On January 17, 2007, Dr. Gusztav A. Batizy was called to his final resting place.
Dr. Batizy called Akron his home for the past 36 years. A native of Hungary, he escaped communism in 1956 with his wife, Julia and his 11 children. The daring escape 50 years ago was celebrated as the “biggest hole” in the iron curtain.
Dr. Batizy distinguished himself early. As a scholar he graduated from medical school with top honors and in sports he was an elite athlete who was appointed to the Hungarian national track team. During World War II and during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, he risked his life to take care of the wounded in the field of conflict. Although his father died when he was only 14 years old, Dr. Batizy paid for his father’s political affiliation by officially being blacklisted by the ruling communist party during the cold war era.
In his new home Dr. Batizy continued to distinguish himself. In the 1960’s he broke the color barrier when he was appointed assistant professor of psychiatry to the only all-black medical school, Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. In the Akron-Cleveland area he served the medical community by providing psychiatric care at the V.A. hospital in Brecksville, the state hospital in Massillon, and served as clinical faculty for NEOUCOMO at Akron General Medical Center and St. Thomas hospital of Akron.
He co-founded the Hungarian American Medical Association, an organization founded to promote and disseminate scientific knowledge, scholarship, and professional interaction between North American and Hungarian physicians and scientist.
When asked about his greatest contribution to his adopted homeland Dr. Batizy would humbly point to his family. Dr. Batizy is survived by 14 children, 27 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Among these are doctors, engineers, school principals, teachers, nurses, distinguished military officers, and elite athletes. His formula for success was his devotion to his family and an unspoken expectation to follow in his footsteps.
To the end he was proud of his Hungarian, Christian heritage and eternally grateful to the people of North East Ohio for giving him a chance to establish a new home in Akron.