July 28, 1928 – March 28, 2018
Dr. Edmond J. Gicewicz graduated from the University of Buffalo as a star athlete nearly 70 years ago, but he never truly left his alma mater.
He was the physician for the football team for nearly three decades and he served on the UB Council for almost two. He held appointments as an assistant professor, and he was past president of the alumni association and a loyal booster for UB athletics.
Dr. Gicewicz was never far from UB Stadium and Alumni Arena, where he could be found cheering on his Bulls.
“Doc,” as he was affectionately known, was one of the most devoted friends UB has ever known, said UB President Satish K. Tripathi.
Dr. Gicewicz, pronounced GUH-sev-itz, died Wednesday at his home in Amherst after a lengthy illness. He was 89.
“Whether he was making winning plays on the field, taking excellent care of our student-athletes on the sidelines, or cheering them on from the stands, Doc epitomized UB Bulls pride and spirit,” Tripathi said.
Born in Buffalo, Dr. Gicewicz grew up in Black Rock and graduated from Technical High School. He was fluent in German and Polish, and enlisted in the Army after high school. He was stationed in Japan after World War II.
After his brief stint in the service, he returned home to attend UB, where he was a standout in football, basketball and baseball. He was a two-year captain on the football team and, in 1951, was named a Little All-American. He graduated in 1952, and continued on at UB to earn his medical degree in 1956.
In 1961, Dr. Gicewicz opened a private practice in Buffalo. Besides working as a coroner in Erie County for 20 years and plant physician at General Mills and Pillsbury, he served the community as an old-fashioned doctor who made house calls to his patients, including those from his old Black Rock neighborhood.
Family members recalled stories of him stitching up people on a kitchen table and of patients paying their bills in fish, corn or other produce. He continued his practice into his 70s.
Dr. Gicewicz enjoyed gardening and Dixieland music and was particularly proud of his Polish heritage. He liked hosting family and friends, and was known for his ability to tell stories and emcee. He was elected to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, and for more than 25 years kept stats in the Buffalo Bills press box alongside friend and Bills play-by-play man Van Miller.
But his heart was never far from UB.
He served as the football team's physician for 27 years and on the UB Council for 16. He was past president of the UB Alumni Association, as well as the UB Medical Alumni Association. He held appointments as an assistant professor of clinical surgery and assistant professor of clinical orthopedics. He was founder and first medical director of the University Sports Medicine Institute, which continues today.
In 1966, he was elected to the UB Athletics Hall of Fame, which 40 years later would be renamed after him in recognition of his financial contributions to UB athletics. His alma mater would award him with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1977, the Samuel P. Capen Chancellor's Award in 1978 and the UB President's Medal in 2013.
Besides his wife of 64 years, the former Connie Marx, Dr. Gicewicz is survived by two sons, E. Richard and Gregory; three daughters, Suzanne, Julie and Alicia; a brother, Michael; and 11 grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.