LONGMEADOW, MA – Nicolas N. Abourizk, M.D., 61, beloved husband of Robin (Hoffman) Abourizk, died peacefully at home surrounded by the love of his family on September 14 after four & a half years of enduring Early-Onset Fronto-Temporal Dementia (FTD). Formerly a resident of West Hartford, CT and Newton, MA, he was born on January 19, 1952 in Beirut, Lebanon to the late Nasri and Salwa Abourizk. Nick earned a BS (double major biology & chemistry) from the American University of Beirut (AUB) & was also a graduate of the Faculty of the School of Medicine at AUB. He completed an internship & residency in Internal Medicine, also serving as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at the AUB Medical Center. Nick arrived in Boston to complete a Fellowship in Diabetes & Metabolism at Joslin Clinic, Joslin Diabetes Center & New England Deaconess Hospital in conjunction with a Research Fellowship in Diabetes & Endocrinology at Harvard Medical School & Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After a brief stint as Attending Physician at AUBMC, he spent over 22 years as the Director of the Diabetes Care Center at Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center (SFHMC) in Hartford, also taking on the responsibilities of the Section Chief of Diabetes & Endocrinology for the majority of that time, with an appointment as Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University Of Connecticut (UCONN) School Of Medicine. The capstone of his career was returning to Boston to work for Partners Health Care with double appointments as Chief, Division of Endocrinology & Diabetes at Newton-Wellesley Hospital & Senior Physician, Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
Nick was Board Certified in Internal Medicine as well as Endocrinology and Metabolism & also was a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He thrived on the variety of work that his professional appointments provided in the realms of administration, clinical practice, research & teaching the next generation of physicians. Major research interests included developing & studying a novel triangular model of diabetes care & its outcomes; heterogeneity of Type 2 Diabetes; discovery of Hemoglobin Saint Francis, a new B-chain hemoglobin variant; atypical diabetes in African-Americans; & outcomes of intensive insulin therapy for inpatient diabetics. Nick’s findings & observations resulted in a professional biography of over 50 publications including original articles, abstracts, and editorials in such prestigious journals as Diabetes Care and Endocrine Practice. He authored a chapter in Kozak’s Clinical Diabetes Mellitus & was very proud to be invited to be a contributor to an edition of the seminal reference book Joslin’s Diabetes Mellitus. Nick was not only a brilliant physician but a compassionate doctor and was widely respected and loved by his staff, patients, & colleagues. His talent & skill for public speaking were legendary, & he was a sought-after lecturer for both professional and lay audiences & for media appearances.
The number of awards & professional recognitions Nick received for his work were many but a few that he especially valued were: first physician inducted in the American Diabetes Association’s (CT Affiliate) Diabetes Hall of Merit; Preston Award for Excellence in Teaching at UCONN’s Internal Medicine Residency Program; National Committee for Quality Assurance (CCQA) Certificate of Recognition for Delivery of Quality Diabetes Care; Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Service to SFHMC & for Excellence in Teaching & Clinical Practice; recognized as Outstanding Physician of the Year by Boston Magazine.
Even with all the professional achievements, Nick always said the best days of his life were his wedding day, the days his two sons were born, and the day he became an American Citizen. He was a modern-day Renaissance man who loved reading literature; watching movies & theatre productions; discussing politics & history; getting inspiration for cooking from the Food Channel; listening to jazz; learning about & enjoying wine; working in the yard; completing the NYTimes crossword puzzle in ink; & napping on Saturday afternoons. He greatly enjoyed travel & loved exploring new places with his family in locales from Sedona, AZ to Paris.
Above all else, he was a man that loved & cherished his family. In addition to his wife, left to mourn his passing are his sons, Nasri of Longmeadow, MA & Michael of NYC; in Lebanon brothers Nakhleh and Nadim, sister Vicky Fawaz and their spouses; 5 nephews & 1 niece; & a loving extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins in Lebanon & across the US in particular the “NJ Cousins.”
The family would like to thank Dr. Brad Dickerson of the MGH FTD Unit & Dr. Carey Dash & staff of the East Longmeadow office of Baystate Health for excellent, compassionate medical care. Nick’s Baystate Hospice caregivers were truly angels on earth & we offer our heart-felt gratitude to Chaplain Carol Schulte & Home Health Aides especially Gerri, Angela, Karen, Zulma, Elizabeth, Casey and Maria. Our deepest thanks to the Head Angel, Brenda Curry, RN.
