect of New York City culture, but he was also lover of nature and country weekends. Charles was known to everyone as unusually honest and reflective, with a sparkling personality, seasoned by an active sense of the absurdity and humor of life. The heart of his life was his family, his deep love for his wife whom he married soon after they graduated from Cornell, his two children, Daniel and Jessica, their spouses, Beau Stacom and Sam Bardfeld, and his four grandchildren, Asher and Claire Gerson and Daisy and Henry Bardfeld. He is survived by his brother, Jim Gerson and his wife, Susan and their children, Michelle and Shari whom he cared about deeply. Everyone in his family experienced him as the backbone of their lives-- protective, loving and wise. Services will be held at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th St., on Wednesday at 10am. Donations in Charles's memory may be made to Amnesty International or Oxfam of America.

Published by New York Times on May 22, 2017.
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I first met him when I came to The United States 55 Years ago. He was researching on the health of Peace Corp volunteers in East Pakistan now Bangladesh. After I came to the US we continued and published first Scientific article with John Lindenbaum
July 16, 2020

A salute to Charles from a colleague of 53 years ago, when he was a Peace Corps Doctor in Nigeria. I was doing a similar tour, an agreeable option to the doctor draft for Viet Nam, as a PC doc in a neighboring country, Togo. Though we met infrequently, I remember his keen medical intelligence, his wit and especially his wonderful sense of irony, even in very difficult circumstances. I know Mary-Jo and his family are suffering from his departure, and they will continue to do so. Cheers, Charles: you had a fine an honorable life, and my only regret is that we knew each other so briefly and so long ago. You left the world a better place.
Bill Anderson
Bill Anderson
May 27, 2017
So sorry for your loss Mary Jo. He was a wonderful person . I always enjoyed his company Cecile and Hal Brodsky
May 23, 2017
Offering my condolences to the family and loved ones. "May mercy and peace and love be increased to you."- Jude 2
May 22, 2017
Chick Gerson was in my class at Bronx High School of Science, though I didn't know him there. He was my gastroenterologist and he was the best. He was very knowledgeable, kind, competent and had a good sense of humor. The last time I saw him, he not only addressed my GI problems but sat and talked about books afterwards. He recommended a novel about the Jersey Shore, where I now live, by Richard Ford. Dr. Gerson will be very much missed. From Debi Unger
May 22, 2017
As Dr. Gerson's office manager, he was a wonderful man to work for. He was kind and patient. His patients adored him and I heard story after story about how Dr. Gerson had restored them to health. After his retirement, his patients would call me to discuss how much they missed him. He will be missed. My condolences to MaryJoan and his family.
marsha silver
May 22, 2017
We are sorry to learn of the passing of Charles, but grateful for his service to our nation with the Peace Corps in Nigeria.

Our Condolences,
The National Peace Corps Association
May 22, 2017
Charles (Chick) was a "charter member" of the Washington Heights boys where he was a great friend and admired for his many accomplishments. He will be missed.
Jerry Heller
May 22, 2017
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