Obituary of Jonathan Pasternack
Jonathan Benjamin Pasternack, MD, of Slingerlands, New York and Tucson, Arizona passed away on March 27, 2019 at home, in the arms of his wife, Lois. Dr. Pasternack had been in hospice care after having a stroke. He was 81 years old.
Jonathan was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on December 5, 1937 to Milton and Sylvia (Rogoff) Zweig. Jonathan and his younger brother, Stefan were adopted by their stepfather, Irving Pasternack, and raised by Sylvia and Irving in Passaic, New Jersey. Jonathan graduated from Passaic High School (1955), Cornell University (B.S., 1959), Boston University (M.D.,1963), and Harvard University (Masters in Public Health, 1967).
Dr. Pasternack’s lifetime of achievements reflected a theme of dedicating himself to service of his Country, his community and, most of all, his family.
As a member of the United States Air Force, Dr. Pasternack served as a flight surgeon in Vietnam for one year. During his tour of duty, Dr. Pasternack was responsible for establishing a medical treatment facility, within a field of active combat, for which he was awarded a Bronze Star. In addition to his official duties, Dr. Pasternack selflessly volunteered, sometimes at risk of his own safety, to render medical treatments to children in area orphanages. After he returned from overseas, he was a Major in the Aerospace Medicine Program based in Houston, Texas.
Following an honorable discharge from military service, and a residency in pediatrics at Albany Medical Center, Dr. Pasternack joined Dr. Tullio Mereu at Delmar Pediatrics in Delmar, New York. It was the start of a treasured and lifelong friendship. Together, they provided the best pediatric care in the Capital Region of New York for the next thirty years. Dr. Pasternack‘s dedication to his patients and their families frequently inspired him to help those in need - sometimes far beyond the geographical confines of his office.
Jonathan was a lifelong member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the New York Medical Society. He was a Master Clinician of the Neuroscience Institute, a member of the Pima
County Medical Society, and was licensed to practice in New York, Florida and Arizona.
Jonathan missed pediatrics after “retiring” in 2007 and immediately resumed working in Tucson, Arizona. He worked as a clinician at the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico; in the pediatric clinic at the Raymond Bliss Army Hospital in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona for two years; and lastly, spent several years as a pediatrician at the Square and Compass Clinic for Children, part of Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. He was also a medical consultant to the Arizona Department of Health.
Jonathan was an intellectually curious person with many different interests and hobbies. He and Lois sailed the Lois Honey on the Hudson River and Long Island Sound. Jonathan taught himself woodworking, and made beautiful furniture. He was a skier, windsurfer, and racquetball player. Jonathan began to study classical guitar in his fifties, and continued until his late seventies. He flew model airplanes and virtual flight simulators. Jonathan loved hiking in the Santa Catalina Mountains, landscaping with cacti, and exploring the varied music scene in Tucson.
The most noteworthy characteristic of Jonathan’s life was his passionate, loving dedication to his wife and family. Jonathan was a loving husband for twenty-seven years to Lois Pasternack - a duration of time that he would refer to as “a good start”. Jonathan adored his stepsons, Jonathan Warner and Samuel Warner, and his daughter-in-law, Rachel- and they him. Just as his step-father had done, Jonathan regarded his step-children as his own.
His love of family and friends, energy, happy demeanor, sense of humor, and enthusiasm for life are irreplaceable.
Jonathan is survived by his wife, Lois; two stepsons, Jonathan Warner and Samuel Warner (Rachel) of Albany, New York; brother Dr. Stefan Pasternack (Gail) of Boca Raton, FL; nephews Jeffrey Pasternack (Dana) of Boca Raton, and Gregory Pasternack (Andrea) of Davis, CA; great- nephews Jacob Pasternack, Noah Pasternack, and Ari Pasternack; and several first cousins. He is also survived by a son, Henry Pasternack, and a daughter, Leslie Pasternack Runcey.
Dr. Pasternack’s family will always be grateful to Vera Pierson, Michael Drake, and Dorinda Gonzales for the care and friendship they brought to Jonathan.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Congregation Beth Emeth (www.bethemethalbany.org), the Animal Protective Foundation (www.animalprotective.org), or a charity of your choice.
A memorial service will be held at Levine Memorial Chapel, 649 Washington Avenue in Albany on Wednesday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m.