News & Events

Distinguished doctor fondly remembered

January 4, 2013

Backus Hospital’s first vascular surgeon, Anthony D. Tramontozzi, MD, passed away on Dec. 29. He was 82.

A large crowd of colleagues, friends and family paid their respects at Sacred Heart Church in Norwichtown — a church Dr. Tramontozzi frequented and supported throughout his lifetime.

From Bishop Michael Cote to his close-knit family, everyone remembered Dr. Tramontozzi not just as an accomplished general and vascular surgeon, but as a gentle, soft-spoken and gracious man who valued family above all else.

“Despite his competence, despite his knowledge, he was an unassuming, humble man,” Bishop Cote said.

His son, Mark Tramontozzi, MD, spoke about their last Christmas Eve dinner together, and how his father would want them to not dwell on his death, but rather “smile, open your eyes, love and go on.” He also thanked “the entire Backus family for all their support and condolences.”

His daughter, Karen Keene, went beyond his many professional and personal accomplishments — U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, general and vascular surgeon, Backus Medical Staff president, Chief of Surgery, philanthropist – and instead focused on things the public might not know about her father. She talked about him being an avid gardener, a woodworker and accomplished chef who loved to cook Italian meatballs. She also vowed to keep the family tradition of summer barbecues and bocce games going.

Peter Shea, MD, Backus Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, was among a large number of fellow physicians and Backus colleagues who attended the funeral. His memories of Dr. Tramontozzi range from watching him adeptly handle an acute surgical emergency to sitting calmly with patients and their families.

“Dr. Tramontozzi was a pioneer in the field of medicine,” said Dr. Shea. “And he was very involved in our community. He will be sorely missed by many people on a number of different levels. On behalf of the Backus Medical Staff, we offer our condolences to the Tramontozzi family and everyone else whose lives he touched.”

The Backus Medical Staff issued a statement, offering its “heartfelt sympathies to the Tramontozzi Family,” and adding that “Dr. Tramontozzi will be sorely missed for his kind and compassionate demeanor, for his soft-spoken and intelligent approach to issues great and small, his surgical expertise and for his friendship to all of us.”

In his honor, the Backus medical staff contributed to some of the organizations that Dr. Tramontozzi supported, including $1,000 to the Norwich Free Academy Foundation, $2,000 to the Employee Catastrophic Fund and $2,000 to the Backus Office of Philanthropy and Development.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia; his sons, Mark Tramontozzi and his wife, Mary, and Daniel Tramontozzi and his wife, Colleen; daughters Karen Keene and her husband, Parker, Joni Tramontozzi and her fiancé, Bob Carrignan, and Ann Marie Brennan and her husband, David; a sister, Olga Cirillo; and 12 grandchildren. He was predeceased by two sisters, Elena Tarka and Lucy Tramontozzi.