4750 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
Whitefish Bay, WI
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Jay M. Galst, M.D.

Jay M. Galst, M.D., 69, beloved husband, father, son, grandfather, brother, cousin, uncle, and friend, passed away peacefully after a brave battle with coronavirus.

Dr. Galst, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, obtained a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin (1972). He moved to New York City with his wife, Joann, for Medical School at Columbia University (1976). He was an ophthalmologist in private practice in Manhattan for many decades and recently joined Omni Eye Services to continue to see his patients. He was a clinical professor at the New York Medical College, a senior attending surgeon at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, an honorary surgeon of the New York City Police Department, and an officer in the Order of St. John. He also served as a board member of the Museum of Vision and Chairman of the Collections Committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

An avid coin collector, Jay was impressively knowledgeable about a broad range of numismatics, but specialized primarily in the coins of Judea and ophthalmology. He was a board member of the Cogan Ophthalmic History Society and a past president and member of the Ocular Heritage Society. Dr. Galst served as president of the New York Numismatic Club (1988-1989), board member (1991-2020), and chairman of the board (2001-2020). He was a life fellow of the American Numismatic Society, a life member, judge, and district delegate of the American Numismatic Association, a fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society (England), and president of the Bronx Coin Club (1998-2006). In 2014, he was awarded the Numismatic Ambassador Award in recognition for his work in promoting the study and appreciation of numismatics. Jay combined his optical and numismatic passions in his co-authored book Ophthalmologia, Optica Et Visio in Nummis, which provided an extensive history of ophthalmic coins and medals, and well as in a number of articles appearing in numerous ophthalmological and numismatic publications.

His many other hobbies included playing a round of golf at Fenway Golf club, going to a concert at the New York Philharmonic, traveling to different countries with his greatest traveling companion, his wife, Joann, and enjoying a good steak and a bottle of red wine over a dinner at the Palm with his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Joann, his son, David (Sarah), his granddaughter, Juliana, his mother, Phyllis Galst (nee Tannenbaum), and a loving extended family, all of whom he adored. Preceded in death by his father, Julian Galst.

He will be buried in Second Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A celebration of his joyful life will be scheduled at a future date.

Jay’s kind and generous spirit will be remembered with great fondness by his family, friends, and patients, all of whom he loved dearly.

Memorial contributions may be made to American Numismatic Society-New York, American Academy of Ophthalmology-San Francisco or American Cancer Society.

Goodman-Bensman Whitefish Bay Funeral Home
4750 North Santa Monica Boulevard (414) 964-3111

Service Info






  1. Richard Koplin 04/14/2020 3:40 pm

    Jay: I loved your passion for your academic and artful enterprise “ophthalmologia: Optica et Visio in Nummis. I know how much you loved this pursuit and your dedication rewarded you in a wonderful publication. You lived a robust and enviable professional life. My sincerest condolences to family and friends. We’ll miss you

  2. Jeffrey Marcus 04/14/2020 3:41 pm

    My sincerest and heartfelt prayers to you Joanne and your family. May Jay’s memory be a blessing. So very sorry for your loss.
    Jeff Marcus

  3. Myrna Unger Fisher 04/14/2020 3:41 pm

    So Sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing.

  4. Dr. Irwin Miller 04/14/2020 3:42 pm

    My deepest sympathies to his family as well as the Frenkel members

  5. Mimi Oxman (Janice's Sister) 04/14/2020 3:55 pm

    Dear Joann,

    I was so, so sad to hear of Jay’s passing. What a wonderful man he was with so many great interests while pursuing his career and being so giving and loyal to his patients. I know you and your son will miss him so much, but what a legacy he leaves for you to cherish.

  6. Gloria Krasno 04/14/2020 4:03 pm

    Dear dear Phyllis, friend from high-school days on,
    It is with greatest sadness that I send you my condolences.
    Your dear, remarkable son Jay shared many lifetimes in his way too short lifespan.
    May sweet memories, in time, obliterate the enormous pain of such tragic loss.

