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Martin H. Wennar, MD

March 14, 1943 August 1, 2009
Martin H. Wennar, MD
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Obituary for Martin H. Wennar, MD

Georgia, VT – It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Martin H. Wennar, M.D. FACS, after a valiantly fought battle with pancreatic cancer. A resident of Georgia Shore, Marty was born March 14, 1943 in Albany NY, the son of Mildred “Mim” (Greenstein) and the late Murray Wennar. Dr. Wennar received his Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, from Union College and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Albany Medical College. He trained in surgery at the Berkshire Medical Center in Massachusetts and Charity Hospital, New Orleans. During the Vietnam War, he served in the United States Navy. Dr. Wennar entered the private practice of general surgery in St. Albans, VT in 1976 and continued working full time until his retirement in 2002. During that time, he introduced gastrointestinal endoscopy and minimally invasive surgery to the Northwestern Medical Center and was active in championing formalized quality improvement initiatives in the community hospital setting. Dr. Wennar served as a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery; a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons; a member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal/Endoscopic Surgery; President of the Franklin County Medical Society; a member of the Board of Directors of Northwestern Medical Center; President, VT Chapter, American College of Surgeons; a member of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons; and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans. He founded and chaired the Northwestern Medical Center Health Professions Education Fund, which, since 1980, has given scholarship aid to Franklin County students entering health related fields. Most recently, he was a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Vermont and had been active in the teaching of medical students since 1996. In 2008, The Martin H. Wennar Lectureship in Professionalism was established to perpetuate and foster health professionals’ dedication to professionalism, including maturity, confidence, responsibility, respect, honesty, empathy, attentiveness and altruism. Most recently, Dr. Wennar was a Director of the Board of Trustees of The Peoples Trust Company. Marty is survived by his wife, Carol of Georgia, VT, his mother, Mildred “Mim” Wennar of Niskayuna, NY, his sister, Sandy Kutil of Niskayuna, NY and his aunt, Marion Gerber of Schenectady, NY. Other survivors include his daughter Ami Hampton and her husband, Greg; his son, Todd, his wife, Valerie and their daughters Addison and Emma; his stepson, Tim Streeter, his wife, Shellie and their sons Brandon, Ryan and Keegan; his stepdaughter, Heather Streeter and her partner, Willy Ehrhardt; his nephew, Brooks Friedman, his wife, Stephanie and their son, Maddox; his niece, Rachel Kutil; several cousins and his cat, Lucas. He was predeceased by his father, Murray Wennar, Uncle Lenny Gerber, Aunt Rose and Uncle Maxwell Kantin and Uncle William Wennar. Marty is also survived by his extended family, Deb and Steve Bourgeois and their children, Kiersten, Jeremy and Alex Bourgeois; John Dougherty (his Texas Hold ‘Em Partner) and his children, Laura and Steve Eppler (Tyler, Cassie and Stephanie), Lynn and Brian Moulton (Jacob and Noah) and Andrew and Stacie Dougherty (Myah, Sydnie and Drew). In addition to his family, Marty’s multiple facets of his life lead him to develop lasting relationships with a multitude of cohorts, including: The Owl Club Racqueteers – Bill Cain, Nick Hadden, Dana Wolcott, Greg Rainville, Bob Johnson, Bert Steen and many others over the years; Friends of the St. Albans Duplicate Bridge Club; The Owl Club Bridge – his longtime friend and partner, John Newton; other special friends – Lonnie Burke, Mike McGinn, Peter Charbonneau, Carl Laroe, John Rhodes, Peter Hofstetter, Ralph Depucchio, Linda and Angus “Uncle Buck” Crites; his poker buddies; The Peoples Trust Company and Rick Manahan; all of his friends and colleagues of Northwestern Medical Center and Fletcher Allen Health Care; and many others too numerous to mention. Marty’s life included extensive travel with trips to Africa, India, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Tibet, South Korea, Europe, South America, Central America, Easter Island, Australia, Russia, Mexico, the Caribbean and more, as well as many trips throughout the U.S. He especially looked forward to his yearly trips to the Frozen Four NCAA Hockey Tournament. He was an avid fisherman, searching for the elusive big game in places like Australia, Panama, Madeira, Venezuela and Hawaii. Marty was a member of the Richford Country Club, coached his son in Little League, was an avid card player and enjoyed his life on Lake Champlain. He will be remembered as a genuine, giving, compassionate and intelligent man that lived his life to the fullest. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Christian Thomas and the staff at Vermont Center for Cancer Medicines, Dr. Neil Hyman and the Baird 6 Nursing Staff and Dr. Sam Labow – our rock. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Martin H. Wennar, MD Health Education Fund, c/o Northwestern Medical Center, 133 Fairfield Street, St. Albans, VT 05478 or The Martin H. Wennar, M.D. Lectureship in Professionalism in the care of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Given Building E-100, 89 Beaumont Avenue, Burlington, VT 05405. Visiting hours will be at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 South Main Street, St. Albans, VT on Monday, August 3, 2009, from 2 P.M. to 9 P.M. A funeral service will be held at Temple Sinai, 500 Swift Street, South Burlington, VT on Tuesday, August 4, 2009, at 10:00 A.M. An additional service will be held on Wednesday, August 5, 2009, at 3:00 P.M. in the Levine Memorial Chapel, 649 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY with interment to follow at the Independent Benevolent Society Cemetery, Fuller Road, Albany, NY. Messages of condolence to Dr. Wennar’s family are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.

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