Raphael Schwartz, medical doctor

Dr. Raphael D. Schwartz of Ridgefield, CT, passed away on Thursday, August 11, 2016, after a courageous battle against cancer and pneumonia. Ray was the husband of his loving wife, Zelda Schwartz, father to Stuart, Linda and Maura, father-in-law to Pam Schwartz, Michael Larsen and Stan Nowakowski; and grandfather to Allie and Talia Schwartz and brother to Claire Finklestein.

From the day he was born in Brooklyn, NY on January 6, 1929, Ray had an insatiable passion and love for knowledge and learning. After graduating Stuyvesant High School at the age of 16, he attended New York University, where he completed a 4-year degree program in only two years, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. At the age of 19, he entered medical school at Downstate Long Island College of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. and graduated as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, He then entered into a long and blossoming career in gastroenterology. Ray won numerous academic medals throughout his high school, college and medical school career. 

Ray served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army for two years in Germany with an engineering battalion during the Korean War. After demobilization, he returned home with his wife to raise their children in New Haven, CT, where he served as first resident in a special new program at Yale University under the renowned Dr. Howard Spiro. After his residency, Ray worked at the Danbury Hospital, where he became the first certified board specialist in internal medicine, and initiated the first program for interns and residents. He continued to practice medicine at the Danbury hospital for 55 years. 

After retirement, he continued his service to the community by volunteering his time and medical expertise at the Kevin Community Center in Newtown, CT. 

Ray’s deep love for his wife was an enchantment that most can only aspire to, followed closely by his love of medicine, the temple, and tennis.

Described as a “Doctor’s Doctor,” Ray was an immeasurably brilliant yet implausibly unpretentious man, and inspired everyone around him. Ray was a revered member of his community, and the most selfless, giving soul to all. May he rest in peace and finally be joyously reunited with his late-daughter, Lonnie. 

Funeral services will take place on Monday, August 15, 2016 at 12 noon at Congregation Shir Shalom, 46 Peaceable St., Ridgefield.

Burial will follow in the United Jewish Cemetery, Gray’s Bridge Rd., Brookfield.

Contributions in Dr. Schwartz’s memory may be made to Congregation Shir Shalom, 46 Peaceable St., Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 27 Governor St., both of Ridgefield, CT 06877 or to Kevin Community Center, 153 South Main St., Newtown, CT  06470.

Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah St., Ridgefield is in charge of arrangements.