Calling hours will be Monday, September 23 (2-4 PM & 7-9 PM) at Cochran Funeral Home in Hackettstown, NJ with a funeral mass on Tuesday September 24 at 11 AM in the Elevation of the Holy Cross Eastern Orthodox Church, also in Hackettstown, with internment to immediately follow at Union Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held in West Hartford tentatively scheduled for Saturday, November 2. In lieu of flowers, donations in Nick’s memory may be made to the Baystate VNA & Hospice, 50 Maple Street, Springfield, MA 01103 or the Comstock Caregiver Respite Program, Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, Radnor Station Bldg #2, Suite 320, 290 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, PA 19807. Full details can be found at www.cochranfuneral.com.
October 18th, 2013 5:14 pm
Dear Robin, Nasri and Michael
I am totally shocked to learn of Nick's passing. We were classmates at the AUB in the medical school and graduated together in 1976. He was one of the smartest students in our class. His hard work and knowledge was an inspiration to all of us.My heart goes to you during these hard times. Please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of Nick.
Mark, Caroline and Megan McNally
October 1st, 2013 12:38 pm
We could never adequately express our sorrow at Nick's passing. I know we all thought we would be able to spend more time together in retirement and grow old together. My girls will suffer for having been deprived of Nick's company as they become adults but I will always smile when I think of how I would remind Meg on her birthday that it was Uncle Nick's birthday, too and she would say "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. You don't have to remind me every single year!" See you in November. Mark, Meg and Caroline
Colleen Smith Hughes
September 24th, 2013 10:25 am
I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time and the days ahead.
Love and hugs,
Maureen Tierney Hibbard
September 22nd, 2013 2:23 pm
What an impressive man you married. Our world has certainly lost one of it's best. God must have needed a very special angel to do some very special work for him in heaven & he chose your Nick. May he rest in peace and may you be comforted with the many happy memories you've made together. Please also offer my condolences to Nasri & Michael. God bless you all.
Bill (William) Atweh
September 21st, 2013 11:49 pm
People like Nicolas come into one
September 21st, 2013 12:21 pm
Dear Robin, Nasri and Michael, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Dr. Abourizk (that is how I called you when I first met you at St. Francis Hosp as a resident in Internal Medicine in 1999), may you rest in peace. Nick, you shaped my future and my career and thanks to you I went to Endocrinology. You were and will always be my role model. You taught me diabetes, endocrinology, love for medicine, art, music, Lebanese history, Fairuz, Abdallah Chahine and a lot lot more. You always talked about Robin, Nasri and Michael when I saw you at St. Francis. I was very lucky to meet Robin years later when you moved to Massachusetts. Abdallah and I treasure the wonderful evenings that we spent together in Boston and at our house in Lowell. Nick will always live in the hearts and lives of the many people he touched. Sincerely, Rajaa Nahra and Abdallah Tannous
September 20th, 2013 7:49 pm
So sorry to hear about your loss. Linda
September 20th, 2013 7:22 am
My deep sympathy goes out to the Abourizk. I am so sorry this happened. May you find comfort and hope in Revelation 21:4 where God promises to end suffering and death forever. "And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
September 19th, 2013 8:48 pm
My deepest sympathy to you and your sons. Janice has kept me updated over the past few years since Nick's diagnosis. Have thought of you both often. Cheryl
Rami, Eliane and Hind
September 19th, 2013 11:32 am
Dear Robin, Nasri and Michael. Please accept our deepest sympathies and condolences on the passing of our beloved cousin. May he rest in peace and may his soul be in heaven.
Sincerely, Rami, Eliane and Hind Abourizk.
Dr. and Mrs. James Ragland
September 19th, 2013 9:11 am
We remember Nicola and all his family so well during the days he wss a student at BBS. How proud we are of him and grateful we are for all he has done in the field of medicine. He has touched many lives. Our prayers are with all of you here in the US and there in our beloved Lebanon.
Hoda Haidamous Abdallah
September 18th, 2013 3:35 pm
May he rest in peace.. my condolences to the family in the States and in Lebanon.
September 18th, 2013 12:48 pm
Dear Robin , Extending deepest sympathy, for you and your family in your loss. And, hoping, too, that comfort and peace may come to you.
September 18th, 2013 10:55 am
Robin, Michael and Nasri,
We send our deepest sympathies and warmest condolences for the passing of our dear Nicholas. He was a light and a beacon to many in the family with his grace, intellect and accomplishments. We will all miss him.
Hoda Haidamous Abdallah
September 17th, 2013 4:53 pm
Sorry for this great loss of Dr. Nick. My condolences to his family in the States and in Lebanon. May he rest in Peace.
