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In Memoriam Winter 2019
School of Medicine
William H. Miller ’54, of Woodbridge, Connecticut, whose research included seminal discoveries about the molecular basis of vision, died on Aug. 13, 2018. He was 92. A World War II Navy veteran, Miller began his basic science career with Nobel Laureate H.K. Hartline and Floyd Ratliff at the Rockefeller University in New York. In 1964, he became a professor of medicine at Yale. He published more than 100 scientific papers and earned the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s Proctor Medal in 1990.
Bruce F. Bower ’58, of Needham, Massachusetts, a noted endocrinologist, died on July 6, 2018, after a long battle with the Lewy body variant of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84. Bower was the chief of the diabetes and endocrinology division at Hartford Hospital from 1975 to 2002. In addition, he taught at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine from 1986 to 2004. He was awarded the American Diabetes Association’s Distinguished Clinician Award in 2000 and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology’s Distinction in Clinical Endocrinology Award in 2004.
Neil O. Hardy ’58, of Westport, Connecticut, a dedicated alumnus and teacher of art as applied to medicine who commuted from homes he had in New York and Connecticut for 19 years to teach in the program, died on June 3, 2018, after a brief illness. He was 88. His devotion to Johns Hopkins was honored in 1991 with the Ranice W. Crosby Distinguished Achievement Award, named for the longtime director of the art as applied to medicine department. In 2003, he also received the Association of Medical Illustrators’ Brödel Award for Excellence in Education, a lifetime achievement accolade named for Max Brödel, the founder of Johns Hopkins’ department, the world’s first.
Lawrence F. Jelsma ’62, of Shelbyville, Kentucky, who, along with his father and brother, maintained a private neurosurgery practice in Louisville for more than 70 years, died on Aug. 8, 2018. He was 82. A fellow of the American College of Surgeons and leader in many local medical organizations, he also served as an assistant clinical professor of neurosurgery at the University of Louisville for 16 years. When he retired in 2001, he began a second career as a dairy farmer. His registered Holstein herd ranked second in Kentucky in milk production per cow.
Joseph D. Babb ’66, of Winterville, North Carolina, a pioneering interventional cardiologist, died in a car accident on Sept. 6, 2018, at the age of 79. Recognized for performing the first coronary angioplasty at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the first such procedure at the Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut, he joined the faculty of East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine in 1995. Babb served as director of the cardiac catheterization laboratories and program director for the cardiovascular diseases and interventional cardiology fellowships. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. In 2014, he was elected a Master of the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, which he had served as president.
Franklin Chu ’70, of Bainbridge Island, Washington, an ophthalmologist and humanitarian, died of pancreatic cancer on Aug. 11, 2018. He was 75. He was born in China and immigrated to the United States in 1955 with his family following his father’s work as a Lutheran missionary in Malaysia. After nearly a decade as deputy chief of clinical care at United States Public Health Service veterans’ hospitals in Washington state, he entered private practice. A former president of the Washington Academy of Ophthalmology, he led medical mission trips to China between 2001 and 2009 to train local physicians how to perform cataract surgery. He was deeply affected by watching many patients have their sight restored after years of blindness.
Former Faculty, Fellows and House Staff
Frank C. Spencer (HS, surgery, 1947–49; fellow 1953–55; faculty, until 1961), a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon who was chair of the Department of Surgery at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine from 1966 to 1998 and president of the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association from 1994 to 1995, died on July 23, 2018. He was 92. Spencer’s postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins was interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps during the Korean War. His knowledge of artery repair saved countless young soldiers from gangrene and amputation. At NYU, his development of coronary artery bypass grafting served as the basis for what now is modern cardiac surgery. He also performed operations for congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease and thoracic aneurysm. In addition, he received awards for teaching. Spencer was president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) from 1982 to 1983, the American College of Surgeons from 1990 to 1991, and the American Surgical Association from 1997 to 1998, becoming one of the few surgeons to be president of all three organizations. In 2010, the AATS gave him its lifetime achievement award.
Mary L. Jelks (HS, pediatrics, 1955–59), a pediatrician who became a forceful—and generous—environmentalist, died of the effects of dementia and osteoporosis on March 27, 2018, in Panama City, Florida. She was 88. Jelks and her husband, Allen N. Jelks Sr. (HS, pediatrics, 1955–59), maintained a pediatric practice for 25 years, then devoted their energies to preserving the southwest Florida environment, especially its air quality and waterways. Together, they donated $1 million to preserve 604 acres of land bordering the Myakka River in Venice, Florida. Known to many as “Dr. Mary,” Jelks was an original board member of ManaSota-88, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting public health through environmental conservation. Having specialized in treating children’s allergies, she was fervent about air quality. She became internationally known for the meticulous pollen count records she kept for 50 years, beginning in 1965. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology gave her its Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award in 2007.