    Sending blessings,
    Gloria Krasno

  7. Janice Ann Cmeyla 04/14/2020 4:43 pm

    Jay, Joann and I go way back to attending grade school, junior high and high school together and lived in neighborhoods in close proximity to one another. In junior high, Joann and Jay became a “pair” and remained partners for their entire lifetime. Jay had a most gentle spirit, warm smile, wonderful sense of humor and was a genuinely kind-hearted soul. As Joann and I remained in contact with one another, even though we lived a great distance apart, I would hear news of their worldly travels, the birth of their son David, his marriage and how excited they both were with the birth of their grandchild. Jay will be sorely missed by his colleagues, his loving family and all whose lives he touched. Peace and love be with you Jay and with you and your loved ones, my dear friend, Joann.

  8. Craig & Brenda Wichman 04/14/2020 5:40 pm

    Joann, Brenda & I offer our condolences to you & your family. We are thinking of you during this most difficult time.

  9. Al & Marice Berman 04/15/2020 4:30 am

    Our sincere condolences on Jay’s passing. May he rest in peace.

  10. Lenore Picus 04/15/2020 8:12 am

    I can’t begin to tell you how heartsick I am. My prayers and thoughts are with all. I can only tell you as I knew Jay, he was a beautiful and truly a mensch . May he Rest In Peace with his beloved dad. My thoughts are with Phyllis, Joann and his beloved family.

  11. CHRISTOPHER BLODI 04/15/2020 9:07 am

    I met Jay through the Cogan Society. His talks were great. He was greater! He and I talked about our kids playing youth baseball which impressed me mightily since the Galst family lived in Manhattan. He really impressed me when he pulled out his NYPD police badge as he was an official ophthalmologist for the NYPD. I will miss his kind-heartedness and his commitment to ophthalmology. I pray for his family.

  12. Jan Culley 04/15/2020 9:09 am

    So very, very sorry to hear of Dr. Galst’s passing. I was a long time patient of his and will miss his gentle spirit greatly. May your many loving memories bring you some comfort…

  13. Jim Maisel 04/15/2020 10:29 am

    My deepest condolences. I have many great memories of Jay and always enjoyed his company and dinners at the top NY restaurants with you. He was of tremendous support to me early in my career when I was struggling to learn ophthalmology that summer in Maine. Jay was one of the happiest people I have had the pleasure of knowing and I know that he was proud of his family. I am sure he will be missed by many.

  14. Janet Roen 04/15/2020 6:56 pm

    Dear Joann:
    My sincere condolences.
    I am stunned.
    It was at the Lancaster Course that you, Jay and I really became acquainted. Since that time, we were colleagues at NYEEI. Jay distinguished himself as a fine ophthalmologist, gifted teacher of residents (at two different programs no less), and an authority on vision-related coins and medals. The patients of his whom I met both liked and respected him. Jay’s fine book, talks, and exhibits at the AAO have intrigued many.
    His loss is tough for ophthalmology, but especially for you and your family. I hope that you yourself are well physically. Take good care of yourself as you mourn. You have my deepest sympathy.

  15. Robert Josephberg MD 04/15/2020 7:03 pm

    I wanted to let you know how extremely setting it was to me to find out about jay and his passing , I have known Jay for almost 50 years . I met Jay and graduated in his class from Madison in 1972 . We both ended up ironically in ophthalmology. Jay was truly a great guy . We spent many days together with Joe Walsh overseeing the residents for years . We always talked Badgers ! .He was always smiling and so so nice .it is with great sadness that I write this .your husband was the ultImate gentleman . I an so sorry and our world has lost a fine fine man !

  16. Lauren Siegel 04/16/2020 12:20 pm

    Like so many others, I will miss Dr. Galst very much. He was my eye doctor for many years and always gave the best care and advice. A lovely gentleman.

  17. Linda and John Fedinec 04/16/2020 12:27 pm

    Our deepest sympathies to the entire Galst family. Dr Galst was my eye doctor for 30 years…..wonderful person and Doctor….
    A huge loss for all.
    Linda and John Fedinec

  18. Rena and Andre Schklowsky 04/16/2020 12:43 pm

    Dear Dr. Galst,
    My deepest sympathy for your loss. Dr. Galst was my doctor for over 20 years. I knew that under his care, I had nothing to worry about. During visits we shared our love for the NY Philharmonic. He told me about how he originally chose the location of your season tickets — close to the exit so he could easy answer his pages (remember pagers?) but more recently, being able to make a quick exit to grab a cab home.
    Both my husband and I extend our sincerest condolences to the entire family.

