Dr. Thomas Jakobovits, of Needham, passed away at home on Monday, March 11, 2019. He was 92 years old. Dr. Jakobovits passed away on March 11, and is survived by his wife, Margaret. He was predeceased by his son, Thomas.
Dr. Thomas Jakobovits was born April 19, 1926 in Budapest, Hungary. By age 8 he became an accomplished pianist and was a soloist in the synagogue which he attended. His education was interrupted by World War II when, upon graduation from high school in mid-1944, he was abruptly transported to a forced labor camp in what is now northern Romania. Six months later he escaped from his captors and returned to Budapest on foot, traveling by night and hiding during the day. After the war he was accepted to medical school. From there he moved on to complete four years of surgical residency, during which period he met and married Margaret Juhasz, who would be the love of his life for the next 65 years.
In January 1957, shortly after the failed 1956 revolution against the Russian occupation of Hungary, Dr. Jakobovits fled his native land with his wife and young son, joining thousands of his countrymen seeking freedom in the West. Under a special immigration quota for research specialists offered by the Eisenhower administration, the Jakobovits family was able to settle in the United States in June 1957.
Within a month of his arrival in the U.S., Dr. Jakobovits passed an examination for foreign physicians so that he could start a year’s internship at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts. He then moved on to a four-year residency in urology at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. After three years in group practice he established a private practice in Melrose, Massachusetts, where he became chief of urology at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital within five years, a position which he held until his retirement in 1996.
While Dr. Jakobovits enjoyed his professional life, and was beloved by his many patients and colleagues, his interests ranged far beyond the world of medicine, because he loved people and, in return, was held in great affection by his many friends, and their children. He was an active pianist who never saw a piano he did not want to play. He regularly entertained the residents of the retirement community where he and his wife lived. He was also active in sports: tennis, bicycling which he took up at age 62, but especially skiing, which took him to many corners of the world.
A service in his honor will be held at Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 21, 2019. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.