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Dr. Paul J. LiBassi, 91, former chief of surgery at St. Joseph Hospital

June 7, 1927 — Feb. 20, 2019

Dr. Paul J. LiBassi, chief of surgery at St. Joseph Hospital in Cheektowaga for 20 years, died Feb. 20 in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 91.

Born in New York City, he was a graduate of Mount St. Joseph Military Academy in Newburgh and Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1947 from the University of Notre Dame, was married to the former Patricia Campbell, a nurse, in South Bend, Ind., in 1950, and completed his medical degree at New York Medical College.

He served an internship and pathology residency at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis and was a track physician for the Indianapolis 500 races.

Dr. LiBassi entered the Army in 1953 and was appointed chief of pathology at the Army hospital at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

In 1954, his wife contracted a severe case of poliomyelitis and was sent to Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Denver. Dr. LiBassi received a compassionate transfer to Fitzsimons and was assigned to the surgical department at his request.

He came to Buffalo in 1955 to undertake a surgical residency at Buffalo General Hospital, where he received a research fellowship from the University of Buffalo and took part in the development of vascular and open heart surgery.

After he began private practice in 1959, he was a staff member at several hospitals. In 1972, he was appointed chief of surgery at St. Joseph Hospital. He retired in 1992.

He was a member of the Erie County Medical Society, the Buffalo Surgical Society, the Buffalo Vascular Society and the medical emeritus faculty at UB. He also was a member of the Cheektowaga Emergency Medical Services Board.

A resident of Clarence and midtown Manhattan following his retirement, he enjoyed sailing, gardening and reading, especially about the history and development of New York City.

He was a longtime Buffalo Bills season ticket holder and attended all four Super Bowls in which the Bills appeared.

His wife, who led the Great Books program for local elementary school pupils and was a director of Channel 4 Call for Action, died in 2009.

Survivors include four sons, Michael, Dr. Mark, David and Douglas; two daughters, Trish and Suzanne; a brother, Joseph; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offeredFeb. 23, in Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Main Street and Harris Hill Road, Clarence.

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