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DEWEY, Maurice Robert

DEWEY, Maurice Robert

DEWEY - Maurice Robert Affectionately called "Doc," "Dad," or, simply, Maurie by those who knew and loved him, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 16, 2017, at the age of 84, surrounded by family and friends. A paragon of the "self-made man," Maurie lived his formative years in Massena and, later, Auburn, NY, during the Great Depression and WWII Eras. He lost both parents, Harold and Irene, at a young age, his mother passing early in his childhood, his father when Maurie was 17. Subsequent summers were spent painting houses with his brothers and academic years in work-study programs to support a college education. His efforts earned him an undergraduate degree from Harpur College and, at the insistence of Harpur professors who recognized his intellectual giftedness, a graduate degree from Syracuse University Medical School. Dr. Dewey practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology for over 45 years; he truly loved his profession, his patients, and their families, understanding well what an incredible gift it was to play a role in bringing life into the world and joy into people's lives. Maurie had, quite literally, thousands of women who loved him - understandable given his career in OB-GYN and the love and care he provided his patients. His heart was stolen, however, by the love of his life - a captivating young nurse named Pamela Johnstone. Maurie and Pam wed in 1961 and remained happily in love through 56 years of marriage. Although each pales in comparison to that which he shared with his "Honey," Pam, Maurie had many other loves. He felt deep affection and enormous appreciation for his children and grandchildren, friends, neighbors, and community, and did all he could to express those feelings in every imaginable - often creative - way. He also loved comic art, birdwatching, history, painting lead circus and zoo figures for his grandchildren, gift-giving and donating to his favorite charities, collecting antiques, Classical and Big Band music, college football, and gardening. His father's influence inspired a lifelong love of nature and camping. He enjoyed time outdoors, taking-in the surrounding natural world. The naturalist in him led to gardening,
planting, and watering the entire Christiana Street neighborhood season after season for decades. He shared his many affections with everyone he knew, and, in doing so, spread the joy and interests he held to countless friends, neighbors, and community members. Our father came from a long line of strong Congregationalists dating back to Colonial times and, when required to fill-out forms, claimed affiliation with Protestantism. In reality, he grappled with religion and religious faith; however, through efforts to balance life's stark realities with desire to hold God in his heart, he became a Reformer in his own right. His relationship with God was an honest one. Losing his mother at such a formative age planted seeds of doubt. Losing his father shortly thereafter only fueled those thoughts. He never subscribed to organized religion, yet was able to restore his faith over time by finding God in those things he valued most. In Romanticism fashion, he felt connection to God in nature and in his garden, and loved to spend his time there, meticulously tending with love and care. Similarly, he saw God in the faces and behaviors of those he loved. He believed God existed within us and all around us, and took comfort knowing He approved. With those sentiments in his heart and soul, Maurie had a gentle way of making everyone feel loved and appreciated. He exuded equal parts compassion, tenderness, humility, and selflessness, always placing others' needs before his own and doing all he could to help those he cared for in effective, unassuming style. He was a positive, joyful man with an easy, warm smile, quick wit, and a good-humored way of gently teasing just about anyone while, in the same breath, allowing them to feel the love and adoration he held for them in his heart. He perfected the art of giving, and will long be remembered for his genuinely affectionate, caring nature and for his endless generosity and kindness. Each of us will, for a short while, be lost without him. We will miss his contagious smile, his corny jokes and quips, his gentle warmth, and the purity of his love. In time, we will, each in our own way, come to realize the goodness we felt in his presence was simply him reflecting back those positive qualities he recognized in each of us. We will carry him with us always and will forever feel his undying love. Predeceased by his brothers, Paul, in 1975, and Vernon, in 2001, Maurie was the last of his generation's Dewey boys and also the most prolific. He is survived by his beautifully good-hearted wife, Pamela, their six children, and many, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Dayle and his wife, Shelly (nee Hurtubise), and their children, Marley and Elijah; Curtis and his wife, Janette (nee Rhodes) and their children, Jordan, Isaiah, Ethan, Carver, Sole;, and Jolie; Seth and his wife, Neva (nee Sanders), and their children, Kira, Cade, and Bryn; Reed and his wife, Greta (nee Maurer), and their children Graham, Ella, Jedidiah, and Wil; Leah Stevens, her husband, Kenny, and their children, Renee, Kenny Jr., and Kayla; Sarah Herlehy and her children, Paige and Trent. Maurie was exceedingly proud of his children and grandchildren. His wishes to be surrounded by loved ones throughout his illness and at the time of his passing were well-delivered. Major Maurice Dewey served in the 134th Medical Battalion of the New York Army National Guard from 1960 through his Honorable Discharge in 1967. True to form and to his incredible humility, Maurie downplayed his service to country while lauding that of others - past, present, and future. His family's strong history of military service fostered a deep appreciation for our country, its military, and our veterans. In lieu of flowers, Dr. Dewey's family hopes you will please consider a donation to a supporting organization, such as the Wounded Warrior Project or Disabled Veterans of America. Maurie would also be most pleased were friends to consider donating locally, specifically to the Tonawanda Council on the Arts (TCA) and Carnegie Art Center A memorial "Block Party" celebration of Dr. Dewey's life will be held in July and will be coordinated with a month-long Comic Art Exhibit at the TCA. All will be welcome. Wattengel.com

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