Dr. Richard Griffin Lennon died on Sunday, September 8, at Southampton Hospital. He was 74.
Dr. Lennon was born on January 8, 1939, in Jersey City, New Jersey, to George and Catharine Lennon. He was raised in Weehawken before pursuing his premedical degree at Hamilton College, where he was an honors student and a member of the All New York soccer team.
Upon graduating from Cornell University Medical College in 1964, he completed his internship at Bellevue Hospital. While an intern, he was recruited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and spent two years as an epidemic intelligence service officer. Discharged as a lieutenant commander, he returned to New York and completed a glaucoma fellowship and ophthalmology residency at the Harkness Eye Institute of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
In 1970, Dr. Lennon joined the practice of Dr. Paton and Dr. Bronson at Southampton Eye Physicians and Surgeons, where he became a partner. He brought the first effective ocular laser to Long Island in 1971 and was elected to the American Eye Study Club.
As chief of surgery at Southampton Hospital, he was instrumental in establishing the Outpatient Surgical Department in 1987, and was elected president of the medical staff and served 16 years on the board of directors of the hospital.
Southampton Hospital President and CEO Robert Chaloner said of Dr. Lennon, “The Southampton Hospital family mourns the passing of our colleague and friend. During his long service on our medical staff, he always strove for the best patient care and until the end of his life maintained a strong interest in the affairs of the Hospital. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.”
A stroke in 1998 left him with partial paralysis and he turned his interests to investing and writing poetry.
He was an avid golfer and a founding member of Southampton Golf Club as well as a fisherman and a poet.
Dr. Lennon is survived by his wife of 47 years, Nancy Newell Lennon; and three children, Laura, Richard Jr. and Allison, all of the East End. In addition, he is survived by a sister, Lorraine and husband Dennis Coe of Arizona; and several nephews, nieces and cousins.
Visiting hours, on September 11 at the Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton were followed by a funeral service at the funeral home officiated by the Reverend Mike Vetrano.
Memorial donations may be made to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978 or Southampton Hospital, 240 Meeting House Lane, Southampton, NY 11968.