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Gwen Sterns passed away peacefully on New Year’s day with her family at her side. She was born March 3, 1946 to Milton and Naomi Kunken in Brooklyn, New York. Survived by her brother, Fred Kunken, her children, Adam and Samantha, her four grandsons, Jonah, Jonathan, Elliot and Benjamin, and her husband of 50 years, Richard.
Gwen was a brilliant ophthalmologist who was Rochester General Hospital’s Chief of Ophthalmology for 20 years. She loved to teach and to mentor young physicians and she is revered by her former students. She also served on boards of the Rochester General Hospital Foundation and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and she is a past president of the Academy of Medicine. She was active in the American Academy of Ophthalmology and was honored with its Secretariat award for lifetime achievement.
Gwen had a passion for rehabilitation of people with “low vision” whose visual impairment cannot be cured with surgery or corrective lenses. She became internationally known in this field and served for 40 years as medical director of Rochester’s Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Her legacy has been recognized by its name: “The Sterns Center for Low Vision”.
Known for her outgoing personality, she developed lasting friendships throughout the community. And, it is said that her Ophthalmology practice was something of a front for another of her interests: match making. She was proud to have arranged three marriages.
Funeral services will be held at Temple Sinai on Friday, January 6, at 10:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers please send donations in her memory to the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (WEBSITE), The Rochester Academy of Medicine (WEBSITE), the Rochester Regional Health Foundation (WEBSITE) or the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (WEBSITE).
Link to livestream of service LINK