Alan Bartel

by | Sep 8, 2022 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—Dr. Alan G. Bartel passed away August 9 at his home, surrounded by his family.

Born in Baltimore, Md., he was the youngest son of Ralph and Mollie Bartel. Alan moved with his family to Miami, Fla. as a young boy and graduated from Miami Senior High. He attended the University of Florida and then graduated from the University of Florida Medical School where he worked with Dr. Robert Cade’s team in the testing and development of Gatorade.

Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Army Public Health Service and headed the Evans County research project for cardiovascular risk factors. After completing his residency, internship, and cardiology fellowship at Duke University Hospital, Alan came to Tidewater in 1973 where he was a professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School and the first fully trained and accredited cardiologist in Southeastern Virginia. He was one of the co-founders of the original cardiology practice in town, Cardiovascular Associates, and was instrumental in helping bring advanced cardiology care to the region. He modernized the first cardiac catheterization lab for adults in Tidewater and created the first cardiac stress test lab in the area. Dr. Bartel started the first cardiovascular rehab program and numerous other cardiac care programs in the state.

Over a career spanning nearly 45 years, Dr. Bartel cared for thousands of patients who often traveled great distances seeking his help. He authored many articles in prestigious medical journals and became president of the Tidewater chapter of the American Heart Association.

In addition to his many professional affiliations and endeavors, Alan also was very generous with his time, serving in the Hampton Roads community. He was very active in the Jewish community, serving on the board of directors of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Ohef Sholom Temple, and various other agencies.

Alan was also very involved in the arts community where he served on the board of directors of the Virginia Arts Festival. Upon retirement, he rekindled his passion for the flute, becoming an ardent and determined student. In his own, unique way, Alan found a means of sharing his love of the flute by staging performances for close friends and family. The performances were usually conducted at his home or a friend’s home, and he would carefully select and invite 20 or 30 friends that he felt would really appreciate his music. In addition, he was instrumental in the development of an annual “Musicale” fundraiser for the Virginia Arts Festival, where he organized and played multiple pieces of music with his flute and accompanying musicians—both professional and amateur. The Musicale became an annual event, even as Alan was in the middle of his many battles with cancer and raised a substantial amount of money. He was a long-standing member of a local klezmer band and many of his neighbors and friends at the North End of the Oceanfront could often hear Alan playing his flute on his deck while walking by on the beach.

Alan was a co-founder (along with his wife Dolores, of blessed memory) of the International Network for Persons with Autism and Hearing and Visual Impairment, which was one of the original databases and resources to help those dealing with autism, as well as deafness and/or blindness. He was appointed by Governor Chuck Robb to the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities and served with distinction. On the local level, Alan and Dolores were active supporters of the Chaverim Group at Jewish Family Service and every summer they generously hosted a much-anticipated social event at their home for clients, family, and staff. He was also a founding member and longtime supporter of Hearts and Homes, a private nonprofit organization that invests in residential properties and provides subsidized housing for people with developmental disabilities in Virginia Beach. Alan was exceptional in many ways, but his role in the disability community was unique and admired by all.

More than anything else, Alan was most proud of his family. He was predeceased by parents Ralph and Mollie Bartel, and his loving wife of more than 60 years, Dolores Bartel.

He is survived by his sons Gary and Craig, his three loving granddaughters: Haley, Carly, and Jody, his “honorary” daughter Shannon, his nephews Jeff and Doug Bartel, and a devoted extended family. The family would like to thank the many doctors, nurses, and staff at Virginia Oncology Associates, Jewish Family Service, and the Freda Gordon Hospice who helped care for Alan during his long battle with lymphoma, as well as Abbey Pachter who gave him much joy in the last months of his life. We would especially like to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Tom Alberico whose friendship and commitment to Alan extended his life by many years.

Graveside services were held at Princess Anne Memorial Gardens in Virginia Beach with Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg officiating. Memorial donations may be made to Jewish Family Service at