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John L. Boccaccio, M.D.

John L. Boccaccio, M.D.

Died: Saturday, October 30, 2004
Age: 90
John L. Boccaccio, M.D., 90, died on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2004, at the Veteranís Home of Grand Rapids.

Born in Detroit in 1912 to Leopold and Maria, Dr. Boccaccio was ever-kind, courteous, thoughtful and understanding with a smile and a pleasant word for everyone. He spoke softly, walked quietly, and was completely unassuming.

Dr. Boccaccio attended Wayne State University School of Medicine and interned at Grace Hospital, where he met and married Polly Lister, then supervisor of urology. He served a five-year preceptorship under the eminent Dr. H.G. McLean, a surgeon and one of the founders of the American College of Surgeons, of which he was a member.

From 1942 to 1946, Dr. Boccaccio served in the U.S. Army as a battalion surgeon. He entered Germany the day after the first troops fought onto German soil, where he was captured and held as a prisoner of war. After his release, Dr. Boccaccio returned to Grosse Pointe to form a private practice on the east side for 40 years.

Dr. Boccaccio and four other doctors were instrumental in aiding the sisters to start up St. John Hospital, even purchasing the first car for the sisters. At one time, Dr. Boccaccio had such an extensive obstetrics practice, that he made the unusual record of delivering the first, one-hundredth and one-thousandth baby at St. John.

Dr. Boccaccio retired happily in Grosse Pointe. His granddaughter, Sarah, is currently seeking a position as a pediatric resident in Ohio. His legacy will always live on through his son, Johnís work as a surgeon at St. John Hospital.

He is survived by his children, Mary Ann Boccaccio of North Carolina; Betsy Selickman of Ohio; and Dr. John E. (Kathy) of Grosse Pointe Farms; his grandchildren, John and Sarah Selickman and Jebby, Katie, Ellie and Emmy Boccaccio. He was predeceased by his wife, Pauline.

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday, Nov. 5, at St. Paul Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimerís Association or the Capuchin Monastery.
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