On Friday, October 20th, the chiropractic profession laid to rest one of its brightest and most beloved doctors, John Donofrio. Life Chiropractic College West knew and loved Dr. Donofrio deeply, as a frequent guest to our campus and dear friend to our students. Together, we mourn the loss of our mentor, colleague and teacher, Dr. John Donofrio, who died in his sleep on October 14, 2017.
Dr. John Donofrio was known to the chiropractic profession across North America because of his 30 years working as a lead instructor for Irene Gold’s chiropractic board review company. He was a lead instructor for Dr. Irene for a reason – because of his incredible capacity as a teacher. Dr. Donofrio had the ability to not only make complicated things simple, but he also showed incredible heart and compassion in his work with hundreds of thousands of students. He was able to remember the name of every single student in his review class, even when the room had more than 400 students present. He made a personal connection with all his students and they knew he cared about their success, not only on boards, but as a chiropractor.
As our facebook feeds filled with the news of his passing, each post filled with stories of Dr. Donofrio’s incredible presence and caring. Many people said they could hear his voice ringing in their heads, exhorting them to become their best selves and never give up, even when they were struggling. He was optimistic, passionate, caring and utterly brilliant. He was a man who left a huge impression and always left people feeling capable of more than they knew.
Dr. Donofrio had been devastated by the loss of his wife in July of 2017, yet he remained committed to serving the students of the profession and making as big of a difference as he could each and every day. Life West president, Dr. Ron Oberstein had become more closely connected to Dr. Donofrio after his loss, and was in regular contact via text and email.
Dr. Oberstein shared his reaction;
“The world lost a great man this week. John made a positive impact on everyone he came in contact with. With his big smile, great hugs and larger than life personality, John shared the gift of life. His dedication to family, the profession and to anyone he could help was unmatched. The world lost a great humanitarian, and the chiropractic profession lost a great leader in the passing of John. My heart is heavy knowing I won’t see him again on this plane – and my heart is filled with joy knowing his legacy of giving, loving and serving will always be in the hearts of those who knew John. While we grieve our loss today, we know what John left within us – will live on forever. Until we meet again my brother – and God speed.”
Jackie Biron, Life West Director of Student Life, remembers Dr. Donofrio. “I spoke with him almost every week and met with him every time he was on campus. We had many chats about life, chiropractic and our families. He gave the best hugs and was such a kind person. I enjoyed our friendship and I will personally miss his presence. He impacted thousands of our students over the years as they prepared for National Board Exams.”
You can add your memories to the many others he helped in the profession at this online memorial here.
Life West is establishing a scholarship in honor of Dr. John Donofrio and his wife, Dr. Yvonne YuRichko. This scholarship will recognize student excellence and support their education in chiropractic. If you would like to contribute in Dr. Donofrio’s name, please contact the Life West Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Dr. Mark Ziegler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. John Donofrio will be greatly missed by current students and alumni alike. While he is known for his incredible work in preparing students for their national boards, his impact is much greater than that. He was a servant leader who used his talents to help each person he knew become a better version of themselves. We will always remember you, Dr. John Donofrio.