AKRAM MIKE ZOGHEIB
September 17th, 2013 4:38 pm
GOD REST HIS SOUL IN PEACE MY CONDOLENCES I AM SURE HE IS IN A BETTER PLACE
September 17th, 2013 3:17 pm
Mike & Family, My deepest condolences. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Stella Montoya (Christina's mom)
September 17th, 2013 2:47 pm
To Robin, Nas, and Michael: I attended College with Nas at SMC (I was the girl that drove him home a couple of times), I know that this is a time of loss that seems unbearable. But I found comfort when I lost my mother (at age 14), I was told that God is a gardner and he picks the most brightly colored and beautiful flowers from his garden - I truly believe that your father/husband, Nicolas, was a bright and beautiful flower. My Thoughts and Prayers are with you at this time. I prayed to my mother, to keep an eye out for Nicolas, and to help to guide him in his new journey.
Maya and ramzi
September 17th, 2013 2:13 pm
Dear Robin ,Nasri and micheal, nadim nakhle and viky please accept our sincerest condolences on passing of ur beloved husband. Father. And brother may he rest in peace , may the wonderful memories of dr nicholas remain with u forever . He will be in our prayers always . sincerlely , maya and ramzi abou rizk
September 17th, 2013 11:03 am
Dear Robin and Family,
Sending my sincere condolences to you all at this very sad time. Dr. Abourizk was always such a pleasure to work with when planning community programs, so kind and patient, and always so giving of his time. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Know that your Saint Francis family is thinking of you and grieving with you.
Jessica Sutton (Maiden Name Hirth)
September 17th, 2013 9:54 am
I was a dietetic intern at UConn the last year that you were the internship director. I graduated the program in 2006 and I currently work at Saint Francis Hospital. I just wanted to send my thoughts and prayers your way. I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your husband.
September 17th, 2013 8:41 am
my condolences go out to you Salwa and to the family. May he rest in peace! He is in a better place now.
September 17th, 2013 8:36 am
Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your father. I remember him kindly from our times at Wolcott and Sedgwick. May he rest in peace and his memory stay with you and your family always. I wish you comfort and love with family and friends in this time.
September 17th, 2013 8:05 am
Dear Robin,Nasri,and Michael, it is an Endless Burn in our Hearts and Unacceptable To Believe such an Endless Pain. Nick was So Special to All of us and we have so much of Loving memories with him which will last forever.May God help us all to accept the will of God. My Sincere Condolences and Prayers. Sheckri Dagher
Dr. Tony Morgan and Linda Mackay
September 17th, 2013 7:52 am
Robin, Nasri, and Michael, Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with you all. Nick was more than a professional colleague, as Tony always considered him his close friend. We treasured our friendship and can remember enjoying dinners together at your home in West Hartford. Our families have both been through a lot. The degree of caring and attention you all provided for Nick is a reflection of the same degree of caring and attention he gave to his profession and ALL his patients. He was a one of a kind physician, husband, father and friend.
Frank and Sue Hazelton
September 17th, 2013 6:02 am
We are so sorry for the loss of your husband. Our prayers are with you and your children, and your family and friends.
September 16th, 2013 8:42 pm
I am so sorry. Please accept my deepest condolences in the passing of your beloved father. Even though the pain of his loss is unbearable, he suffers no more and for that, we are all grateful. May the wonderful memories of your father remain with you forever, cherish them in your heart, enjoy the old photographs, share the good times and know that he now watches over you from above. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as you move through this very difficult time in your life.
September 16th, 2013 8:05 pm
So sorry at the loss of my former, exceptionally bright student whom I had the privilege of teaching him biology at Beirut Baptist School, where he excelled. He always told me he was going to become a physician, especially when we started the chapter on human physiology. A couple of yrs before his graduation from high school, he told me that he might have changed his choice & study law, but I told him he would be making a mistake! Anyway, later in life, I heard he was practicing medicine in America!
My deep condolences to his immediate family in the US & his family in LEB, friends, & classmates. May he RIP.
Mr Hatem (as he knew me)
September 16th, 2013 4:16 pm
Dear Robyn, Nasri, Michael, Nakhle, Nadim and Vicky,
Please accept our sincerest condolences on the passing of your beloved husband, father and brother. While growing up, I remember Nicholas as the pride and joy not only of his parents and siblings but of all the extended family that looked up to him and his pioneering achievements in medicine at AUB at later in Boston.
May he rest in peace and may his loving memory stay with you always.
Henry & Barbara Dagher
September 16th, 2013 3:22 pm
To Robin, Nasri, and Michael:
You took such loving care of Nick and surrounded him with so much love during this ordeal. This is such a horrific disease that requires so much courage and compassion from the families as well as strength and purpose. You bravely met all those requirements and more.
May you have peace in your hearts that Nick only felt the love you gave and never the anguish that this disease can cause.
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