Dr. Bertram Kertzner of Huntington was fondly remembered by his family as a dedicated physician and co-founder of the Huntington Medical Group.
Kertzner, an internist, was one of 10 doctors who opened the medical group on Pulaski Road in 1958, which offered care in gynecology, pediatrics, internal medicine, radiology and surgery.
Kertzner, 98, died of pneumonia on April 22, relatives said.
“My father was a man who was dedicated to his career in medicine and helping the sick. He was a pioneer back then,” said Kertzner’s daughter Nina Tanenbaum of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Kertzner’s family said that before he helped launch the medical group, he and other physicians rented a home in Huntington and used it as an office. Kertzner was one of two internists working there.
“Those were the days of house calls,” Tanenbaum said. “One of them would do the house calls while and the other would stay in the office.”
Kertzner worked at the medical group until age 77, said daughter Suzanne O’Connor of Huntington. He then volunteered at the Dolan Family Health Center in Huntington, where he worked periodically until his 80s, O’Connor said.
“His medical practice was his life other than his family,” she said. “He was a very caring doctor.”
The Huntington Medical Group is now the NYU Langone Huntington Medical Group.
Kertzner was born on the Lower East Side and grew up in Brooklyn, his family said. He attended Cornell University later was accepted into medical school at New York University, where he attained membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, relatives said.
Kertzner also served two stints as a naval officer: the first from 1943 until 1946, and a second from 1949 to 1954, when he worked at a naval hospital in Quantico, Virginia. He received a National Defense Service Medal, according to records.
Tanenbaum remembers her father as a voracious reader, an avid consumer of newspapers including The New York Times and Newsday, and someone who stayed active most of his life by playing tennis and swimming at the YMCA.
“Maybe that’s why he lived so long,” she said. “His mind stayed active until the end. He was up on everything going on.”
When Kertzner became a grandfather multiple times over, his family would take yearly excursions to countries such as Costa Rica, Barbados and the Dominican Republic.
Her father’s appetite for collecting stamps on his passport began much earlier. The globe-trotter also visited Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia and several countries in Europe, Tanenbaum said.
O’Connor recalled her dad as a “gentle and caring father” with a strong social conscience.
Peter Kertzner of Acton, Massachusetts, said his father loved camping and boating with his children.
“He taught through words and by example to his three children the importance of honesty and personal integrity,” he said.
A memorial will be held Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the M.A. Connell Funeral Home, 934 New York Ave., Huntington Station. His family requested contributions be made to an environmental charity.
In addition to his children, Kertzner is survived by grandchildren Rachel O’Connor of Portland, Oregon; Michael O’Connor of Austin, Texas; Natalie Kertzner of Arlington, Massachusetts; Lauren Tanenbaum of Brooklyn; and Jason Tanenbaum of New York City; and a great-granddaughter, Millie Hoppenstedt of Brooklyn.
Kertzner is predeceased by his brothers, Leonard Kertzner of Brightwaters, and Stanley Kertzner of Hempstead.