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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Dr. Ed Orzac dies at 95
Hewlett Harbor resident founded Franklin Medical Center in Valley Stream
Courtesy Boulevard-Riverside
Dr. Edward Orzac founded Franklin Medical Center, taught at several medical schools and provided free medical care in three countries.

His medical career began shortly before World War II, and didn’t end until the 21st century was beginning. Dr. Edward Orzac, a Hewlett Harbor resident, will be remembered for the many things he accomplished.

Orzac died at home on Dec. 9, after a long illness. He was 95.

Orzac was the founder of the Franklin Medical Center in Valley Stream and helped establish the Orzac Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation there. The medical center is now a 305-bed hospital that is part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. The Orzac Center is a 120-bed long-term-care facility.

Dr. Edward Davison, former chief of cardiology at Franklin, described Orzac as a leader who always thought about those who worked there. “He cared for the doctors at the hospital,” Davison said. “He was a legend, and there was nobody like Ed.”

Born on Jan. 11, 1917, Orzac started practicing medicine after graduating from the University of Virginia Medical School in 1941. He interned at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital in Pennsylvania.

World War II interrupted his medical career. Assigned to a U.S. Army combat infantry division, Orzac earned the rank of major and received the Bronze Star and several other honors for his military service. Leatrice Slote Spanierman, a retired Herald executive editor who knew Orzac and his wife, Bebe, for more than 40 years, loved listening to the stories about his military service, his experiences as a medical care provider and the achievements of his daughters and grandchildren.

“I have always called Edward Orzac Dr. Ed out of respect for his brilliance,” Spanierman said. “He was one of the few people I knew who excelled in whatever endeavor he chose to undertake. Dr. Ed was a fascinating personality. He embraced life with a passion; his interests spanned the globe.”

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