John Valeri, MD

Obituary of John Valeri, MD

John G. Valeri, M. D., passed away on May 21, 2018 after a short illness.  John was 84 years old, a 47- year resident of Basking Ridge, and a beloved physician in the community for over 30 years.  Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Gallaway and Crane Funeral Home, 101 S. Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ.   The Rite of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, 11:00 a.m. at St. James Roman Catholic Church located at 184 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge.   A reception will be held after mass in the chapel auditorium.

John was born Giovanni Gilberto Valeri in 1934 in Pretare, Italy, in the Marche Region, to Domenico Valeri and Fiordoliva Valeri (nee Saienni).   John immigrated to the United States in 1937 at the age of 3, traveling steerage in the liner Rex with his mother, meeting up his father in New York, and settling in Highland Park, New Jersey.  John graduated from St. Peter’s High School in New Brunswick in 1952.  John graduated Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Science in 1956.  

John graduated in the Charter Class of Seton Hall College of Medicine in 1960 with a Doctor in Medicine.   John performed his internship at St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark, Residencies at St. Michael’s and Jersey City Medical Center in Internal Medicine, and Fellowships in Gastroenterology at Jersey City Medical Center in and Seton Hall College of Medicine.   It was at St. Michael’s where John met a nursing student, Ceil Silesia.

John and Ceil were married at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey on September 14, 1963.   After several years of living in South Jersey, Seattle Washington, and again in Newark, John and Ceil moved to Basking Ridge in 1971 to raise their family and open a medical practice.   Ceil was the office manager, and a nurse, for John’s medical practice, which they operated from their home-office on North Finley Avenue in 1973, until they retired in 2007.  

John loved being a doctor, and it was his life-long passion.  John was an old-fashioned doctor.  John always kept current with medical diseases and procedures, and constantly was learning and talking about the medicine.  However, John’s real passion was not simply curing disease, it was treating people.  John took calls from patients at home, he had late and weekend office hours, he visited and managed his patients in the hospital and nursing homes, and he even made house calls.       In 1993, John was named Somerset County Physician of the Year by the Center for Home Health Development, being recognized by the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills.  Simply put, the practice of medicine was not simply about the disease, it was about the people he treated.

The only passion stronger than his profession was his family.  John was devoted to his wife and children and loved to get together with extended family.  Although working nights and weekends as a doctor, John made time to attend his son’s sporting events and scouting activities.   John and Ceil would routinely host family events.  John was always happiest around his family.  

John was an amateur photographer.  John had his own darkroom, and many cameras, and passionately engaged in photography until the later years in his life. 

In addition to having a private practice, John was on the Medical Staff of Morristown Memorial Hospital in both the Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology Departments from 1971 until his retirement.  John also was on the Teaching Staff at UMDNJ.  John was also a Clinical Assistant Professor at UMDNJ, Director of Medical Education at the former All Souls Community Hospital in Morristown, NJ, and an Instructor of Internal Medicine at Columbia University.  John was a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, the New Jersey State Medical Society, the Morris County Medical Society, the New Jersey Society of Internal Medicine, the New Jersey Gastroenterology Society, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the American College of Angiology. 

Prior to moving to Basking Ridge, John served in the United States Navy from 1966-1968 as a Staff Internist and Staff Gastroenterologist at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  John was honorably discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander and won the National Defense Service Medal.  After serving his country, John spent one year in private practice in Seattle, Washington, and then as a full time Head of Employment Health & Executive Annual Examinations at Western Electric Corporation in Kearny, New Jersey.  

Finally, John was a man of faith and was a member of the St. James Roman Catholic Church in Basking Ridge.  John’s faith manifested itself through his devotion to his family and to his patients. 

John is survived by his son, John of Basking Ridge, NJ, and Carl and daughter-in-law Gina (nee Schiaffo) of Lakeland, Florida.  

In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the St. James Men-of-Charity, care of St. James Roman Catholic Church, PO Box 310, Basking Ridge, NJ, 07920, or to the Polk State College Foundation Flight Team https://secure.qgiv.com/for/pscfd/restriction/PolkStateFlightTeam/