In Memoriam: Fall 2023

School of Medicine


Wilbur E. Mattison Jr. (HS, medicine, 1958; faculty, medicine, 1958), of Ellijay, Georgia, who was an internist and an expert on dyslexia, died on Feb. 9. He was 100. While serving in the Army in World War II, he was wounded in France and honored with a Purple Heart. After the war, he earned his medical degree and completed his residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins. He then moved to Menlo Park, California, where he practiced at the Menlo Medical Clinic for many years. During his career, he also served as the president of the Stanford medical staff and was a professor of medicine at Stanford. In 1968, he founded the Charles Armstrong School for Dyslexic Children and dedicated more than five decades in service to the school, helping to advance the understanding and treatment of dyslexia.


Robert I. Levy (fellow, pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, 1957–59; faculty, 1960–2007), of Baltimore, died on May 10 at the age of 97. He was one of the first Baltimore physicians to specialize in nephrology, and he was responsible for performing the second dialysis treatment in the area. He began his medical career on staff at Sinai Hospital and then moved into private practice. He later became medical director of a dialysis facility in Westminster.


James L. Erwin, of Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, who served as an obstetrician-gynecologist for more than 40 years, died on Feb. 17. He was 91. After completing his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Maryland, he then relocated to Worcester, Massachusetts, where he was in private practice for many years before joining the Fallon Clinic, where he worked for 19 years.


Vincent G. Stenger (HS, obstetrics, 1958–59), who specialized in obstetrics and gynecology, died on June 1, 2022, at his home in Bermuda Dunes, California. He was 91. He maintained a private practice in Florida and served as a clinical professor at the University of South Florida, continuing for many years.


Harold S. R. Byrdy, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, died on March 21 at the age of 86 from the effects of Agent Orange and COVID-19. As a captain in the Army Medical Corps, he served in the 1960s as a psychiatrist with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and later at Valley Forge Army Hospital. After returning to civilian life, Byrdy practiced at the Penn Psychiatric Service at Philadelphia General Hospital from 1967 to 1975. From 1978 to 2003, he was a senior staff psychiatrist at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, and served as chief of its Adult Psychiatric Service from 1979 to 1998.

Darryl Carter (HS, pathology, 1965–68; fellow, pathology, 1965; faculty, 1969–77, 2005–07), of Timonium, Maryland, died of heart failure on April 21. He was 87. He spent his medical career as a surgical pathologist on the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine and served as an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In retirement, he consulted at the National Cancer Institute, worked as a pathologist at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed and later joined the Joint Pathology Center at the Bethesda Naval Center, where he worked until 2015.


Martin C. Robson (fellow, surgery, 1965–67), of Lancaster, Ohio, died on April 15. He was 84. An internationally recognized leader in the fields of burns and wound healing, he served as chief of plastic surgery at the University of Chicago, Wayne State University and the University of Texas Medical Branch, and he was an emeritus professor at the University of South Florida. He was also a proud veteran and served two terms in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of colonel. Robson authored over 650 publications, mostly on wound healing, wound infection, burns and proliferative scarring, and was a named inventor on numerous patents related to plastic surgery and wound care. He served as a visiting professor at more than 50 universities throughout the world.


Robert A. Greenwald, of Melville, New York, a rheumatologist, died on Feb. 16 at the age of 80. He was a founder of the Rheumatology Division at Long Island Jewish, where he served from 1972 to 2010 as chief of rheumatology. He was also a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. While he was a medical student at Johns Hopkins, he published his first humorous essay, for which the eponymic Greenwald’s disease was named, “an ailment that afflicts mostly males in their third to fifth decade who have a tendency to identify obscure insignificant ailments with the intent that they be named after themselves.”


John Anthony Pescetti, of Oakland, California, a pediatrician whose career spanned more than three decades, died on April 11. He was 71. Before entering medical school at Johns Hopkins at age 35, he worked for seven years as a pediatric nurse. During his career, he served for many years as the medical director at La Clínica de la Raza in Oakland; there, he started a tattoo removal service to help former gang members and disadvantaged youths transform their lives.

Faculty, Fellows and House Staff

William Nisbet Toole (HS, surgery, 1957–61; urology, 1961–62; fellow, urology, 1961–62; faculty, urology, 1961–62), of Atlanta, whose career as a urologic surgeon spanned 35 years, died on March 17, one day shy of his 92nd birthday. After completing his training at Johns Hopkins, he joined the Emory Clinic in Atlanta. He also became a professor of surgery at Emory. In 1967, he entered private practice and worked for many years at several hospitals around Atlanta, including St. Joseph’s, where he was chief of service and head of urological residency. Additionally, he was one of the founding physicians of Northwest Hospital, later named West Paces Ferry Hospital, as well as Northside Hospital in Atlanta.

Joseph W. Burnett (HS, medicine, 1958–61; fellow, medicine, 1958–61; faculty, dermatology, 1966–78; lecturer, 1978–2002), of Baltimore, died on March 2, a few weeks before his 90th birthday. He founded the University of Maryland’s Department of Dermatology and served as department chair from 1977 to 2003. Long-distance swims in the Chesapeake Bay prompted his careerlong research interest in marine venoms, and he became one of the world’s leading experts on jellyfish toxins, having authored more than 300 research papers on the subject. Burnett also discovered an antiviral herpes therapy and developed a herpes vaccine. He was the longtime editor-in-chief of the dermatology journal Cutis.

Tah-Hsiung Hsu (HS, internal medicine, 1966–67; HS, fellow, endocrinology, 1967–71; faculty, medicine and radiological sciences, 1971–2007), of Rock Hill, South Carolina, an endocrinologist who had a passion for teaching, died on Feb. 22. He was 87. After briefly working in private practice, he joined Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, where he became chief of internal medicine. During his career, he also had appointments at St. George’s University in Grenada and Tzu Chi University in Taiwan, and was clinical chief of internal medicine at St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine.

Richard A. Christoph (HS, emergency medicine, 1984–85), of Front Royal, Virginia, a pediatrician and emergency medicine specialist whose career spanned four decades, died on Jan. 30 following a sudden stroke. He was 70. In 1985, he joined the faculty at the University of Virginia as an assistant professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Surgery. While at UVA, he also served as the medical director for Shenandoah National Park Emergency Medical Services. In 1999, he relocated with his family to Front Royal, where he established Front Royal Pediatrics.