Dr. John K. Duffy

Pioneer in Audiology, Dies at 93

After earning his Ph.D. in 1949 at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Duffy began his career by establishing the first academic audiology program at Brooklyn College in New York. He also established one of the first audiology and speech pathology centers at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He was in charge of the Audiology and Speech Pathology Department at Kings County Hospital where his college students received their clinical training and where the patient load embraced every hearing and speech disorder.

On a Fulbright Scholarship at the invitation of the Indian Medical Association, Dr. Duffy traveled throughout India and set up the first hearing and speech centers and he brought many Indian students to the U.S. for training.

In the 1960s a Rubella epidemic in NY resulted in hundreds of babies born hard of hearing. At Lenox Hill Hospital Dr. Duffy was among the first to place hearing aids on infants, followed up by long, intensive therapy so that residual hearing could be utilized. Many of these children entered public schools, sought higher degrees and were able to function in the hearing world.

Dr. Duffy was among the first to sound the alarm against the overuse of antibiotics in young children with middle ear infections leading to ossified layers of the infected matter, resulting in hearing loss.

He was among the first to strive for the ending of too early surgery on cleft palate children, creating scar tissue in the palate thereby stunting the natural growth of the upper jaw. A temporary plate to cover the cleft allowed the jaw to develop naturally.

At several cerebral palsy centers that he served he gave the gift of hearing to many disabled children and taught some of the most severely handicapped to communicate by using the Morse Code with the eye lids.

During WWII, as a civilian, he was part of the Army Communication Center at Yale University. From there, he served in a military hospital, treating soldiers who returned from the war with hearing losses due to bombardment damage.

After, retirement he spent the rest of his career promoting a reading program for young children ( His professional passion was his intense conviction that all children should be taught to read, beginning in pre-K. The fact that millions of our children in this nation cannot read, he believed, is an unforgivable crime.

One of his most notable students was Dr. Maurice H. Miller, professor at New York University, who said: "Dr. Duffy was a unique, colorful, master clinician. He could relate easily, comfortably and immediately to patients of all ages with a wide range of communicative disorders. He influenced generations of students who were the beneficiaries of his extraordinary clinical talents."

Dr. Duffy died at home after several strokes. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, of 66 years, his son Dr. David Duffy and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter, Jane.

Dr. Duffy felt that one of the greatest decisions of his life was that he and his wife choose to live in Port Washington since 1952.

Pamela Brooke Weisz

Pamela Brooke Weisz, resident of Stamford, CT, passed away April 2, 2007, at the age of 30. She had lived with cerebral palsy since her birth, Feb. 13, 1977. She died peacefully from complications of bilateral pneumonia. She was the loving daughter of Shari and Sandy Weisz, and sister to Justin and Nicole.

Pammy went through the Stamford public school system, and participated in the Changing Images day program, run by St. Vincent's Special Needs Center in Bridgeport, CT. Although she had severe limitations, Pammy lived at home with her family, and received loving care from her caregiver, Winsome Richards. She enjoyed listening to music and the company of others.

The funeral service was held on April 5 at Temple Beth El, Stamford. To celebrate her life, the family requests that any memorial donations be made to United Cerebal Palsy.

Myrna H. Turtletaub

Myrna H. Turtletaub, of Port Washington, died on April 7, 2007 after a courageous six-year battle with lymphoma. She was 72 years of age. A graduate of Port Washington High School, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University and was an art teacher in Valley Stream and Port Washington.

The daughter of the late Irene and Dan Horowitz, she is survived by her husband Sheldon Turtletaub; her children, Bruce and JoAnna Turtletaub, Amy and Dan Greller, Susan Turtletaub and Deanne Sullivan; and grandchildren Kenneth Nathan and Katelyn Brooks Greller.

Myrna was an active artist, well known on Long Island. She participated in many shows and was a member and past president of the Graphic Eye Gallery and a member of the Port Washington Library Art Advisory Council. She belonged to the Port Washington Garden Club and previously served on the board of the Port Washington Children's Center.

The family requests that donations in her honor be made to a charity of your choice, and to further honor her memory, try to make someone smile. Logo
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