  19. Julie Zimmermann 04/16/2020 1:01 pm

    To Family JoAnn, David, Mom and all co workers at Omni:
    I can’t even believe this terrible news. I feel so fortunate to have known Dr Galst since the 80’s, a patient since that time, just saw him the beginning of March. Dr Galst was a wonderfully kind and caring person and so proud of his son and family. I cannot believe your loss, or that if all of his co workers and patients. I am deeply saddened and wish you peace in this difficult time. So sad.

  20. Van Podberesky 04/16/2020 1:09 pm

    My sincerest condolences to all. I was shocked when I received the email on Dr. Galst’s passing. I have been a patient of his for almost 30 years. Not only was he the finest doctor I have ever met, but also the sweetest person. I have a complicated eye condition and only Dr. Galst was able to help me. He was my savior. He will be dearly missed. I am so deeply sorry.

    Van Podberesky.

  21. Paul 04/16/2020 2:21 pm

    To the Galst family and colleagues at Omni:

    I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Galst. He was my eye doctor for the last 30 years, and I faithfully followed him from private to group practice. I will miss him very much.

  22. Debra Kendall 04/16/2020 2:54 pm

    I am devastated and saddened. I’ve been seeing Dr. Galst since the early 90’s when I moved to New York. He was the first eye doctor to see my daughter & delighted when she was accepted to the University of Michigan. Being from Michigan, I always felt we had that midwest kindred spirit between us.

    You were such a gentle soul Dr. Galst, I will miss you.

  23. Norman Velten 04/16/2020 3:09 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Dr.Galst. He was the one doctor I looked forward to seeing with his wise counsel, professional and expert knowledge and verbal travelogues. I was a patient of his for over 40 years from the days of his time with the renowned Dr.Carter. I will miss his gentle manner. Rest In Peace Doctor. It was a pleasure to know and be served by you.

  24. Alison Wolfson 04/16/2020 3:12 pm

    Our deepest condolences to all. We are so saddened to hear of Dr. Galst’s passing. I have been a patient of his for over 30 years. My husband and older daughter became patients as well. He was an incredibly gifted doctor as well as a gentle and kind human. We had wonderful conversations throughout the years – even dating back to David’s Bar Mitzvah! I am deeply sorry and know he will be sorely missed by his loving family, friends and all his patients. May his memory be a blessing. BH
    Alison, Lawrence, Isabel and Lily Wolfson

  25. Joan and Gene Sercander 04/16/2020 3:24 pm

    We are very sad to hear about the passing of Dr. Galst. He has been our eye doctor for over 35 years and he will be missed by our family. He was always kind and understanding while treating my husband and me. He was an excellent eye doctor. Our deepest condolences to his wife and family.

  26. Ellen And Emily Mcnulty 04/16/2020 3:43 pm

    Dr. Galst was my ophthalmologist since I was 19 years old, for the past 40 years. He was such a kind man and wonderful doctor. My husband Gerard was also his patient for years until he died from prostate cancer almost 2 years ago. My daughter Emily was also a patient of his for the past 4 years
    I am so very sorry to hear of his passing.
    May his memory be a blessing
    With sincere condolences,
    Ellen and Emily McNulty

  27. Ginger McKnight-Chavers 04/16/2020 4:30 pm

    Dr. Galst was my ophthalmologist for over 30 years – a close friend referred me to him when I moved to NYC fresh out of Harvard Law School in the late 80’s. He was an amazing professional, and I referred many to him, including my eventual husband. My 19 year old daughter is a patient of Dr. Galst as well. We were so saddened to learn this afternoon of his passing. We extend our condolences and sincere blessings to his family.

