Dr. Jeffrey Ferris, 96, died Dec. 19 at his home in Kent.

He practiced general surgery in New Milford from 1953 until his retirement in 1987, and was on the staff of New Milford Hospital.

Dr. Ferris was educated at Yale and Columbia Physicians and Surgeons, and did a residency at Bellevue Hospital.

While still in medical school, he married Palamona Williams, of Rutherford, N.J.

He served in Europe during World War II, and after the war, in VA hospitals in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, before moving with his family to New Milford.

Dr. Ferris was a lifelong gardener and watercolorist, as was his wife, and after his retirement and their move to Kent, they collaborated on planting and caring for more than 2,000 trees on the property, as well as a huge vegetable garden.

After his wife's death in 1999, Dr. Ferris took classes at the Washington Art Association and devoted more time to painting.

He was an unfailingly gentle person, with an active and curious mind.

Dr. Ferris is survived by three daughters, Palamona A. Ferris, of Brooklyn, N.Y., Eliza Hitchcock, of Vashon, Wash., and Mary Ferris, of Kent; a granddaughter, Amanda Romani, of Brooklyn; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will take place this summer at a time to be announced.