HMC Founding Physician is Recalled Fondly

521f78c7b734f8ba1857_226960131184d5d3c027_obit.jpg
Dr. Albert Bernard Accettola Credits: Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services
521f78c7b734f8ba1857_226960131184d5d3c027_obit.jpg

READINGTON, NJ - Dr. Albert Bernard Accettola – a founding physician of Hunterdon Medical Center – passed away peacefully in his home in Readington recently.

Accettola was more than just a physician. He was a surgeon, a gentleman farmer, professor and antique afficianado.

Accettola was born in New York City in 1918, a son of the late Vincent and Rose Andriola Accettola. He is survived by his daughter, Dr. Judith Hendricks (Keith Hendricks), and his son, Dr. Albert Accettola, Jr. (Iris Accettola).

Sign Up for E-News

Dr. Accettola was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Rose Accettola and by his son, Paul Accettola. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Richard Hendricks (Amanda Hendricks), Alison Accettola (Nolan Yamashiro), Pamela Tornabene (Paul Tornabene), Andrew Accettola (Ruchi Shah Accettola), Jeanne Kestel (Joe Kestel), and Casey Tuths (Matt Tuths); and four great-grandchildren, Wyatt Hendricks, Paul Tornabene, Jude Kestel, and Kian Accettola.

A 1940 graduate of Wagner College and 1944 graduate of Boston University Medical School, Dr. Accettola held a private practice in Staten Island. Prior to that, he held positions at Staten Island University Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, Marquette University and Hunterdon Medical Center, where he was a founding doctor of the orthopedic department.

He also taught orthopedics as an associate clinical professor at New York University, and was the orthopedic surgeon to all athletic teams at Wagner College from 1949 to 1987. A fencer during his undergraduate years, Wagner College wrote about Dr. Accettola saying, “Whether with a saber in his hand or a scalpel, Al Accettola has been a gift to Wagner sports.”

Dr. Accettola was a member and past president of the Richmond County Medical Society, a past president of the Medical Board of Staten Island University Hospital, and an active member of the New York State Medical Society, serving on numerous committees.

In 1987 Dr. Accettola retired to his 90 acre farm in Flemington where he remained busy and active with farming, antique restoration and enjoying time with children and grandchildren.

The first recipient of Wagner College’s Alumni Service Award, he was an inductee of Wagner's Athletic Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the Wagner College Lifetime Achievement Award. He was an emeritus trustee for life of the Wagner College Board of Trustees, on which he served from 1981 to the present. As was written about him when he received the Lifetime Achievement award, “…we are honoring him today, not for his achievements and distinguished service to so many, but for who he is – a man of civility and compassion in a world sorely lacking both.”

Dr. Accettola also received a citation for 35 years of service at New York University School of Medicine. He has been honored by many other organizations, including the Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island and the Board of Trustees of Staten Island University Hospital for 25 years of distinguished service.

Dr. Accettola's professional accomplishments were many, but he was most known for his gentleness, humanity and humility. All those who knew him will certainly be living embodiments of his legacy by spreading love and forgiveness to all. Simply put, Albert Bernard Accettola, M.D., was a man who was “kind” to all those he met.

He delighted in hunting for deals at antique shows and spent many happy hours in his workshop, refurbishing antiques as gifts to his family. Dr. Accettola immaculately maintained his beloved farm and his family cherishes memories of him happily working on the property in his blue coveralls. Dr. Accettola remained a voracious reader until his 99th and final year; even when his eyes had failed him, he still consumed several audio books each week.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Jack O'Kane on Saturday, July 29 at 1 p.m. in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 105 Summer Road, Three Bridges, under the care and direction of Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 38 Rt.  31, Flemington. Everyone is kindly asked to meet directly at the Church on Saturday at 12:45 p.m.

To those coming from the New York area, please be advised that there is a large Balloon Festival in the area on Saturday, so please check traffic reports and leave ample time to get to Church.

