Dr. Virginia Brodkin Drobner, 82, Psychiatrist from Princeton, NJ who was a trailblazer and inspiration for modern women passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at Greenwood House in Ewing, NJ. Born on April 19, 1937 at Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, NJ, she was the daughter of Internist, Dr. Louis Brodkin and Ruth Miller Brodkin of Millburn, NJ. She predeceases her brother, Dr. Bruce Brodkin, of Tuscon, AZ, a retired Obstetrician.
Having come from a medical family, including two aunts, Virginia was inspired to become a doctor at a young age. Although less than 6% of American physicians were women the 1950s, she was determined to pursue her dream. She graduated from Millburn High School in 1954, Syracuse University in 1958 and Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, now Drexel College of Medicine, in 1962. Having married Sherwin Drobner in 1959, she gave birth to her first son, Dr. William Drobner, an Orthopedist, in 1960, while attending medical school. After a tragic battle with cancer, William predeceased her in 1997. Virginia is survived by two children, Ann Drobner-Darsky, of San Francisco, CA and Richard Drobner of Allendale, NJ.
Dr. Drobner completed her medical internship at Beth Israel Hospital and achieved her New Jersey board certification as a medical doctor in 1963, just days after the birth of her daughter. She then completed her residency in Psychiatry at the Veteran’s Administration in Lyons, NJ, and gave birth to her second son. Subsequently, Dr. Drobner held various roles as a Psychiatrist for the State of New Jersey and Prudential in Newark, NJ. She also maintained a private practice in Psychiatry later in her career.
Virginia moved to Princeton in 1980 and wed Joseph Katz. As a blended family she was both a mother and stepmother to seven children. Until retirement, she a was a consultant to the Association for the Advancement of Mentally Handicapped in Princeton and to the New Jersey Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services.
Virginia was a devoted wife, and throughout both of her marriages, she was deeply committed to maintaining a happy and loving family. From her three children, she is survived by seven beautiful and accomplished grandchildren, one of which will be attending Rutgers RWJ Medical School this Fall.
Virginia was an active contributor to the Princeton community as a volunteer and a strong supporter of the performing arts. She attended Broadway shows regularly and was an active member of the Roundabout Theater Company.
Funeral services and burial are Friday 10:30 AM, July 12 at Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge, NJ.
The family suggests that those wishing to make a memorial contribution should do so to the Association for the Advancement of Mentally Handicapped (www.aamh.org) or American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org). Funeral arrangements are by Orland's Ewing Memorial Chapel.