Cover photo for Dr. Dominick F. Grimaldi's Obituary
1931 Dr. 2021

Dr. Dominick F. Grimaldi

May 29, 1931 — November 29, 2021

White Plains

Father. Husband. Friend. Physician. Dominick Grimaldi was all of these, and yet the labels seem too small to describe the enormous personality of the man. And words seem too small to describe the enormous hole in our world that has been left by his passing. But we can make a start with the broad outlines:

Dominick Grimaldi lived a full and remarkable life. He was born in 1931 in a small village in Calabria, Italy. His family immigrated to the United States in 1936, when Dominick was 5. His father, Antonino, worked as a tailor, and Dom grew up in Astoria, Queens, playing stickball and trying to stay out of trouble with the nuns. He was a true New Yorker, graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School (1949), followed by a short stint at Cooper Union (he chose medicine over engineering), followed by Queens College and CUNY School of Medicine (1957-1960). He completed his residency in ophthalmology at Saint Vincent's Hospital (1957-1962). Dominick was a great lover of film, literature, and culture, and he became involved in local theater. He was also a warm and funny man who attracted friendships. It was during this period of his youth that he made lifelong friends who stood by him for every success and hardship to come.

After training at a hospital in the Twin Cities (where he decided that he most definitely did not want to keep obstetrician’s hours), Dominick returned to New York, completing his ophthalmological residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital under the famed Ramón Castroviejo. Dr. Castroviejo’s secretary was a stunning single mother named Aurea. Dominick married her in 1963.

The family moved to Bayside, Queens, and with patience and dedication, Dominick proved himself to be a true father to Aurea’s daughters, Diana and Aurra (née Joan). Over the course of the next decade, Dom and Aurea had three more children, Tony, Christina, and Laura.

In the meantime, Dominick started his own ophthalmological practice in the Vermeer Building on 7th Avenue, close to St. Vincent’s, where he retained surgical privileges. He was a much beloved physician, known for his kindness and patience. Within the family, he was known for the battalion of old lady cataract patients who were half in love with him, plying him with homemade gifts during the holidays. Dominick maintained the same practice until his retirement, in 1998.

Aurea died of a very quick moving cancer in 1990. Her death was shattering to Dominick and the entire family. Nonetheless, life carried forward. After closing his practice, he returned to New York City from New Jersey (where the family relocated in 1976) and enjoyed a satisfying retirement, spending part of each year in Calabria when he was still able to travel, taking great pride in his thriving vegetable garden there. He became a grandfather for the first time in 2004 with the birth of John Grimaldi, born to Tony and his wife, Anne, then twice more, with the births of Dominick and Raphael, born to Laura and her husband, Abe. This period was also marked by tragedy, with the death of his daughter, Aurra, in 2012.

As time progressed, Dominick needed a great deal of help with his daily activities, and he moved to an assisted living facility in White Plains, near to his daughter, Christina. There, he acquired the nickname, “the politician,” because he was so kind and garrulous. He died peacefully.

Dominick is survived by his children, Diana, Tony, Christina, and Laura, and his grandchildren, John, Dominick, and Raphael.

These are the broad outlines of the life of Dominick Francis Grimaldi. To fill in this sketch of his life, we would be honored if you would share some of your memories of Dominick on the Tribute Wall. Humor is very welcome.

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