Pelham Examiner

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Pelham Examiner

Richard Garvey – April 2

Richard Charles Garvey, 62, passed away on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, surrounded by his loving family. He was a cherished husband, father, grandfather, plastic surgeon, educator, musician and humanitarian. A man of indomitable spirit and boundless generosity, Richard touched the lives of all who knew him, sharing his gifts with friends, patients and strangers alike.

Born in the Bronx and raised in New Rochelle, Richard was the youngest of six children. His sister Valerie, closest to him in age, was born ill with severe facial deformities. Witnessing the world’s response to her condition, Richard was inspired to devote himself to helping people with disfigurements and traumatic injuries look and feel beautiful.

From an early age, Richard became Valerie’s constant companion and surrogate caregiver, measuring her medicine and helping his mother take her to doctor’s visits at Jacobi Hospital – an institution that would become his second home. Medical school may have taught Richard how to treat diseases, but it was Valerie who taught him how to care for patients.

Richard attended Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle and later Columbia University, receiving numerous accolades for his academic achievements. He paid his way through school working at The Pine in the Bronx – his forever favorite restaurant. He went on to graduate from the Georgetown University School of Medicine while serving as class president.

His medical journey continued with five years of general and trauma surgery at Kings County Hospital, where he was awarded the Golden Apple for teaching excellence. He then completed his plastic surgical training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/ Montefiore Medical Center, where he received the prestigious Leo Davidoff Award for Teaching.

As a kid, Richard was told that he wasn’t capable of becoming a medical doctor. That didn’t stop him from becoming Chief of Plastic Surgery at Lawrence Hospital Center and Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, healing countless patients at Jacobi’s Burn Unit and Trauma Center, establishing Plastic Surgery of Westchester – a highly renowned private practice – as well as training scores of future plastic surgeons.

For Richard, being a skilled surgeon wasn’t enough for him nor his patients. He insisted on providing every patient with his personal contact information, buying them meals during their recovery, and ensuring the utmost care regardless of financial circumstances. His generosity extended to his colleagues, whom he loved and supported wholeheartedly.

Despite an extraordinarily busy professional life, Richard was committed to making the most of every minute outside of the OR, helping others in more ways than one. A gifted musician, he gigged frequently with his rock ‘n’ roll band, The Scrubs, performing fundraisers for Operation Smile, victims of natural disaster and other families in need.

Devoted to his family, Richard was the source of unconditional love and sage advice. Days were filled with watching Jets games, playing sports and touring museums, nights were marked by large dinners brimming with warmth and laughter, often requiring extra tables to accommodate his devotion to ordering every item on the menu.

In the face of adversity, including a debilitating stroke later in life, Richard remained steadfast in his commitment to giving back. He volunteered his time at Calvary Hospital helping those most in need, continued rocking out with The Scrubs to raise money and awareness for noble causes, and making lifelong memories with his family and legion of friends.

Richard is survived by his devoted wife, Denise, their three children Kimberly, Joseph, and Nicholas, son-in-law Danny, and his beloved grandson, John Daniel, along with a multitude of family and friends who will forever cherish his legacy of love and immense generosity.

Editor’s note: This obituary was provided by Sisto Funeral Home.

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