Following Mass, the family extends an invitation for friends to join them at Dr. Accettola's farm for a time of refreshments and fellowship from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. For those using GPS systems, please use 143 West Woodschurch Road, Flemington 08822 as the address.

Funeral home staff will be present to assist with parking when you arrive at the farm.

Cremation at the Chapel of Ewing Crematory in Ewing was private.

Please visit Dr. Accettola's permanent memorial site at wrightfamily.com to send a public or private message of condolence and to share stories and photographs of his life.

In lieu of flowers and in appreciation for Dr. Accettola's love of medicine and teaching, those wishing to do so may make a contribution in his memory to the Family Residency Program at Hunterdon Medical Center, c/o Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation, 9100 Wescott Dr., Suite 202, Flemington 08822.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Flemington/Raritan

Reiner's Conservative Hypocrisy

June 22, 2018

To the editor,

Regarding the recent TAPinto article that quoted Raritan Township Committeeman Lou Reiner about a possible marijuana dispensary being located in his town, I crack up every time he opens his mouth and plants his pseudo-conservative foot in it.

According to the article, this staunch conservative Republican who blathers about the importance of personal freedoms every chance he ...

Reiner Doesn't Speak for Township Committee

To the editor:

In light of the recent letter to the editor from Raritan Township Committeeman Lou Reiner regarding his personal opinion on arming school officials, we felt the need to share our views on his statement.

Mr. Reiner took this position as an individual citizen and not in his capacity as a member of the Township Committee. We wholeheartedly disagree with the notions of arming ...

Trump Border Policy Wrong, Counterproductive

To the editor:

As an educator and a child-advocate, I have been at the forefront of the immigration debate over the past decade. And while I have always advocated for a comprehensive solution, I never thought any opposing plans were morally wrong; until now!

The Trump policy of separating children from their parents at the border is morally wrong and counter-productive from a public ...

A Man of 'Deep Pockets, Sterling Character'

To the editor:

At a meeting of Flemington Borough Council earlier this year, Mayor Phil Greiner described Jack Cust as a man of “deep pockets and sterling character.” He seemed to be attempting to justify his basis for selecting a new redeveloper, after the first two selected by a committee he was part of, or led, failed at the project. Initially the project was to find someone to ...

End 'Gun Free Zones,' Harden Soft Targets

To the editor:

In response to the Governor's recent signing of legislation restricting law-abiding gun owners to 10 rounds of ammunition and rejecting calls to address the uneven playing field existing vis-à-vis some single mom alone with her child fending for herself against some armed assailant packing who knows how many rounds is something a Politburo thug would appreciate! The ...

Voter Turnout in Raritan Township

To the editor,

We want to share our admiration for all of the Raritan Township residents who came out to vote in the June 5 Primary Election. Additionally, we want to say "thank you" to our Democratic supporters for their votes.

As we look to the General Election on Nov. 6, we reflect on the importance of this election for our children, seniors and all those in between as we ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Flemington Public Library, Flemington

Coding Camp at Mediatech

Education

Tue, June 26, 9:00 AM

Flemington Public Library, Flemington

Coding Camp at Mediatech

Education

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Reiner's Conservative Hypocrisy

June 22, 2018

To the editor,

Regarding the recent TAPinto article that quoted Raritan Township Committeeman Lou Reiner about a possible marijuana dispensary being located in his town, I crack up every time he opens his mouth and plants his pseudo-conservative foot in it.

According to the article, this staunch conservative Republican who blathers about the importance of personal freedoms every chance he ...

Driver, Runion, Giles-McCormick, Kick-Off Campaign

June 19, 2018

FLEMINGTON, NJ — Borough Mayor candidate Betsy Driver and Borough Council candidates Chris Runion and Caitlin Giles-McCormick have joined their campaigns in advance of the Nov. 6, 2018 election.

Since winning her campaign to become a Borough Councilperson, Betsy Driver has already passed resolutions to get Council meetings streamed live and videotaped for later viewing; a tuition credit ...