He located his office a block off the main thoroughfare through town, known as Maple Street for the canopy of Maple boughs that sheltered the roadway like a leafy umbrella. As a family doctor, he diagnosed and treated most ailments in his office, where he charged patients $3 a visit during his early years in business.
His medical office shared a parking lot with a store, which was serendipitous because it provided a parking space for the ambulances that often stopped by unannounced. Fairfax Hospital had not yet opened, and sometimes medics felt it necessary to have Dr. Tessitore stabilize accident victims before transporting them to Arlington Hospital, which had the nearest emergency room.
Andrew Tessitore was born in Naples, Italy, on April 26, 1922, and grew up in Brooklyn. He was 4 when an officer of the New York public schools knocked on the door of his tenement apartment to explain to his parents that their son was required by law to attend school. His parents spoke Italian at home, while their son learned English at New York’s PS 10.
He graduated from Fordham University in 1942 and from Georgetown University medical school in 1945. In post-World War II Germany, he served as a flight surgeon in what became the Air Force.
In 1948, he opened a medical practice in Washington. In those years, there were plenty of doctors in the District, few in the suburbs, and none in Vienna until 1953, when Dr. Tessitore and another physician opened private practices.
He delivered about 1,500 babies in the course of his career.
Dr. Tessitore sold his practice and retired in 1985 but unexpectedly reentered the medical profession during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The physician who took over his practice was called to active military duty from the reserves. Dr. Tessitore filled in for four months and found that he liked it, and he retired from retirement.
He began working at a Health Management Resources weight clinic at Arlington Hospital and for Primus, a military dependent medical clinic in Fairfax County. In 1997 he retired permanently after suffering a heart attack.
He died at Fairfax Nursing Center of complications from myelodysplasia, a blood disorder, said his wife of 33 years, the former Mary Helwig.
His first marriage, to Geraldine Albano, ended in divorce.
Besides his second wife, survivors include six children from his first marriage, Joseph Tessitore of Reston, Geraldine Jones of Nokesville, Regina Bruno of Manassas, Jacqueline Sellers of Warrenton, Andrea Testerman of Vero Beach, Fla., and Camille King of DeLand, Fla.; two stepchildren, Kurt Helwig and Kathleen Tourtellotte, both of Clifton; a sister; a brother; 10 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter.