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Class Notes

In Memorium

School of Medicine

Harry P. Porter Jr. ’43 Feb., of Timonium, Md., an otolaryngologist whose warm and gentle bedside manner was bestowed on generations of patients, died at his home on Feb. 6 of heart failure. He was 96. Having been delivered by his grandfather, a country doctor in Bel Air, Md., and greatly admiring two uncles—one a Hopkins neurosurgeon, the other a Hopkins eye surgeon—he aspired to be a physician since boyhood. After World War II service with the Army Medical Corps in France and Germany, he opened a private practice in Baltimore and became affiliated with several area hospitals, including the old Church Home and Hospital, where he was chief of otolaryngology, and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

Elmer Hoffman ’44, of Pikesville, Md., a pioneer in the simultaneous mastectomy and reconstructive surgery technique for breast cancer patients and a former assistant professor of surgery in the School of Medicine, died on Jan. 20 of complications from an infection. He was 92. He had been among the first in Maryland to employ the then controversial but now common procedure of inserting a salt water-filled balloon to create a pocket under the chest muscles of a patient whose breast had just been removed, then later filling it with silicone gel. Hoffman also was passionate about quality patient care and a strong proponent of so-called “super cold” surgery, or cryotherapy, to relieve the pain of terminally ill cancer patients. 

Norman Lowe ’53, of Overland Park, Kan., a pathologist who maintained a private practice for 30 years while also teaching at Cornell and Northwestern universities, died on Nov. 13, 2013, at his home following a long battle against prostate cancer and multiple system atrophy. He was 85.

Robert B. Rutherford ’56, of Boerne, Texas, a prolific researcher and writer on vascular surgery and disease who was prominent for developing uniform reporting practices in the field, died on Nov. 22, 2013, at his home. He was 82.  Following his postdoctoral training and military service, he was on the Hopkins surgical faculty from 1965 to 1970 before moving to the University of Colorado, where he spent the rest of his career, retiring as an emeritus professor of surgery. A journal editor as well as a writer, he published more than 400 articles and book chapters, plus six textbooks, the best known of which is Vascular Surgery.

David S. Sumner ’58, of Springfield, Ill., retired chief of the Division of Peripheral Vascular Surgery and Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus, at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, died on Nov. 24, 2013, of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 80. Co-author of the pioneering classic in his field, Hemodynamics for Surgeons, and a prodigious writer and lecturer, he was the recipient of the Society for Vascular Surgery’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Richard G. Senter ’66, of Salisbury, N.C., the son of a Baptist minister who combined a 40-year career in rheumatology with volunteer work with A Storehouse for Jesus—which took him on mission trips to Ghana, Africa, and inspired his work at a community care clinic and a Methodist church’s camp—died on Nov. 26, 2013. He was 73. 

Peter L. Hine ’75, of Harpsell, Maine, a much-admired pediatrician who practiced in Marlborough, Conn., for more than three decades, died at his home on Nov. 2, 2013, having battled a rare and aggressive cancer that was diagnosed the year after he retired. He was 63.

The School of Medicine also has received word of the following deaths:

George W. Borkovic ’44 on Jan. 26, 2014
James E. Conant ’68 on Jan. 24, 2014

Former Faculty, Fellows and House Staff

Teruo (Terry) Masukawa (fellow, cytopathology, 1957-58; faculty, pathology, 1958-67) of Cincinnati, Ohio, an obstetrics and gynecology expert who became one of the first proponents of early gynecologic cancer detection, died on Nov. 12, 2013. He was 86. Born in Nagoya, Japan, he delivered nearly 2,000 babies during his obstetrics and gynecology career before becoming intensely interested in the Pap test and its potential. He left Johns Hopkins to become director of cytopathology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa, and later at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His research and diagnostic techniques were widely published. He later practiced acupuncture for 20 years in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio.

Virgel Gene Erwin (fellow, biological chemistry, 1967), of Montrose, Colo., who served as dean of the University of Colorado’s School of Pharmacy from 1974 to 1984, died on Nov. 20, 2013.  Following his term as dean, Erwin became co-scientific director of the university’s alcohol research center, one of only five in the nation established by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Lawrence Dale Laycob (HS, psychiatry, 1967-70), of Castle Rock, Colo., a compassionate physician—as well as an accomplished jazz pianist—died on Oct. 3, 2013. He was 72. Maintaining a private practice and teaching in Denver area hospitals since 1970, he was a fellow in the American Psychiatric Association who specialized in individual psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunction.

Kathy Ann McGovern (fellow, radiology, 1986-90), of Annapolis, Md., prominent for her University of Arizona research into drug interactions in cells; the design, building, and use of bioreactor systems for cancer cells; and the holder of a patent on a targeted drug delivery system for cancer treatments, died on Dec. 1, 2013. She was 55. She later combined her passion for science and education by becoming a third-grade teacher at the Children’s Success Academy in Tucson.

Jeffrey “Scott” Swygert (HS, fellow, medicine, 1992-95), of Gainesville, Fla., a hospitalist who served as chairman of medicine at the Lakeland, Fla., Regional Medical Center, where he also was chief quality officer and chief medical informatics officer, died on Nov. 1, 2013, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was 45. Swygert also was a leader of the Watson Clinic in Lakeland, joining its staff in 1996 and later serving as president and chief executive officer of the Watson Clinic Foundation, as well as on its board of directors.

Piotr (Peter) Kulesza (HS, anatomic and clinical pathology; fellow, cytopathology, faculty, pathology, 1999-2006), of Chicago, a noted cancer researcher at Northwestern University, died on Nov. 17, 2013, after falling from the balcony of a resort hotel in Hollywood, Fla., where he was attending a medical conference. He was 46. An extremely talented, dedicated researcher and teacher known for his infectious enthusiasm and energy, Kulesza was director of the Pathology Core Facility of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern, where he had been on the faculty since 2009. An associate professor of pathology in Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, he also was a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Arabella I.C. Leet (faculty, pediatric orthopaedics, 2002-12), chief of staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Honolulu, Hawaii, died on Dec. 15, 2013, following a sudden illness. She was 48. She was recruited to Shriners after spending nearly a decade at Hopkins, where she served as director of the Orthopaedic Center for Children with Cerebral Palsy at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute. A gifted pediatric surgeon, she also had conducted extensive research and was published widely on cerebral palsy, osteogenesis imperfect, and fibrous dysplasia. John P. McCabe, executive vice president of Shriners, said Leet herself “was affected with a childhood lower extremity problem but rose above it to become a surgeon with vast energy and the ability to stand long hours in surgery.”

The School of Medicine also has received word of the following deaths:

Charles A. James (HS, pediatrics, 1954-57) on Jan. 19, 2014

A.H. “Harry” Oleynick (HS and fellow, neurology, 1957-60) on Feb. 19, 2014

Angelo Tirri (HS, anesthesiology, 1975-76) on Feb. 6, 2014

John P. Witt (HS, medicine, 1965; faculty, psychiatry, 2007) on Jan. 4, 2014

Daniel C. Persyn Sr. (fellow, medicine, 1966) on Jan. 8, 2014

Diran O. Mikaelian (fellow, otolaryngology, 1966) on Feb. 1, 2014

Theodore H. Wilson Jr. (faculty, surgery, 1972-88) on Dec. 16, 2013