- Our Firm
Dr. Laszlo Otto VinczeSeptember 21, 1929 ~ March 30, 2017 (age 87)
Sadly, my father, Dr. László O. Vincze, M.D., passed away the morning of March 30, 2017 at approximately 9:20am ET after a long, tough battle with Parkinson's Disease. He leaves his wife of 60+ years, Marianne, 3 children, Christopher, Monique and myself, 4 grandchildren, Gabrielle, Kyle, Eva and Chiara, and 1 great grandson, Harlan. His younger brother, Bela, also passed away just a few weeks ago. It's been a tough year for the Vincze family.
My father was a man who loved life. He was a classic "work hard, party hard" kind of man. In his younger years, before the ravages of diabetes and Parkinson's kicked in, he loved to host big parties with my mother. He would enthusiastically preside behind his massive bar mixing killer drinks -- Beefeater martini's, straight-up with an olive was his favorite -- with great music, laughter and animated conversation resonating throughout our home.
As the designated door greeter and coat-checker at the time, I remember these parties vividly as a young, wide-eyed kid growing up in the mid to late 60's. Guests, usually fellow physicians or professors and their elegantly dressed wives (with some engineers, business people and an occasional classical musician) -- all seemed to share heavy accents in English from one language or another. Of course, there was the usual, large Hungarian contingent, but we had people from all over the world, and, of course, an occasional American or two!
As the evening wore on, the conversations, and especially the laughter would get progressively louder and louder. This was due, in no small part to my father's powerful martini's and the free flowing wine. My parents were generous hosts, whose mission was to ensure that every guest would have a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable evening. Each party was a celebration of life. That's the kind of man my father was. He loved life.
He chose to be an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) because it was the medical specialty that brought life into the world. As a child, my father had seen and experienced a lot of tragedy and hardship as many of his generation did -- losing his father at the age of 7 and being sent off to boarding school in Transylvania at the age of 8, surviving World War II and then the Russians and the Communists, and then risking everything to come to America in search of greater opportunity and freedom after being tipped off that he was going to be arrested by the Communists for breaking martial law during the Hungarian Revolution in November 1956. His alleged crime -- crossing the border into Vienna, Austria to get more penicillin to treat the wounded revolutionaries to save their lives. He was then and always remained a physician dedicated to his Hippocratic oath to save patients' lives.
Yes, my father survived a lot and built a wonderful life through his intellect, hard work and dedication to the practice of medicine. Avid travelers to Europe, Mexico, Arizona and South America, he and my mother both would often and regularly say, "The United States is the greatest country in the world."
His favorite meal: A thick, juicy steak, medium-rare with a baked potato, savored with a deep, bold, but silky smooth French cabernet, followed by a smooth cognac. An avid skier and tennis player, he also loved the water, sailing, and the beach -- and, of course, anywhere there were bikini's!
He had twinkling, mischievous blue/green, sparkling eyes and a warm, sincere smile. In the summer, he sported a deep, dark tan. For most of his life, he was the picture of good health.
An accomplished student his entire life, he received his medical degree from the University of Budapest in Hungary in 1954.
He chose to leave everything behind and escape Communism in 1956 after the Hungarian uprising in Budapest, Hungary, narrowly eluding arrest at the Peterfy City Hospital and escaping to the Austrian/Hungarian border in an ambulance. His fiancé, his brother, his fiancé, and her brother took the train to the border and then crossed into Austria successfully to meet him.
The rest, as they say, is history -- a remarkable history -- and a classic American immigrant story. Reunited with his fiancé, brother and friends, my father and mother, my Uncle Bela and Aunt Agnes were married in a double ceremony on December 8, 1956, a day after my mother's birthday. My father, a handsome 28-year old physician and his beautiful, 22-year old, young bride, a former fashion model in Budapest, made their way to the promise of a new life in the United States of America. Armed with only 100 words of English that he learned from a Webster's Dictionary on the U.S. Army military transport flight that carried him and his now pregnant young bride on a bumpy, nauseating ride over the Atlantic, he and my mother landed safely despite one engine catching fire on the way, at what was then a U.S. Army airfield in Newark, New Jersey in May of 1957. (Yes, yours truly, was born 4 months later -- literally the product of a revolution!) And so, the American chapter of the life of Dr. László O. Vincze, M.D. began.
