Dr. Thomas S. Bumbalo, a longtime Buffalo pediatrician, university professor and medical director of Erie County Medical Center, died Sunday (Feb. 5, 2001) in his Haines City, Fla., home after a long illness. He was 93.
Born in Buffalo, Bumbalo graduated from Canisius High School in 1925 and attended Canisius College until 1927. He then attended the University of Buffalo, earning his medical degree in 1931 and his master's degree in medicine in 1936.
He completed his internship, which included making house calls via trolley, with City Hospital, which later became E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital and now is Erie County Medical Center. He also completed his pediatric residency there and met his future wife, who was training to be a nurse.
From 1936 to 1940, he served as captain in the U.S. Army with the 98th Division Medical Corps.
He then spent 47 years as a practicing pediatrician and 45 years as a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Buffalo. During that time, he held numerous leadership positions at the hospital. He spent 10 years as the head of pediatrics, nine years as medical director and a year as interim director.
In addition, he was a member of the Erie County Medical Society and served as president and delegate to the American Medical Society. He was also an active member of the State of New York Medical Society and the American Medical Society, holding leadership positions with both groups.
Bumbalo was instrumental in forming Hospice of Western New York and was on its board of directors for six years.
He moved to Florida in 1987 and was active in the Federation of Mobile Home Owners. He was also a member of the Optimist Club of Winter Haven and held the distinction of being one of Optimist International's oldest active members.
He was a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus and a member of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Haines City.
Bumbalo is survived by his wife, Edith E.; three sons, Thomas S. Jr. and Laurence, both of Fort Myers, Fla., and Edward of San Antonio, Texas; four daughters, Edith Garwood of San Antonio, Mary Frances Nojaim of East Aurora, Pauline Fugazzotto of Birmingham, Ala., and Helene Cotter of Richmond, Va.; two sisters, Josephine Okun and Mary DiLoro, both of Buffalo; 18 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered today in St. Ann's Catholic Church, Haines City.