In Memoriam Spring/Summer 2022

Published in Hopkins Medicine - Spring/Summer 2022


William R. Drucker (HS, internal medicine, 1946–1947), a distinguished surgeon and expert on shock and trauma, died on December 10, 2021, at his home in Jericho, Vermont. He was 99. Over his career, he held faculty positions at Case Western Reserve University, the University of Toronto, the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the University of Rochester, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the University of Vermont.


Jack L. Paradise, who was professor emeritus of pediatrics and otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, died on December 20, 2021, at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts. He was 96. His landmark research helped to determine the appropriate indications for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in children. He was also a renowned expert in the study of otitis media who helped to show that persistent ear infections in young children do not cause later speech, language, cognitive or psychosocial impairments.


George I. Thomas (HS, obstetrics, 1950), a cardiovascular surgeon, died on October 20, 2021, at his home in Seattle, Washington. He was 96. In 1956, he was part of the first team in the western United States to perform open-heart bypass surgery. For four decades, from 1959 to 1999, he specialized in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, conducted research, and held teaching appointments at University of Washington.


William B. Miller, a pediatrician, died on October 30, 2021, at his home in Evergreen, Colorado. He was 96. After completing his residency at Denver Children’s Hospital, he then started a private practice in Lakewood, Colorado, which he continued for 38 years. He volunteered through Riverside Baptist Church as a medical missionary in Eastern Europe, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

Richard C. Reynolds died on March 25, 2022, in Brookville, Ohio. Founding chair of the Department of Community Health and Family Medicine at the University of Florida Medical School, he went on to serve as dean of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, then as executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

George W. Settle (HS, orthopaedic surgery, 1958; faculty, orthopaedic surgery, 1969), an orthopaedic surgeon remembered as a “Renaissance man” who enjoyed the arts, died on November 9, 2021, at his home in Annapolis, Maryland. He was 95. After completing his surgical training, in 1960 he went into private practice in Annapolis and was affiliated with Anne Arundel General Hospital, where he became chief of orthopedic surgery. He later worked in Washington, D.C., as the medical director for Potomac Electric Company.


Ricarda J. Didisheim, who specialized in pediatrics and adult psychiatry, died on November 4, 2021, at her home in Washington, D.C. She was 82. Born in Munich, Germany, in 1929, she escaped Nazi Germany for Baltimore, Maryland, with her parents and sister in 1936. At the school of medicine, she was one of only four women in her class of almost 100. She completed residencies in pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and in psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic. Later, she served as staff psychiatrist at the Gaithersburg Mental Health Center in Maryland.


Gilbert B. Snyder (HS, surgery, 1962–1964), of Miami, Florida, a distinguished plastic surgeon, died on January 20, 2022. He was 91. After training at Hopkins under the renowned Milton Edgerton ’44, he was recruited to be the University of Miami’s first chief of plastic surgery in 1964. For three and a half decades, he practiced plastic and reconstructive surgery in Miami until his retirement in 2000. Over his career, he also volunteered with Navajo and Hopi communities in Arizona through the Indian Health Service.


Norman L. Lasser, M.D., Ph.D., an internist and biochemist who conducted research studies, died on January 19, 2022, at his home in North Andover, Massachusetts. He was 88. For four decades, he served at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where he became professor of medicine and director of preventive cardiology. He was the principal investigator of several multicenter NIH-funded studies.


Sanford N. Cohen (HS, pediatrics, 1960–1963), a pediatrician, died on January 24, 2022, at his home in Fort Myers, Florida. He was 86. In a distinguished career of more than six decades, he held leadership positions in pediatrics at New York University–Bellevue, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. He also served as a captain in U.S. Army Medical Corps at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


Charles R. F. Baker Jr., a general surgeon who specialized in treating trauma and burn victims, died on January 25, 2021, at his home in Edisto Island, South Carolina. He was 85. In the 1970s, he practiced surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and taught at the Emory School of Medicine. In 1977, he joined the medical faculty at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas, where he was instrumental in expanding the hospital’s trauma services throughout West Texas.


Paul J. Geiger, Ph.D., of Sebastopol, California, a physiological chemist, died of COVID-19 on August 9, 2021. He was 92. After receiving his doctorate, he worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. In 1969, he joined the Department of Pharmacology and Nutrition at the University of Southern California’s (now Keck) School of Medicine, where his research focused on diabetes assays.


