Obituary of Dr. John T. Comerci, Sr. MD
Dr. John T. Comerci, Sr. MD, of Mantoloking (former longtime resident of Short Hills), died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. He was 90.
John was born in Newark on October 14, 1929 to the late Giacomo and Josephine Comerci. He was raised in Newark in a loving family, the seventh of eight children. Growing up in the difficult depression era of the 1930’s greatly influenced and affected John for the rest of his life. He valued all that he had in life, and especially what education and hard work afforded him.
John was tremendously proud of his Italian-American heritage. He always remembered the fact that his family immigrated to the US with very little and through hard-work and diligence built a comfortable life for their children and encouraged all eight to advance through further education and to seek professions which they loved.
John began his college education early at the age of 16, when he was enrolled in Rutgers University. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers he advanced to Purdue University for his graduate studies. It was at Purdue that John made the decision to become a physician. He graduated from Temple University Medical School and went on to complete his internship and residency in OB/Gyn at St. Michaels’s Hospital in Newark, NJ. Following his residency, he served as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy for two years before his honorable discharge.
On October 26, 1956 John was married to his beloved wife, Geraldine Doris Comerci (nee Failla). The couple settled in Short Hills where they raised their family and were longtime parishioners of St. Rose of Lima Church.
John was an old-style obstetrician and meticulous surgeon who was highly regarded by his patients and his peers. John was the consummate physician: caring, compassionate and extremely capable. His gentle and calm demeanor was always reassuring to patients and staff, especially in high stress situations. John had a storied career at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ. Dr. Comerci delivered the very first baby at Saint Barnabas in 1964, when it opened in Livingston after moving from Newark. He delivered that baby's baby in 1998, also at St. Barnabas.
In addition to delivering multiple generations of patients, he worked throughout his career to arrange for the introduction of mothers that had to give up their babies for adoption with mothers unable to have children of their own. John trained generations of medical students and residents and was a superb teacher. He was considered a professional “father” to many doctors for his dedicated mentorship.
Despite John’s frequent calls out at any given time due to his profession, he was a wonderful, devoted father and husband who loved his family deeply. John loved music, was a talented flutist and occasionally played the accordion (much to the consternation of his then teenaged children). He had a sweet sense of humor and had an enthusiastic love of Italian food. His grandchildren will remember not only his deep love for them and pride in their accomplishments, but his stories, silly rhymes and “watching Poppy shave”.
John was an easygoing, likeable gentleman who could strike up a conversation with anyone with great ease. He was an advocate for those less fortunate and would give a stranger in need the shirt off his back.
John leaves behind an incredible legacy from his well-lived life. John’s good heart, warmth, genuine character, dedication to his profession, and unending love for his family & friends will always be remembered.
In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by his siblings, Concetta, Frank, Carmella, Angelo, James, Nicholas & George. He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Geraldine Doris Comerci (nee Failla) of Mantoloking; two sons, Dr. John T. Comerci, Jr. and his wife, Susan of Pittsburgh, PA & Dr. Thomas Comerci and his wife, Jennifer of Philadelphia; one daughter, MaryBeth Nuovo and her husband, Thomas of Burlington, VT; eight cherished grandchildren, John Thomas Comerci III, Alexander James Comerci, Anna Marie Comerci, Giuliana Concetta Nuovo, Sophia Elisabette Nuovo, Giovanni Luca Comerci, Carina Alessandra Comerci & Giacomo Tomaso Comerci; many loving nieces & nephews; and dear colleagues & friends.
Due to the Comerci family’s concern for everyone’s well-being, visitation and funeral services for John will be held privately for his family. Interment will be held privately at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover. Arrangements are in care of the Madison Memorial Home.
A Facebook link is provided below with a video clip of John on his 90th birthday this past October:
Charitable contributions may be made in John’s memory to Unico National Italian American Service Organization or Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark
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