Posted at: 12/20/2012 5:57 PM
Updated at: 12/20/2012 6:21 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
MECHANICVILLE - Dr. Stephen Sgambati, Sr. has been practicing medicine around here for 63 years.
From the time he was very young, his goal was always the same.
"I wanted to be able to help people when they're sick," he said.
He's accomplished his goal and far more.
Just a few months shy of his 93rd birthday, Dr. Sgambati has cared for thousands of patients at his Mechanicville practice.
But next Thursday, he'll finally hang up his stethoscope.
"I'm sorry to have to leave now, but it's time," he said Thursday from his office on South Central Ave.
Dr. Sgambati first told his daughter, Annina, the practice manager, that he'd decided it was time to retire.
"It's time. I'm 92 and don't want to wait until I have to say, 'Hey, what'd you say?'" he joked as he cupped his hand to his ear as if he were hard of hearing.
"He's not just a good doctor, he's a kind person. And that resonates through everything he does," said Annina.
By not waiting until he can't do it any longer, Doctor Sgambati is retiring the right way. Which is how he's lived his life. Raising 15 children with Opal, the woman he fell in love with in 1946 and married in 1947.
He served his country in the military and then returned home to serve his community.
He says his fondest memories will be of all the house calls. He didn't stop doing them until the 1980s.
"You were part of the family. That's what I loved. Being part of the family."
Family has defined Stephen Sgambati, passing along his integrity and his work ethic to his children, including the son he's practiced with for 33 years.
"There's no one on earth I respect more than my dad," said Stephen Sgambati, Jr. "And I'm proud that he's my dad."
One after another on Thursday, patients told the doctor how much they'll miss him.
And the feeling is mutual.
"I'll be sad that I'm leaving now, because I love to be with people, but I'm looking forward to having a happy retirement."
Dr. Sgambati's last day in the office is Thursday, December 27th.