May 5, 1931 – Sept. 8, 2019
Dr. Robert B. Corretore, a family doctor who helped establish the curriculum for the Department of Family Practice at the University at Buffalo Medical School, died Sept. 8 in McAuley Residence in the Town of Tonawanda. His family said the cause was congestive heart failure. He was 88.
Born in Buffalo, he was a 1948 graduate of Amherst High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from North Central College in Naperville, Ill., where he ran on the cross-country team. He also was a member of Beta Beta Beta, the national biology honor society.
He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in zoology at UB and completed UB Medical School in 1956. He was licensed for medicine and surgery.
He served as a Navy doctor, attaining the rank of lieutenant, and was stationed at Chelsea Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Mass.
Dr. Corretore was appointed a member of the house staff at Millard Fillmore Hospital in 1956, was certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners in 1957 and met requirements as resident in internal medicine for the Veterans Administration that same year.
After becoming an assistant clinical professor in the UB Medical School’s newly created Department of Family Practice in 1970, he was instrumental in developing the curriculum. He received the medical school’s Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Distinguished Teaching Award in 1982 and became a clinical associate professor emeritus in 1999.
He was appointed president of the medical staff at Kenmore Mercy Hospital in 1987 and was nominated for the Family Doctor of the Year Award in 1998 by the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. A general practitioner and obstetrician, he maintained offices in Amherst and retired in 1998.
He was a life member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and was honored for 50 years of continuous membership in the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. He had been a member of the Erie County Medical Society for nearly 50 years.
A Town of Tonawanda resident since 1961, he served on the Ken-Ton YMCA Board of Managers, chaired its fundraising campaigns and was awarded the Ken-Ton YMCA Volunteer of the Year Award in 1990.
He enjoyed collecting fossils and went weekly to dig for them at the Penn Dixie Center in Hamburg, where he was a longtime volunteer, helping out with visiting youth groups.
“Most of them, once they find one or two fossils on their own, they can’t get enough,” he told Buffalo News reporter Barbara O’Brien in 2013.
He became certified as a scuba diver in 1978 and enjoyed diving and doing underwater photography in the Niagara River, Lake Erie and the Caribbean. He displayed his underwater photos in the waiting room of his medical office.
An avid cross-country skier and bicyclist, he took part in the Ride for Roswell for many years. He also enjoyed vacationing in Rockport, Mass.
He and the former Eleanor zumBansen were married in 1955. She died in May 2018.
Survivors include a son, Jeffrey; two daughters, Cynthia Martin and Gail Hutten; a brother, Daniel II; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, in Faith United Church of Christ, 1300 Maple Road, Amherst.