Dr. Peter J. Iannuzzi, 89, a prominent Niagara Falls internist and diabetes specialist, died Tuesday (Jan. 18, 2000) in the Schoellkopf Health Center after a long illness.
Born in Niagara Falls to Italian immigrant parents, Iannuzzi graduated from Niagara Falls High School and earned a bachelor of science degree from Niagara University in 1932.
He was employed as a chemist at the former Hooker Chemical Co. and taught instrumental music education in the Niagara Falls School System while working toward a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1937. He completed his internship and residency at St. Agnes Hospital in Philadelphia.
In addition to his graduate studies at Jefferson, he taught medicine there from 1940 to 1943, when he also was a staff member and assistant chief of medicine at St. Agnes.
Iannuzzi was commissioned a captain in the Army Medical Corps during World War II and served as a battalion surgeon in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
After the war, he returned to Niagara Falls, where he remained in private practice for 35 years. He served as Niagara University's physician and medical director from 1946 to 1971 and was instrumental in designing the health-care program and facility there.
When he retired in 1980, he was honored at two celebrations, a surprise party given by 400 of his patients and another given by his colleagues.
In recognition of his service to Niagara University, he was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree in 1958 and became an "affiliate" of the Vincentian Community in 1968. He was presented the Caritas Medal in 1972 and received the Founders Award in 1992.
An avid sportsman, he was a Niagara Falls tennis champion and was an all-star centerfielder in the International Softball League from 1929 to 1932. He was inducted into the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame in 1982. Iannuzzi also enjoyed fishing and playing bocce at the former Century Club.
An advocate of the arts, Iannuzzi was an accomplished violinist and conductor. During his college years, he was the leader of the Niagara University dance band, the Purple Serenaders. He was the founder and president of the Niagara Opera Guild, a board member of the Buffalo and Niagara Falls philharmonic orchestras and the chairman of the Niagara Arts Council.
As a community leader, he was a member of the Niagara Falls Board of Education from 1963 to 1968, and sat on the boards of the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club, the Visiting Nurses Association and the Niagara University Advisory Council. In 1963, the Disabled American Veterans selected him for their "Man of the Year" award.
Among his professional affiliations were the American Medical Association, American Society of Internal Medicine, American Diabetes Association, Niagara County Medical Society, American Heart Association, American Geriatric Society and the New York State Medical Society.
His wife, the former Emma Heiss of Altoona, Pa., died in 1968.
Survivors include a daughter, Margery I. Adamshick of Tonawanda; a brother, Domenick A. of Lewiston; two sisters, Mary K. of Lewiston and Gloria I. Greenman of DeLand, Fla.; and three grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Peter Catholic Church, 600 Center St., Lewiston. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lewiston.