Dr. Walter Edward Pleban, age 76, passed away on February 14, after a short illness in Bridgeport Hospital, surrounded by his family and friends.
Born May 22, 1937, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and a resident of Huntington, he was the son of the late Francis and Julia Kumor Pleban.
Walter is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Sandra Kaminsky Pleban. He will be greatly missed by his three children, Dr. Lisa A. Pleban and her spouse Susan Ward of Saratoga Springs, NY, Wendy Grabarz and her husband Robert of Huntington, and Joel Pleban of Stratford. He also leaves behind three cherished grandchildren, Kristen Grabarz, Stephen Grabarz, and David Pleban. He is survived by his brother Thaddeus of Macomb Michigan, and several nieces and nephews.
He was a member of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Stratford. He was a 1954 graduate of Fairfield Prep, the first of three generations. He matriculated at Fairfield University, where he was a member of the freshman basketball team, graduating in 1958, and remaining a dedicated Fairfield Stags basketball fan for the rest of his life. He graduated from the University of Louvain Medical School (Belgium).
He completed his rotating internship at Bridgeport Hospital, as well as his residency in surgery under the Chairmanship his mentor, Dr. Andrew Panettieri. His residency was interrupted when he was called to serve in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, receiving the rank of Captain. Walter returned home to practice medicine in Stratford and Bridgeport for over 40 years and established the Pleban-Duerr medical practice.
During his tenure at Bridgeport Hospital, Dr. Pleban distinguished himself by his genuine passion to help his patients and by introducing treatment modalities that would improve their care. He was one of the first physicians to use intravenous hyper alimentation treatment through central venous catheter after it was introduced by Dr. Stanley Dudrick. He was instrumental in developing the Connecticut Burn Center.
As a member of the Board of the Connecticut Burns Foundation, he provided support to the Center that distinguished it in the Northeast. Clinically Walter dedicated himself to the most difficult of surgical cases, including difficult to heal wounds, and was a constant educator on complex wound management. One of his last professional accomplishments was his role in the establishment of the Bridgeport Hospital Wound Center.
Throughout his career, he was an exemplary surgeon and educator with the highest integrity and genuine humbleness. He was well-loved and respected by his patients and colleagues for his compassionate care and his teaching.
An avid sports fan, Walter was passionate about watching the New York Giants and Yankees. His “Doc’s Roundtable” basketball booster group celebrated his Stags, and he closely followed high school basketball. He enjoyed gardening, vacations fishing with his wife and friends, as well as hosting poker games and picnics. His greatest two joys were his family and practicing medicine.
Family and friends are welcome to attend calling hours between 3-9 pm on Monday, February 17th at St. John’s the Baptist Orthodox Church at 600 Silver Lane in Stratford. A Panachida Service will be held that evening at 7 pm. A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday the 18th at 10 am at St. John’s Church at 600 Silver Lane, Stratford. Interment will follow at St. John’s Cemetery in Monroe.
Those desiring to remember Walter may make a contribution to The Connecticut Burns Care Foundation, St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church at Silver Lane, or the Fairfield University Lyons-Lademen Athletic Fund.
The Adzima Funeral Home 50 Paradise Green Place Stratford has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements.
For more information or to make an on line condolence please visit www.adzimafuneralhome.com.