Robert P. Liberman, one of the world’s foremost experts on psychiatric rehabilitation, died on August 20, 2021, at his home in Lake Sherwood, California. He was 91. He was the long-time director of the UCLA Center for Research on Treatment and Rehabilitation of Psychosis, where he oversaw many research projects in biobehavioral psychiatry. He and his team produced a series of educational modules for training social and independent living skills for the mentally disabled that are still used throughout the world.

Charles O’Donovan III (fellow, internal medicine, 1968–1969; HS, internal medicine, 1969–1970; faculty, internal medicine, 1970–2003), of Baltimore, who was an internist and infectious disease specialist, died of stage four lung cancer on November 7, 2021. He was 85. For more than four decades, he was in private practice in Baltimore and was affiliated with The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Keswick Multi-Care Center and Union Memorial Hospital, where he chaired the Infectious Disease Committee from 1977 to 1996.


James F. Fries (HS, internal medicine, 1964–1966; fellow, internal medicine, 1966–1968), of Longmont, Colorado, who was a Stanford emeritus professor of rheumatology and immunology and an early advocate of the healthy aging movement, died of complications from a stroke on November 7, 2021. He was 83. A pioneer in the use of computer databases for studies and patient monitoring, Fries developed the first international database on arthritis in the world. In 1980, he created the groundbreaking compression of morbidity theory about aging: Preventive medicine and a healthy lifestyle can postpone disability due to chronic illness. His books on the concept sold in the millions.


Robert H. Jones, of Durham, North Carolina, died on January 26, 2022, of post-COVID pneumonia and dementia. He was 81. A cardiothoracic surgeon at Duke University Medical Center since 1965, he retired in 2014 as the Mary and Deryl Hart Distinguished Professor of Surgery. Over his career, Jones contributed greatly to the field of lung scanning and nuclear cardiology imaging. In 1989, he co-founded the Heart Center to promote synergy between research and clinical practice, which led to the concept of Heart Team decision making, which is now part of all national and international guidelines for the treatment of coronary disease.


Ann-Louise S. Silver (HS, psychiatry, 1974; faculty, psychiatry, 1974–2001), a psychiatrist, died on September 12, 2021, at her home in Columbia, Maryland. She was 79. Over her career, she served on the medical staff of the Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, Maryland, and was a clinical associate professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She headed the Columbia Academy of Psychodynamics and was in private practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy for many years.


Robert W. Butner, a vitreoretinal surgeon, died on November 25, 2021, at his home in Houston, Texas. He was 79. In 2001, he received the Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology for “his teaching and care in war-torn Eastern Europe, often in hospitals under direct fire.”

Sanford D. Minkin (HS, radiology, 1971–1974; faculty, radiology, 1975–1990), a radiologist, died on February 8, 2022, at his home in Baltimore. He was 79. He practiced for over 45 years as a radiologist in Baltimore and had affiliations with Greater Baltimore Medical Center, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center and MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.


Allen M. Rossman III, an ophthalmologist, died on January 20, 2022, at his home in Woodinville, Washington. He was 77. He completed his ophthalmology training at Yale, spending part of his residency in Haiti working with the poor at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer. He led an ophthalmology practice in Kirkland, Washington, for more than 30 years.


Gregory O’Keefe III, a family practitioner, died of cancer on May 14, 2021, at his home in Little Falls, New York. He was 74. After completing his medical training, he joined the National Health Service Corps and practiced on Vinalhaven Island, Maine, as the island’s only doctor for 20 years. In 1995, he moved to New York and became the director of public health for Herkimer County.


Charles R. Inners (HS, internal medicine, 1974–1976; fellow, respiratory medicine, 1976–1978), of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, died on December 15, 2021. He was 72. Since 1978, he was a pulmonary and critical care physician in the greater Harrisburg area.


Barbara Plotkin Wank, M.M.H., a mental health counselor, died on January 12, 2022, at her home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She was 89. Over her career, she served on the boards of mental health organizations, volunteered as a counselor at the Lancaster County Prison, and was an activist for progressive causes.


Nancy E. Maestri, Ph.D. (faculty, pediatrics, 1989–1997), of Silver Spring, Maryland, died on August 28, 2021. She was 74. She began her career as a biologist at the National Institutes of Health. At Hopkins, she researched a rare genetic disorder called ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, which hinders the breakdown and removal of nitrogen in the body. Maestri left Hopkins in the late 1990s to get a master’s degree in theological studies at Virginia Theological Seminary and then pursued biblical studies at The Catholic University of America. She became Director of Christian Formation at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, in Maryland, retiring in 2011.

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