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Dr. Ronald Halweil 

Thu, 08/10/2023 - 12:16

June 21, 1942 - May 30, 2023

Dr. Ronald Halweil, a doctor at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary for 50 years who had a private practice in New York City and Bayonne, N.J., died at home in Southampton on May 30. He was 80. The cause was glioblastoma. 

"He treated and cared for tens of thousands of patients over the years in New York City, Bayonne, N.J., and beyond," his family wrote.

Dr. Halweil, who was called Ron, was born in Brooklyn on June 21, 1942, "a steamy summer solstice afternoon," to Herbert Halweil and the former Claire Krivitsky. "He grew up near Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and attended primary, secondary, and graduate schools within a few miles of his birthplace," his family said.

He received his medical degree at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, completed his internship at Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital in New York, and was selected for a special general surgery residency program at the Queen's Hospital in Honolulu. He then returned to New York City for his ear, nose, and throat and facial plastic surgery residency at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, where he was chief resident. 

He opened a private practice in Middletown, N.Y., where he served the community for many years. 

In January 1974, he married Meri Konecky, with whom he had two children, Brian and Erika. Dr. Halweil shifted his practice to New York City and Bayonne in the 1980s. He continued to teach residents at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary throughout his medical career, until retiring in 2019 at the age of 78. 

"He always thought teaching was a great joy and honor," his family wrote. "He took great pride in participating in the long tradition of sharing the surgical and medical wisdom he had acquired. Ron never stopped exploring the miraculous nature of health and disease."

Dr. Halweil was a lifelong learner. "As a young boy he scoured the shelves of his local library, consuming books on physics, biology, history, and philosophy," his family said. He published several articles and books, including "Eat This: If We're So Smart, Why Do We Gain Weight and Get Sick?" and a memoir, "Fifty Years a Doctor: The Journey of Sickness and Health, Four Plagues and the Pandemic." He also painted, wrote poetry, made jewelry, and enjoyed photography. 

He "loved to swim, hike, explore, and forage in natural settings: making tea from the flowers of sumac trees and herbs from his garden, picking berries, and sharing mustard greens and other vegetables that he grew. He was a lifelong fisherman, putting fish on the table for family and friends, whether fried snapper fillets, herring, milt and roe, striped bass, bluefish, or anything else he pulled out of the sea, including sea vegetables and greens," according to his family.

Among his favorite fishing spots were Towd Point in North Sea and the Shinnecock Inlet, as well as beaches from Southampton to Montauk. 

He fell in love with the island of Jamaica in the 1970s and would take family and friends there every year "to experience the incredible and soulful island lifestyle, filling his days and nights with fruits and vegetables, warm, tropical air, music and dance, and loving, welcoming people," his family wrote. 

He "had great reverence for the importance of family and love, and considered them indispensable to good health. He believed in the power of healing through a balanced lifestyle: healthy eating, regular exercise, proper rest, and time in nature." 

Dr. Halweil is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Meri Halweil, his two children, Brian Halweil and Erika Halweil, both of Sag Harbor, and their spouses, Sarah Halweil and Corey DeRosa. He also leaves a sister, Thoughtful Israel of Arlington, Wash., and his grandchildren, Milla, Clio, Cyrus, and Neelu, as well as nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.


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