01 Toccata and Fugue in D Minor This is the long overdue eulogy for my husband Alan H. Weigand, MD. A copy will go to Grove city College, Jefferson Medical College, Temple University Law School, UMDNJ, and all our friends on Facebook. The psychiatric panacea of denial lasts a few months but eventually the pounding of reality must be recognized. Alan died on June 26th, 2013 after a long illness. He was born in Sacramento, California on February 16th 1934 to Kathryn Edmiston and Harvey Weigand.
He is survived by his wife, Tina, the writer of this Eulogy, two daughters, Kathryn and Angela, who he affectionately named Princess 1 and Princess 2, his 2 sons-in-Law, Jeffrey Seltmann and Neill O’Reilly, his 4 grandchildren, Emily Seltmann and Reagan, Aine and Niall O’Reilly, his sister Sharon Powell and her husband Gerry, and his nieces Laura and Tami.
These two pictures were on his desk for at least 25 years.
Angela went on to play the Harp.Some of his most joyous
moments came after hauling her harp to her performances
and listening to her play.
Kathryn joined in on occasion but, like her mother,
if it doesn’t come instantly find something that will!.
As a child Alan moved frequently since his father was involved in building the St Lawrence Seaway and similar projects around the United States.
Despite the constant upheavals he was consistently voted, “ the most likely to succeed”.
Graduation from Grove City College led to his career in Medicine. Because of his outstanding accomplishments in Organic Chemistry, he was awarded the honor of Cum Laude and invited to 4 medical Colleges, no application necessary.
He chose Jefferson Medical College and graduated in 1958.
Always in pursuit of more knowledge he picked the specialty of Legal Medicine and started Law School at Temple University.
It wasn’t until his children were born that he decided to return to Medicine to take a residency in Rehabilitation Medicine at Albert Einstein in NY City so he could be home by 4:30 to spend more time with his family.
He and his wife shared a successful private practice in Ho-Ho-Kus , and Ridgewood, NJ.
He was quickly promoted to Head of the Department at UMDNJ , the medical school in New Jersey, and was nationally recognized as the “Best Electromyographer on the East Coast”.
He was very comfortable with needles and numerous wires.
His children called him “Wires Weigand”
He found his medical niche as Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine. He trained the young doctor residents to detect neuro-muscular diseases and institute possible therapies .
His patients in the Spinal Service and the Wounded Warriors thrived under his care.
Despite unspeakable tragedies and deformities his genuine love for all of them, his clever wit, gave them the strength to overcome their difficulties and stick to their rehabilitation exercises with great enthusiasm.
Rather than crumble under the devastating effects of wars and accidents his patients came alive with his sense of humor, and humility.
His love for his patients made him very popular helping thousands of patients.
His legacy came with his nephew, Tom Valenti. Although he was very fond of his brother Nick and sister MaryAngela Valenti, Tom went on to fill his Uncle’s Rx . He created The Ortho Remedy with his wife Maureen.
Today his children are carrying on this great tradition.
Tom claims my father, Grandpa Nick, was his other inspiration. Grandpa saw that Tom was very successful and entrepreneurial at a very young age. He created his own business while working on cars on the week-ends and after school.
Grandpa was very proud of him but did not like getting his hands dirty.
That’s when he asked Alan to direct him to the right school and the rest is history.
Alan was Tom’s inspiration to specialize in Prosthetics and Orthotics and today he enjoys one of the most successful practices in the US, located in Cliffside Park, New Jersey .
Tom says” what I admired about Uncle Al was his honesty and his sense of humor.
It’s that sense of humor that helps these patients start to heal!”
Tom adopted that same style of humor lifting the spirits of some very tragic cases …a true humanitarian like his uncle.
Tom…..He was so proud of you and he’s still gloating!
His dog Pinot Grigio. the canine tenor, was his musical partner.
Whenever Alan played he would accompany him loudly and proudly.
Pinot was an IG or Italian Greyhound.
He preferred the Italian Opera to Bach but never missed an opportunity to show off.
Alan felt his greatest contribution to the world were his two daughters. He was completely involved with their lives.
During his long illness just the sound of their voices gave him extra time.
A very proud day when he danced with Angela at her wedding. He was very fond of Neill when he invited us to lunch and announced that he wanted our daughter’s hand in marriage. Parents still love that old-fashioned touch.
He was disappointed when he was unable to dance with Kathryn at her wedding and was comforted with his picture with Emily while reading an Italian book.
Alan, “The Renaissance Man “continually amazed all of us with his genius. He spoke several languages including the Sicilian dialect so he wouldn’t miss anything.
He loved Italy, particularly Sicily,a climate which was reminiscent of his growing up in California.
Italy provided his insatiable quest for the Arts, Music and Architecture. His appreciation of Italian culture extended all the way from Federico Fellini to The Godfather on TV.
He resisted the move to Florida for many years. Once there he didn’t want to go up anymore.
And “Pinot would freeze up North”!
He was an accomplished musician. He wrote music, played the piano the violin and the accordion.
His love was the Hammond Organ. Watching his 6 ft 1 presence tapping the foot pedals was quite a site. He filled our home with Bach’s Fugues, roller rink specials, Neapolitan sing-a longs, as well as every Sesame Street tune which the children enjoyed immensely.
Christmas carols were something else. He started around October and went well into the next year.
After work and on the week-ends the girls and their friends would assemble
in that huge music room overlooking the lake in HoHoKus. (Click on the picture and enjoy old memories)
He supplied each of them and their friends with an instrument, or noise maker, and they danced and sang and filled our home with great happiness as he played their favorite tunes.
I know Alan is forever embedded in their memories with the many performances and happy times he created at our house in HoHoKus, NJ.
Alan’s death has been a life-changing loss. His Energy lives on in that mysterious
“Al Di La”…
I know him very well. I’m confident that he is spending his time with Beethoven, Bach, Irving Berlin and smiling patiently at us as we try to figure it all out.
Constance Alfano-Weigand, MD
April 17, 2014