  28. Patricia Silverman and Bruce Silverman 04/16/2020 6:05 pm

    Dr Galst was not only a great ophthalmogist but a wonderful human being. We have known him for thirty years. He would always be kind and professional. All my family members were his patients. He was a friend that we visited at least once a year. During each appointment, we would share updates on what was going on with our families. We will miss him and his smile.

  29. Marisa Silverman 04/16/2020 6:10 pm

    Dr. Galst was my ophthalmologist for about 30 years since I was a child. He was an excellent, compassionate doctor. Over time he became the ophthalmologist for many of my family members. My family and I were very sad to hear the news that Dr. Galst passed away. I would like to send my deepest condolences to Dr. Galst’s family.

  30. Lisa Pacht Friedman 04/16/2020 7:34 pm

    Dr. Galst became my doctor after Dr, Carter retired.He was a warm devoted doctor. The only one I trusted to care for my children.My mom and sister were his patients as well.When my chidlren started to attend Rutgers we talked about football games between their school and Wisconsin his alma mater. He always asked how everyone was and what they were up to. Words cannot express how much I will miss him.Sending prayers and strength to the Galst family
    Wishing you no more sorrows.
    Lisa Pacht Friedman

  31. Lisa Friedman 04/16/2020 7:59 pm

    Dr. Galst became my doctor after Dr. Carter retired.He was a warm and devoted doctor. I brought my children from New Jersey because he was the only one I trusted to care for them.My mom and sister were his patients as well.He always took an interest in what the children were doing. When I started to work for a watch company he told me about his love of vintage watches.Words cannnot express how much he will be missed.I would like to send prayers and strength to the Galst family.
    Wishing you no more sorrows.
    Lisa Pacht Friedman

  32. Andrea Field 04/16/2020 11:01 pm

    Like so many of the postings, I was Dr Galst’s patient for nearly 30 years. I was heartbroken to hear the news having just thought about him since see him every August and I hoped he was ok in all this madness. He was the sweetest Doctor with the best bedside manner. He never got annoyed with me even though I hated and cringed at each eye exams. I would also say he had no fear. When I would nervously ask if I was going to get an eye condition like my mother or need cataract surgery in the future he chuckled and wisely said if you live long enough you’ll get everything. From the description of his life he lived a beautiful one and to the fullest. I will remember his wisdom and try to be as fearless as he was. I will miss him.

  33. Judith S Shipper 04/17/2020 7:52 am

    It is with heavy heart that I offer my sincere condolence to the entire Dr Galst family . He will missed by his loving and grateful patients he is irreplaceable as a human being and doctor !

  34. Peter and Rosalyn Hand 04/17/2020 11:19 am

    We are very saddened to learn of the unexpected passing of Dr. Jay Galst. We are husband and wife who have been his patients in New York for over 30 years, who looked forward to each visit. Dr. Galst was a wonderful physician who provided us with the best possible eye care and was a lovely, gentle and caring man. We saw him regularly at least once a year and will miss him greatly. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and staff.

  35. Cheryl Gould 04/17/2020 4:32 pm

    I was shocked and deeply saddened when I learned of Dr. Galst’s untimely passing. He was my ophthalmologist for over 35 years. We used to talk about our sons. I learned so much about David with each visit, and more recently, of course, about Sarah and Juliana; I knew of his passion as a numismatist, his love of travel with his wife, his golfing, and fine dining! Each time, it was more like a friendly visit than an eye doctor appointment! I will miss his kindness, his professionalism, his caring nature, and his gentle soul. I know we will all miss him. My deepest sympathies to his family.

  36. Joseph Carbonaro 04/17/2020 7:37 pm

    A wonderful, kind, gentle man. He was dedicated and thorough, never cut corners. When I was traveling in Europe in 1986, I ripped a contact lens. Without email and as a broke legal aid lawyer, all I could do was send him a postcard from Amsterdam telling him what happened and asking to have the lens ready upon my return. Of course, it was. But on each visit until just before he joined Omni, when he took out my chart, I could see the postcard.

