Robert Hentschel

Obituary of Robert Elliott Hentschel

Robert Elliott Hentschel died at the age of 86 on Monday, September 7, 2020 at United Helpers Senior Care in Ogdensburg, NY. Born and raised in Ogdensburg, NY, Dr. Hentschel graduated as valedictorian of his high school class at Ogdensburg Free Academy. He then went on to complete his undergraduate degree at the University of Rochester. After earning his medical degree in 1959 from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Bob completed his surgical internship and residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was during his time at St. Vincent’s Medical Center that he met his wife of 60 years, Lanne Kraynick, an emergency room nurse. Upon completion of residency, he then served as Captain in the United States Air Force and Chief of the Department of Surgery at Hunter Air Force Base in Savannah, GA. He then returned to St. Vincent’s, where he was an assisting attending surgeon. In 1969, Dr. Hentschel moved his family back to his hometown of Ogdensburg, NY. There he opened his own surgical practice, where he practiced for nearly 50 years. In addition, he was the chief of surgical services and the Chief of Medical Staff at Claxton Hepburn Hospital. Throughout his time in practice he was involved in several local and state medical organizations such as the Ogdensburg Rescue Squad. In 1989, Dr. Hentschel became Regional Medical Director of NY State Department of Corrections. He worked with leading national experts of infectious disease to develop a protocol for treating prisoners infected with HIV/AIDS. When he retired from his surgical practice in 2004, he worked part time at the Rev. Thomas T. Patterson Wound Healing Center until 2016 when he finally made his retirement official. He was a beloved hometown physician who loved his patients and his staff, and no problem was too big or too small for Dr. Hentschel. Bob demonstrated his love of the community of Ogdensburg through his service on the Boards of the Boys/Girls Club, St. Lawrence County Automobile Association and the St. Lawrence Power Squadron. He also served as President of the Board of Trustees of the Frederic Remington Art Museum for several years. Dr. Hentschel had many hobbies and interests. He was a woodworker, and he also loved to build things such as televisions, computers and clocks. He developed a love for the St. Lawrence River as a young boy, and he enjoyed it by waterskiing, boating, and piloting his own airplane over the river. He and Lanne moved to a home on the St. Lawrence in 1984 so they could enjoy the river every day. Dr. Hentschel had many passions, and his greatest was his love for his wife and family. He was the ultimate family man. When his children were young, he took a month off every summer to take them on a family boat trip. As his family grew, his love and involvement with them grew exponentially. His grandchildren called him “Bob” and received his undivided attention and interest. He is survived by his wife, Jolanne (Lanne) Kraynick Hentschel, his children, Susan H. Tully (Tom) of Yardley, PA; James E. Hentschel (Juliet) of Bloomfield Hills, MI; Kathleen H. Stewart (Don) of Charlotte, NC; William R. Hentschel (Mary) of Niwot, Colorado; and his grandchildren, Tom and Katie Tully; Elizabeth and Jacqueline Hentschel; Emily and Will Stewart; and Adelaide Hentschel. He was predeceased by his parents, Robert A. Hentschel and Kathaleen Farley Hentschel. A private memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 10th. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Frary Funeral Home, Ogdensburg. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bob’s memory to Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Foundation, 214 King Street, Ogdensburg, NY 13669, the Morristown Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 4, Morristown, NY 13664 or the Frederic Remington Art Museum, 303 Washington Street, Ogdensburg, NY 13669.
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