Pasquale Ciaglia, M.d., F.a.c.s.
Nates, J. Pasquale Ciaglia, M.d., F.a.c.s.. The Internet Journal of Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine 2001 Vol5N2: [www.icaap.org/iuicode?126.96.36.199]
After reading obituaries and listening to some rather fanciful eulogies, the deceased decided that he himself would write his own obituary and eulogy. It is entitled "Obitulogy".
After reading obituaries and listening to some rather fanciful eulogies, the deceased decided that he himself would write his own obituary and eulogy. It is entitled “Obitulogy”.
On the 23rd day of the 5th month of 2000*, Pasquale (Pat) Ciaglia, at age 88 somewhat reluctantly, returned to the Eternal Oblivion from whence he had come on February 18, 1912. For the last few years there had been, as Mark Twain once lamented, somewhat exaggerated reports of his death; but this was due mainly to wishful thinking on the part of a few of his colleagues.
Pasquale (Pat), the only offspring of the late Egidio Ciaglia and Clementine Perillo Ciaglia, was brought up until the age of 10, in Manhattan on East 116th Street between Second and “Told” Avenue. This was an Italian Ghetto, but a high-class one, since the trolley cars passed through the street. At the age of 11, he and his family escaped to Utica, New York.
Pasquale, or “Pat”, went to the local Utica schools and then to the only nearby college at that time - Hamilton College. His attendance at that institution, a fraternity infested establishment in those years, was marked by a degree of anonymity never equaled before or since. Following his graduation from Hamilton in 1933, and later from New York Medical College, he completed an internship of one year at Crouse-Irving Hospital in Syracuse, followed by a three and a half year residency in chest medicine and chest surgery at Sea View Hospital in Staten Island, New York City. Immediately on completing his residency, Pat entered the U.S. Army and served for three and a half years during World War II. Fortunate enough to survive his first 10 months in the Army, assigned to the 2nd WAC Training Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, he went overseas to England for six months with the 48th General Hospital. Later, in France, for over 2 years, he was lucky enough to meet and marry a beautiful, wonderful, French girl, Jacqueline. For over fifty years, she was truly his better three-quarters and was the main reason he regretted leaving this life.
In 1946, with the untiring help of his wife Jacqueline, he opened an office in Utica and practiced the art of chest surgery for forty-five years before going into semi-retirement. For most of these years, he had the never failing help and support of Jeanne Howlett Chicault, the best of all mothers-in-law, mothers, and grandmothers, and always the love and never failing support of Jacqueline.
Attached to this typescript is a very long list of organizations to which Pat never belonged, never wanted to belong, and was never asked to belong.
Pat was proud of very few things. One was the fact that he did not send unpaid patient bills to a Collection Agency. Neither were the wages of a non-paying patient ever garnisheed.
With Nancy Cooper, he led the Utica march against the Vietnam War - when it was very unpopular to do so. He also grew a beard in protest. The war ended, but the beard lingered on. He wore it in lieu of that bourgeois symbol of social servitude - la cravate!
Pat was a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, the American College of Surgeons, the Central New York Academy of Medicine and also the New York State Medical Society. In his semi-retirement, he had been appointed Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse. He had practiced chest surgery in all the hospitals in Utica but in the last many years he worked mainly in St. Elizabeth Medical Center where he belonged to the Franklin Club and was an Elizabethan. He always had the greatest admiration and respect for the selfless love and devotion of the Sisters of St. Francis in their work with all kinds of patients.
Pat is survived by his beloved wife, Jacqueline, and cherished daughter, Patricia Hague and son-in-law, Steve, of Cohasset, Massachusetts and by first cousins Dr. Vincent de Lalla, Jr. of Utica, and two Camaroto first cousins in New Jersey.
Pat wanted to be cremated. He often recited some lines with Robert Lewis Stevenson and Omar Khayyam in mind:
Under the wide and sunny sky,
Light the pyre and let me die.
Spread my ashes in some garden site,
To help a rosebud bloom full bright.
And his own last thought:
Long and lucky was my life,
Because of Who became my Wife.
She was indeed my Better Half,
For of our Life She was the Staff.
Would that I had been to Her
What She has been to me.
*The date was added after Dr. Ciaglia’s death
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