  37. Elizabeth and Stephen Thomson 04/17/2020 9:42 pm

    My relationship with Dr. Galst started with the recommendation of an architectural colleague at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in NYC, over 30 years ago. Dr. Galst was the most wonderful eye doctor, over many years of eye exams. If I ever had a problem, he worked me into his schedule and solved the issue. I remember the time he attributed an on-going problem to working in the most arid work environment in NYC (a Midtown tower on Sixth Avenue). His office team was accommodating and respectful. There never seemed to be a problem scheduling an appointment or working with healthcare providers. I never felt that I had to wait to see him and greatly appreciated his late afternoon hours, especially when my eyes were dialated.

    But, it isn’t just superb, medical professionalism that made me come back, year after year. Dr. Galst would ask me about my interests. I am an architect and one of his close relatives was an architect. When my husband moved to Jersey City, I immediately made an appointment for him with Dr. Galst. The friendly circle of interest expanded to conversations about skiing and playing golf in the Salt Lake City area. I remember Dr. Galst telling me stories about how he would happily read the New York Times over coffee on his balcony, while his wife and son skied in the morning. Then, after lunch they would golf. My husband and I knew those areas intimately.

    My husband so enjoyed going to him, trusting him with more complicated issues than I had. But, beyond that, he consulted him about a deceased brother’s coin collection, discussed red wine and learned about his son’s interest in the history and design of Ferris wheels.

    Knowing that he succumbed to the Corona virus makes us both very sad. All of us loved him as a doctor, friend and respected member of the NYC community. Our love and sympathy go out to his beloved family, friends and patients.

  38. Brian Zipp 04/17/2020 11:32 pm

    Dr Galst was our family’s ophthalmologist for more than 30 years.
    Rarely can one say they look forward to doctors visits, but I truly enjoyed catching up with Jay every year at my annual checkups. He was always so personable, and witty. The visit would always seem to fly by. I trusted his medical advice implicitly. I also admired his knowledge and reputation.

    God bless.

  39. Arlene and Neil Gross 04/18/2020 3:47 pm

    We are shocked and saddened by this news. We knew Dr Galst and his family as office neighbors and our opthalmologist for over 30 years. Jay was a wonderful and caring person. We send our condolences to his family.

  40. John P Hanson Jr MD 04/19/2020 6:13 pm

    Dr Galst was my physician for years. I carried for his father along with Jules Levin MD. Expert kind and patient I valued him. My sympathy to his family wife son daughter in law and granddaughter .

  41. Jay Koritzinsky 04/24/2020 4:04 pm

    My deepest sympathy to the extended Galst family! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this incredibly difficult time! Remember the wonderful memories, as they will help carry you through.

  42. John Jacobson 04/24/2020 6:36 pm

    I was saddened to hear of Jay’s passing. I had the distinct pleasure to have worked with him when I was a resident at Lincoln Hospital in the late 1980’s. He was always upbeat, very generous and nattily attired. We all looked forward to his days at the clinic, as he would frequently treat us to lunch at Yolanda’s. He was kind enough to take me golfing at Fenway on more than one occasion.

  43. Joyce krawiecki 05/03/2020 7:58 am

    Joyce krawiecki

  44. Joyce Kriawiecki 05/03/2020 8:24 am

    Dr Galst was my dr for 40years. He also took care of my father and my
    I was so saddened to hear of his passing. How terribly sad . He was a wonderful dr and I cannot imagine how I will be able to ever see another dr.

  45. Neil Koven 05/04/2020 12:00 am

    Shocked and deeply saddened to read of Jay’s passing. Joann, I am so, so sorry for your loss. May you and your family be comforted by the many years of wonderful memories you experienced together.

  46. Debbie Berger 05/18/2020 10:32 am

    My history is unique as I was born premature and had oxygen deprivation causing RLF. So with no practical vision in one eye Dr Galst was scheduling me for periodic visits to monitor the growing cataract of which I had no symptomatic knowledge. When it was finally ‘ripe’ he recommended a brand new Dr who specialized in the “fine cut.” I did not know Dr Grayson and I was fearful of the surgery so, of course, Dr Galst came specially to observe the surgery at Eye and Ear to comfort me. When I asked him how long I had had this cataract, he told me that he was monitoring it for a long time, bur he didn’t tell me for fear of worrying me. The mold that made this exceptional person is gone with him. He will never be replaced or forgotten.😪


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