Leonard J. Bristol M.D. passed away peacefully at home on October 22, 2016 after having lived 97 wonderful years.
Leonard was born in New York City on April 28, 1919, the oldest of four children of the late Harry and Mary Deighan Bristol. He grew up in Peekskill, NY working in his father’s grocery store, and in 1937 he graduated from Peekskill High School. He received his pre-medical education at New York University and in 1944 was awarded his Doctorate of Medicine from Long Island College of Medicine. In that same year that he married Virginia (Ginny) Gallagher at Immaculate Conception Church in Irvington-on-Hudson, NY. In November 2015 they celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.
Prior to coming to the Adirondacks he was appointed LTJG in the U.S. Navy. He served as Assistant Radiologist at the National Naval Medical Center, U.S.A. Navy Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland. He was also a full-time Fellow in Radiology at The Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore, MD. In 1949 he became the Director of the Department of Radiology of the Trudeau Institute, Inc. At that time he moved from Baltimore with his wife and growing family, first living inside the gates of the Trudeau Sanatorium, later in Saranac Lake and for the last 38 years in Rainbow Lake.
In addition to serving at the U.S.A Navy Hospital, his professional appointments as Radiologist included those at Saranac Lake General Hospital, later known as the Adirondack Medical Center, Will Rogers Memorial Hospital, Saranac Lake, NY; Placid Memorial Hospital, Lake Placid, NY; Alice Hyde Hospital, Malone, NY; Community Hospital, Elizabethtown, NY; and US Air Force Hospital, Plattsburgh, NY. He was Director of the Trudeau School, Trudeau Foundation, Saranac Lake, NY. He was a consulting Roentgenologist at the former Sanatorium, Gabriels, NY and Stonywold Sanatorium, Lake Kushaqua, NY. He served as Supervising Radiologist at the Saranac Lake Rehabilitation Guild X-Ray Training School and as an instructor in Radiology at The Johns Hopkins University Medical School. He was appointed Special Consultant to the Division of Occupational Health, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. in connection with the study of health problems in the asbestos industry and other studies of pulmonary diseases, and was a certified reader of coal workers chest x-rays by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Public Health Service.
Dr. Bristol was a Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology and a Member of the American College of Radiology, American Medical Association, the Radiological Society of America, Eastern Section American Trudeau Society, Franklin County Medical Society (of which he served as President 1965-1966), a Life Member of the Medical Society of the State of New York, the Saranac Lake Medical Society, Associate Member of the Baltimore City Medical Society, Baltimore, MD (1948-1950) Charter Member of the Northeastern New York Radiological Society and member of the New York State Chapter of American College of Radiology.
In 1950 Dr. Bristol was initiated into the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Saranac Lake Lodge No. 1508. He became very active in that fraternal organization and served as Exalted Ruler for the Lodge year 1956-1957. He went on to serve as Lodge Trustee for a period of seven years, as New York North District Committeeman for the New York State Elks Association Scholarship Committee 1960-1966 and State Scholarship Chairman 1966-1967. In 1961 he was appointed District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler. He went on to be elected and installed as State President in 1968. His leadership with the State Association prompted his endorsement, election and installation as Grand Exalted Ruler for the year 1978-79. During his tenure as Grand Exalted Ruler he represented the organization and traveled with his wife, Ginny, visiting all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal Zone. In the ensuing years he continued to serve on the Grand Lodge and New York State Elks Association Advisory Boards.
Dr. Bristol served on numerous civic committees in his community. He was an active member in the Rotary Club for over 50 years, as well as served as an officer in differing capacities including President during those years. He was a member for 16 years, presiding for 13 years as President, of the Saranac Lake Central Schools Board of Education. During his tenure he supervised the centralization of the district from several rural schools into the cohesive structure that exits today. Additionally he was an active and contributing member of the New York State Boards of Education.
As a man of great faith he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and a communicant of the parish of St. Bernard’s Church for 67 years.
In addition to his wife, Virginia, he was the deeply cherished father of Noreen and her husband, Donald Oslander of Madison, CT, Kathleen Bailey of Saranac Lake, NY, Dennis Bristol of Durham, CT, Michael Bristol of Middletown, NY, James Bristol of Bartlett, IL, Eileen and her husband Paul Leahy of Saranac Lake, NY ; father-in-law of Sandra Bristol Masci of Middletown, NY, the loving grandfather of Kathleen Ann Bailey, Kristen and David Oslander, Shannon and her husband, Christopher Flatley, Erin Bristol, Ryan and Zachary Bristol, Nicholas and his wife, Natasha Bristol, Jonathan and his wife, Naomi Bristol, Tabatha and Craig Leahy, the treasured great-grandfather of Alexis Smith, Nora and Colin Flatley, Lillian and Ruby Bristol and Virginya Bristol. In addition he is survived by his sister-in-law, Joan Bristol of Peekskill, NY, and thirty four nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son, Kevin, his granddaughter, Carrie Leigh Bailey, his sister, Grace Powers and her husband Jack, and his brothers, Owen and Harry and his wife, Evelyn.
The family expresses sincere gratitude and gratefully acknowledges the exemplary and compassionate care that Leonard received from the physicians and staff of CVPH, Meadowbrook Healthcare, Adirondack Health, HCR, Seaway Valley Ambulance, the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue and everyone on the home care team.
The family will receive friends on Wed. October 26 from 2-4 and from 7-9 at the Fortune Keough Funeral Home 20 Church St. Saranac Lake, NY.
A funeral Mass of Resurrection to celebrate Leonard’s life will be held on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 11 AM at St. Bernard’s Church 27 St. Bernard St. Saranac Lake, NY.
Expressions of sympathy in his memory may be made to the Elks National Foundation or High Peaks Hospice in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuenralhome.com.