March 19, 2013
Dr. George S. Sturtz, 88, Alexandria Bay, formerly of Watertown, died March 19, 2013 in Lawrence Hospital, Bronxville, New York.
Calling hours will be held at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown on Friday, March 22, from 2 - 4 PM and 6 - 8PM. The funeral mass will be at St. Patrick's Church on Saturday, March 23, at 11AM followed by a burial in Glenwood Cemetery.
Dr. Sturtz was born on West Street in Carthage May 14, 1924, son of Russell E. and Martha L. Foley Sturtz. After graduating from Immaculate Heart Academy in Watertown, Dr Sturtz became a fireman on the railroad, a dangerous back-breaking job that he took great pride in. World War II interceded and the Marine Corp, recognizing his aptitude, made him an officer and a carrier pilot, very unusual without a college education. At the end of the war, on August 31, 1946, he married Helen Dermady at St. Patrick's Church. The G.I. Bill enabled him to attend and receive his BS from Saint Laurence University and his MD from Georgetown Medical School.
After a Pediatrics residency at Detroit Receiving Hospital, he became a Fellow at the Mayo Clinic. There, Dr Sturtz made a key contribution to the creation of open-heart surgery and was awarded an M.Sc (A PhD would have required he master French or German) and inducted into the Sigma Xi society. Rather than stay at the Mayo in academic medicine, Dr Sturtz chose to return to "his land and his people" and establish a Pediatrics practice in 1957 on Mullen St. (which later became Pediatrics Associates of Watertown) From 1957 until it closed in 1975 he was the volunteer pediatrician at St. Patrick's Orphanage. After retiring from pediatrics in 1995, he eventually worked until his death as a physician at Gouverneur Correctional Facility.
He served on the American Board of Pediatrics, where he was a Certification Examiner, the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Medical Specialties. Dr. Sturtz co-founded the North Country Children's Clinic in 1971 and was president of Mercy Hospital's medical staff in 1982 where he helped establish its cardiology and mental health departments and the dialysis unit which bore his name. From 1970 to 1975 he was chief pediatrician at the House of the Good Samaritan, now Samaritan Medical Center.
He is the author of three books and two corrections to Webster's Dictionary. He loved his Lyman, handball, golf, books, and good conversation.
In addition to his wife, Helen, he is survived by his son, G. Stephen Sturtz, Jr., his daughter, Gretchen Scott, his granddaughter, Amanda Scott; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. His brother, Russell E. Sturtz, Jr., and his two sisters, Mary Patricia Fitzgerald and Regina Decker, predeceased him.
Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to the NNY Community Foundation, Inc., 120 Washington St., Suite 400, Watertown, NY 13601. Online condolences may be made at www.cummingsfuneral.com.