ALBANY – Charles Leo Poskanzer, M.D., 96, passed away peacefully at home on March 15th with his wife by his side. Born June 25th, 1920 in Albany, he was a graduate of Albany High School, Cornell University and Albany Medical School.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as a M.A.S.H. surgeon in the Korean War and returned home to Albany to practice gynecology. He served as Medical Director for Child’s Hospital for many years and then as the Chief Medical Officer with the U.S. Department of Defense until illness forced his retirement in 1998. Over the course of his long career, he demonstrated his dedication to the medical profession and his community by serving on numerous boards and executive committees including those of Albany Medical College, Albany College of Pharmacy, Child’s Hospital, Bender Laboratory, American Cancer Society, the regional Boy Scout Council and the Health Systems Agency. He held a faculty appointment at Albany Medical College from 1949-1985. He also served as the President of the Albany County Medical Society, Cornell Club, the Optimist Club service organization and the Fort Orange Stamp Club.
A longstanding advocate for women’s health, he was the Medical Director for the regional Planned Parenthood for 25 years. He also provided medical commentary on local television news broadcasts in the 1980s in his role as Public Relations Chairman for the Albany County Medical Society and served as an advisor at the local and state level for the Medical Assistants organization. In addition, he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Charles enjoyed several hobbies throughout his life. He was a member of several local and national philatelic organizations and turned his love of stamp collecting into a small business for 30 years. His love and knowledge of American Jazz music, especially of the Big Band era, was readily apparent to friends, colleagues and family, as he would play both familiar and rare selections from his extensive record and CD collection. He was pleased to reminisce and help classmates coordinate occasional reunions for the Albany High School class of 1938. He had an incredibly sharp mind, with a broad base of knowledge and talent for trivia games, shows and crossword puzzles which he enjoyed daily and an irrepressible sense of humor, which was on display regularly.
He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 42 years, Eleanor T. Poskanzer, his children Sarah Poskanzer Fuller, Richard Paul Poskanzer (Shelbie Jasper); Michael Poskanzer and Judith Poskanzer.
His family extends their appreciation for the excellent medical care provided by his physicians, Drs. John Rosenberger and Kevin Costello of the AMC Internal Medicine Group.
At his request, there will be no public services.
Those wishing to honor his memory are asked to make donations to:
The Charles L. Poskanzer Library Endowment Fund
via the Albany Medical College Alumni Office
47 New Scotland Ave., MC-5, Albany, NY 12208.
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