A memorial service for John Marcellus Tortora will be held on Saturday, May 3, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Cemetery in Southampton, with a reception to follow. Dr. Tortora, of St. Petersburg, Florida, and a summer resident of Southampton, died on December 26 in Playa del Rey, California, after a short illness. He was 92.
Born February 21, 1915, in Brooklyn to Adele (née Farina) and Gasper Tortora, he grew up in Cambria Heights, Queens, and in Brooklyn, where he attended New Utrecht High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in New York and a doctorate from Long Island College Hospital School of Medicine in Brooklyn, and completed his internship at Brooklyn Hospital.
Before completing his residency, also at Brooklyn Hospital, he attended the U.S. Army School of Aviation Medicine. A member of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he achieved the rank of major in the fledgling U.S. Army Air Corps, serving as a flight surgeon from 1944 to 1946 during World War II.
Dr. Tortora went on to practice obstetrics and gynecology for more than 50 years at Brooklyn Hospital, Franklin General Hospital in Franklin Square—where he lived from 1955 to 1998—and Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, delivering more than 10,000 babies during the course of his career. In addition he was an associate professor at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and New York University Medical Center. He also mentored visiting medical students from Fatima College of Medicine in the Philippines.
A member of the board of directors for the Colony Club of Southampton Shores, Dr. Tortora enjoyed boating, gardening, woodworking, reading and golf. He was also a member of Our Lady of Poland Church in Southampton.
He is survived by four daughters, Judith Tortora of Maryland, Lynn Tortora of Scarsdale, Karen Tortora of Virginia and Patricia Tortora of California; a brother, Walter Tortora of Ohio; a sister, Olga Lent of New Jersey; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and nine nieces and nephews.
His wife of 63 years, Dorothy Marion Kaufmann, predeceased him in 2007.
Cremation was private. In lieu of flowers, donations to Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, 386 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 or Sister Mary Alice Hannan at Desda’s Grate, 192 Mayflower Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801 would be appreciated by the family.