After a two-week stay in New Jersey, eating mostly "ham and eggs" as this was one of the few words in English they could say, László and Marianne made their way to Boston, Massachusetts. He listened to the advice of his medical school classmate, Dr. Géza J. Jakó, M.D., who wrote to my father suggesting that Boston was a great place for physicians. Truer words were never written nor spoken. [Dr. Jakó himself became an internationally acclaimed physician, who sadly passed away on November 1, 2015.]
With tireless work and study, my father became a leader in his field, first, conducting two years of research at the Massachusetts General Hospital in gynecology, endocrinology, and cytology. From 1959 until 1962, he trained further in obstetrics and gynecology at Boston City Hospital and University Hospital in Boston. Moving to Melrose in 1964, he was named Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in 1977. A medical visionary, who put patients welfare above all else, he led the way in implementing the most progressive, family-centered care using the most modern technology available at the time. He became an internationally acclaimed and respected leader in his field and a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society and the American Medical Society, a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics-Gynecology, a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopists, the American Society of Colposcopy, the New England Obstetrical-Gynecological Society, and the Pan-Pacific Surgical Association.
Dr. Vincze was loved by his patients. They came to see him from all over the world. He was a leader in innovation, being one of the very first physicians in New England to use sonograms and laparscopy for gynecological procedures. He was a clinical professor of medicine at Boston University Medical School. To his last days, former patients, to include two who ironically became his nurses, one at the Mt. Auburn Hospital Emergency Room and one at the nursing home where he died, swore he was the very best doctor they ever had. His reputation transcended decades and generations. He truly cared about his patients.
He was a man who demanded excellence from himself and his children, setting the highest of standards -- for all of the best reasons.
We will miss him...a lot.
We will miss...
• the annual Father/Daughter lobster lunches that my sister Monique and he shared at his
favorite spot in Ogunquit, Maine followed by a nice walk along the ocean
• the many memories of our ski trips together as a family when we were kids and being woken
up "way too early" with bright lights turned suddenly on by this energetic father demanding
to get to the slopes exactly when the lifts open
• going to car shows and jumping in every car and truck
• playing grueling tennis matches and then celebrating with a nice, cold frosty beer
• the annual delicious Christmas dinners that my brother Chris and his family would host for
him and my mother
• co-celebrating his birthday on every September 21st with his youngest grandchild, his
• celebrating Father's Day at a favorite steakhouse restaurant with great wine
• going to the North End and enjoying a wonderful Italian dinner
• and, Yes, we will even miss arguing in the car about directions, about the weather or about
most anything else even though we may have had all of the right information!
We will miss these and so many other moments and memories. We will, indeed, miss everything about you, Papi.
Affectionately known as, "Dr. Laszlo" by the nursing home staff, "Laz" to his American friends, "Laci" to his Hungarian friends, "Dr. LOV(E)" to my mischievous lawyer friend from Virginia, "Papi" to his children, "Nagypapi" or "Papa" to his grandchildren, and simply, "Dr. Vincze" to his patients, he was a man whom we will honor and remember as a great man, a true doctor in our family for generations to come.
Sharing the same birthday as my daughter, Chiara, we will always celebrate his memory and his life.
Rest in Peace, Papi. You have earned it. Enjoy Heaven with your brother, Bela, your parents, Margit and Laszlo, your dear aunt and Godmother, Ire, and all of the many family and friends, who loved you so very much.
With enduring love, now and forever, your eldest son and entire family -- we are so, so proud to be the sons, daughter, wife and family of such an accomplished physician and such a good, good, decent man. We love you, and salute you. Imadluk! Cheers...here's to you in Heaven!
L. Stephan Vincze & The Vincze Family
April 2, 2017
Vincze, Dr. Laszlo O. of Charlestown, formerly of Melrose March 30, 2017. Age 87. Beloved husband of Marianne (Magyar). Devoted father of L. Stephan & his wife Kathy of Boston, Christopher P. & his wife Janet of North Reading, and Monique V. of Medford. Dear brother of the late Bela Vincze & his wife Agnes of PA. Loving grandfather of Gabrielle, Kyle, Eva, and Chiara. Loving great-grandfather of Harlan. A private interment for Dr. Vincze will be held at a later date & time. Memorials in the name of Laszlo, can be made to “The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research” P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741 or at www.michaeljfox.org
All condolences and gestures of sympathy may be mailed to:
The Family of Dr. Vincze, 587 Winthrop Street Medford, MA 02155
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown MD 21741-5014