Dr. Jack Shiller — pediatrician to generations of Westport Baby Boom boys and girls, co-founder of Willows Pediatrics, and founder of the Westport Weston Health District — died Wednesday in his home in Redding. He was 92 years old.
The Brooklyn native graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1947, and Columbia Medical School in 1952.
Dr. Shiller received the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal for his service in the Air Force as captain of the 47th tactical hospital stationed at Sculthorpe, England.
After training at Bellevue Hospital and The Babies Hospital in New York City, he was board certified in pediatrics.
He established his own private practice in Westport before forming Willows Pediatric Group in 1973 with Dr. Albert Beasley. Dr. Beasley died this past June.
He was active on the staff of Norwalk Hospital, where he started the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and later served as interim chief of pediatrics. He continued academic ties to Babies Hospital as teaching staff.
He was an advocate of equal representation, disease prevention, and education during and after helping to form the Westport-Weston Health District in 1967. It was the first of 20 such districts in the state.
He was named director of the district he formed, and was named the Champion of Immunization by the Governor of Connecticut.
Dr. Shiller was proud of his published works — especially “Childhood Illness and Childhood Injury: A Commonsense Approach,” which helped new parents recognize and treat common childhood ailments and injuries at home. This practical resource remains relevant today.
He is survived by daughter Bethanne McCarthy (husband Steven) of Savannah, Georgia; sons Stephen (Emily) of Ridgefield and son Andrew David (Raaya) of Jerusalem, Israel; brother Marvin (Annie) of Manhattan, and grandchildren Shane, Krystle, Jessica, Matthew, Samantha and Naama.
A graveside funeral service will be held tomorrow (Sunday, January 17), at Mt. Hebron Cemetery in New York. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only immediate family will be in attendance.
In lieu of flowers, donations in the name of Dr. Jack Shiller can be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children.
(Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)