Donald M. Tilghman (HS, dentistry, oral surgery, 1961–63; faculty, oral maxillofacial surgery, 1978–2000), of Eden, Maryland, died on Sept. 18, 2018. He was 82. Tilghman received his dental degree from the University of Maryland and later held a joint appointment there and at Johns Hopkins as an associate professor of oral maxillofacial surgery (OMS), serving as chief of the division of dentistry and OMS at Johns Hopkins. During his more than half-century career, Tilghman trained hundreds of OMS specialists, working tirelessly to advance, improve and expand the fields of OMS and dental implantology.
Gerald A. Klassen (fellow, cardiology, 1963–65), a major figure in Canadian medicine who considered his two years of postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins under Kenneth L. Zierler (1917–2009) to have been transformative, died on Aug. 6, 2018, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was 85. Klassen became a professor of medicine, chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and vice president for academic and research affairs at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. He served as president of the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation and held several patents on instruments for medical research. He helped develop a method for studying regional myocardial mechanics in humans and devised a laser Doppler method for studies in the beating heart. He found that a major determinant of myocardial blood flow is the folding of red blood cells by heart muscle cells. He was named to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2002.
Raymundo S. Magno (fellow, medicine, 1964–66), of Towson, Maryland, who cared for generations of families in Baltimore County’s Dundalk community and also was known for his charitable work in his native Philippines, died Aug. 9, 2018, of kidney disease. He was 83. Magno served as president of the Association of Philippine Physicians in Maryland, providing a voice for international medical graduates within MedChi, the state’s medical society. He also co-founded the Foundation for Aid to the Philippines.
Algie C. “AC” Brown (fellow, medicine, 1965–67), of Roswell, Georgia, died on May 14, 2018. He was 82. Brown held joint appointments in medicine (dermatology) and pathology (dermatopathology) at the Emory University School of Medicine from 1968 to 1974. There, he founded the first American Academy of Dermatology-accredited training program, the first dermatopathology laboratory, and conducted extensive research in forensic medicine/pathology. After leaving Emory, he established the Atlanta Skin and Cancer Clinic and the Atlanta Dermatopathology Laboratory in 1975, where he practiced until 2000. He obtained four patents related to gait analysis and received the highest civilian honor from his native state, the South Carolina Order of the Palmetto.
Pedro Garcia (HS, anesthesiology and critical care medicine, 1965–68; faculty, 1968–2000), who became chair of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) Department of Anesthesiology, died of myelodysplastic syndrome on Sept. 3, 2018, at his Towson, Maryland, home. He was 82. After completing his Johns Hopkins residency, he was recruited to GBMC in 1970 and appointed chair of the department in 1985. He built one of the largest private practice anesthesiology and critical care medicine groups in the area before retiring in 2000.
Alan E. Freeland (HS; fellow, neurological and orthopaedic surgery, 1968–70), a world-renowned hand surgeon who practiced at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) for nearly 40 years, died on June 6, 2018. He was 79. A 1961 graduate of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences who received his medical degree from George Washington University, Freeland founded the Orthopaedic Hand Surgery Fellowship Program at UMMC in 1991 and was its director from 1991 to 2004. He wrote two authoritative books on the treatment of hand and wrist injuries using miniature implants. He won the American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS) National Teacher/Clinician of the Year Award in 1998. He was president of the AAHS in 2002. He was elected a Pioneer of Hand Surgery by the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand in 2013. In 2014, he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Johns Hopkins.
Mark J. Hausknecht (HS, medicine, 1983; fellow, cardiology, 1986–87), a renowned Houston cardiologist who counted former President George H.W. Bush among his patients, was shot to death on July 20, 2018, while riding his bicycle to Houston Methodist Hospital. He was 65. In a statement, former President Bush said: “Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man. I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care.”
Peter J. Fagan (faculty, psychiatry, 1984–2013), a former Roman Catholic priest who became a clinical psychologist and served as director of Johns Hopkins’ Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit from 1987 to 2003, died of multiple myeloma on Sept. 29, 2018, at his Fulton, Maryland, home. He was 77. Under his direction, the Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit oversaw third-year psychiatry residents in their evaluation of sexual dysfunction, sexual disorders and gender disorders. An associate professor of medical psychology, Fagan became director of the clinical services program for mental health and substance abuse of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Physicians group practice in 1994. From 2002 until his retirement in 2013, he was director of research for Johns Hopkins HealthCare, which provides health care services for four managed care plans.
Frederick W. Schaerf (HS; fellow; faculty, psychiatry, 1984–89), a nationally known Alzheimer’s disease researcher who founded Neuropsychiatric Associates Southwest Florida and the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, Florida, died on July 15, 2018, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was 67.