August 12, 2023

Norman Aaron Zlotsky, MD

Norman Aaron Zlotsky, MD, 92, died August 11, 2023.  Born in Hartford, CT, to Julius and Minnie (Spaien) Zlotsky. Graduated from Hartford Public High School, salutatorian and lettering in football, basketball, and baseball. Despite a baseball scholarship and being scouted by the Red Sox, he graduated from Yale University in 1953 with a degree in Zoology. Earned his medical degree at Tufts University in 1957.  Internship and residency in orthopedic surgery with the U.S. Army, serving for ten years rising to rank of Lt. Colonel. Stationed at many posts including Letterman Hospital at The Presidio, Brooke Army Medical Center, and West Point USMA, where he served as Corps Squad Physician and led the Jewish Chapel Squad. In charge of the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Seoul, Korea, where he consolidated MASH units into larger hospitals and trained the country’s first orthopedic surgeons. Pioneered arthroscopic surgery in the 1960s with the goal of quickly returning Army football players back onto the parade ground. While at West Point, he created an electrolyte beverage, a precursor to America’s favorite sports drink. According to family legend, he also coined the phrase “Just do it” well before America’s favorite athletic shoe company.

Started a private practice in Rockville, CT, bringing in his Army buddies to join him. Ultimately served as Chief of Staff at Rockville Memorial Hospital and President of the Connecticut Medical Society. Established the Society’s Sports Medicine section and advocated for high school sports safety regulations, as well as mandatory motorcycle helmets. Served as team physician to UConn teams, including the NCAA Big East conference men’s basketball teams during their championship heydays.  Big fan of UConn Women’s Basketball and Norwich Navigators.

Married to Judy Brownstein in 1955. Norm and Judy shared a passion for American art and art history and were avid collectors of prints and Americana. As the son of Jewish immigrants, he was fascinated by American history. A passionate reader, his favorite genres were mysteries, sports history, WW II and Jewish history. Retired to East Lyme, CT, where Norm and Judy worked as docents at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum and enjoyed taking their grandchildren on excursions to the Mystic seaport and aquarium, Peabody and Pequot Museums, Fort Trumbull, and other educational venues. Moved to Lincoln to be close to family. Loved visiting Nebraska museums, served on the Board of the Sheldon Art Association, and worked as a very committed docent at the Lux Center for the Arts. With a gracious and quiet demeanor, Norm led by example and did not like a lot of fuss or attention.

Proud father and grandfather, he loved being surrounded by family, especially at the dining room table with a good bottle of California zinfandel. Predeceased by wife Judy. Survived by daughters Amy, Nancy, and Deborah (Michael Janairo); and grandchildren: Richard and Sam Barad, Max Seiler, and Aaron and Sarah Hoagland. The family extends immense gratitude to the staff of South Lake Village and HoriSun Hospice, who made Norm’s final days comfortable and peaceful.

Memorial service on Monday at 1 pm at South Lake Village, 9401 Andermatt Drive, followed by burial at the Mount Lebanon Section, Wyuka Cemetery.  Memorials to the Lux Center for the Arts or the South Street Temple.


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