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Obituary for Dr. Seymour (“Jerry”) and Joanne (Susman) Viener

On Friday, August 25, Dr. Seymour (Jerry) J. Viener died at age 90. Three days later, his high school sweetheart and loving wife of 69 years, Joanne (Susman) Viener died at age 91. They are survived by daughters, Nancy Teumer (Jeff), Amy Viener, Lisa Lord (Jeffrey Abramowitz), and Marcy Krasnow (Dave); grandchildren Andy (Meghan), Matt (Gabby), Amelia (Rachel), Sam, Jake, Carly, Lexi; and three great-grandchildren.
Jerry and Joanne were both born and raised in Rochester, NY. Joanne was a dedicated wife and mom, who maintained life-long friendships with a great group of women she knew from childhood. She was a talented artist (needlepoint, hooking rugs, decoupage, knitting, basket weaving, and quilting). Her kids and grandkids are thankful that she leaves behind a lot of beautiful work that will always remind them of her. Joanne’s greatest joy was being a grandmother. She often said, “If I had known grandchildren were this much fun, I would have had them first.”
Jerry was known to all for his sharp wit, humor, and ability to bring laughter and light heartedness to even the most serious conversations. He was a proud Navy veteran and avid fan of all things World War II. His children and grandchildren will always remember his eccentric obsession with trying to control the world around him, from the weather to the car, to the whereabouts of his children. He played tennis for years and defied his own skills at golf when he shot a hole in one in Florida.
Joanne attended one year of college at Case Western Reserve before transferring to Buffalo State University College for Teachers to be closer to Jerry who was attending the University of Rochester. After graduation, Jerry received a prestigious Naval scholarship to attend the New York University School of Medicine (Go Navy!), so the newlyweds headed east. While living in NYC, Joanne developed a life-long love of Broadway and taught elementary school to pay the bills.
For 10 years, they moved with their ever-expanding family to wherever the Navy sent them. When Jerry’s service to the Navy was complete, the Vieners returned to Rochester where Jerry began a private psychiatry practice while also working at Rochester General Hospital Psychiatric Unit, advancing from attending physician to the head of the Inpatient Unit and Associate Chief of Psychiatry. By then Joanne was busy raising four girls, but despite her responsibilities at home, she always made time for her friends, volunteering in the community, playing mahjong, tennis, golf and pickleball.
The Vieners travelled the world and saw it all. Jerry was known to say: “she was the breadwinner for two years, and I’ve been paying for it ever since.”
After Jerry retired in 1997, the Vieners enjoyed winters in Bradenton, FL and summers in Rochester.

Donations in their memory may be made to Lollypop Farm – Humane Society of Greater Rochester (, the Jewish Senior Life Foundation ( or the charity of your choice.

A Celebration of Life for Joanne and Jerry will be held in the coming months. Please email if you wish to be notified.

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