PassagesMedical alumni and faculty remembered

Below we pay tribute to recently deceased alumni and faculty members. Because we are not always aware of deaths in the larger UW Medicine community, especially those that take place outside of Seattle, we rely on other alumni, faculty and friends to notify us and send us obituaries. Our sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones.


Harvard Stanley Coffin, M.D. ’53July 26, 2010

Adapted from an obituary in the Yakima Herald-Republic, July 31, 2010

Harvard Stanley Coffin III, M.D. ’53, died at home of complications related to prostate cancer. He had recently celebrated his 84th birthday with close friends and family and said it was “the best birthday party I’ve ever had.”

Coffin was born on July 7, 1926, in Yakima, Wash., at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Following his 1944 graduation from Yakima Senior High School during World War II, he enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve. He said that he was the first of his classmates to sign up for duty and the last one to be called — the war ended while he was still in training. While in the Navy attending electronics school, Coffin married his high-school sweetheart, Ruth Irene Vredenburg. They had four children: Richard, Christopher, Thomas and Sarah.

Following discharge from the Navy, Coffin was admitted to the University of Washington School of Medicine’s third class. Hematologist Clement A. Finch, M.D., was his mentor, and they remained friends until Dr. Finch’s death in 2010.

Coffin did an internship and a general practice residency at the University of Oklahoma Hospital, sharing the Pfizer prize (given to outstanding interns) with a colleague. The Coffins moved back to Yakima, and Coffin went into association with Douglas Corpron, M.D. ’56; they both became charter diplomats of the American Academy of Family Practice. Coffin was chief of staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital; later, he served as president of the Yakima County Medical Society, where he was instrumental in incorporating local doctors of osteopathic medicine into the larger medical community.

In 1976, Coffin’s marriage to Ruth ended, but they remained lifelong friends. He is survived by his second wife, Deborah Severtson-Coffin, his sister, Nancy Coffin Hutton, his three surviving children — Chris, Tom and Sarah — four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. A lifelong animal aficionado, he also is survived by several pets, including his dogs, Sasha, Frida and Bernie, and his favorite cat, Felix.

Back to top


Leon Richard Spadoni, M.D. ’57, Res. ’63Sept. 10, 2010

Adapted from an obituary in The Seattle Times, Sept. 19, 2010

Leon Richard Spadoni, M.D. ’57, Res. ’63
Photo courtesy of Yvonne Spadoni

Leon Richard Spadoni, M.D. ’57, Res. ’63, passed away at home on Sept. 10, 2010, after a long struggle with cancer. He was born on Aug. 11, 1930, in Kent, Wash., and graduated from Bremerton High School. His interest in medicine was piqued by a debilitating personal injury, and this injury informed his lifelong interest in helping others.

Spadoni attended Olympia Community College and graduated at the top of his class at the University of Washington, the beginning of a decades-long affiliation with the university. He graduated from the UW School of Medicine in 1957 and completed an internship at Minneapolis General Hospital. After two years as an enlisted officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he practiced OB-GYN, Spadoni returned to the UW to complete a residency in OBGYN and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and fertility. He joined the faculty, was promoted to full professor in 1974, and was named a professor emeritus in 1995.

Spadoni served as acting chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (1975–77) and as vice chair (1977–94). He was the director of the department’s residency program (1967–95) and served as chief of staff at UW Medical Center (1989–91). Other notable achievements included serving as an external examiner for medical students in Saudi Arabia and as an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Spadoni also served as the president of the Pacific Coast Fertility Society, and he published numerous scientific articles.

Spadoni is survived by Yvonne, his loving wife of nearly 53 years, a daughter, Janine, two sons, Mark and James, and seven grandchildren.

Back to top


Harry H. Kretzler, Jr., M.D., Res. ’58July 5, 2010

Harry H. Kretzler, Jr., M.D., Res. ’58, was born May 16, 1925, and graduated from Edmonds High School. After serving in the Navy, he graduated from the University of Washington, receiving his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He returned to UW Medicine for orthopaedic specialty training.

Kretzler practiced orthopaedic surgery for approximately 50 years, primarily at Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and Stevens Hospital. He was a founding member of the American Academy of Sports Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Kretzler was a Boy Scout leader and an accomplished woodworker, and he enjoyed golf, skiing and other sports. Later in life, he and his wife traveled the world. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jean, his sons Mike (Judy), Jon (Virginia) and Tom (Karen), his daughter, Barbara (Chuck Harwood), and eight grandchildren.

Back to top


Roger E. Moe, M.D. ’59, Res. ’68Nov. 26, 2010

Roger E. Moe, M.D. ’59, Res. ’68, UW professor emeritus of surgery and recipient of the 2010 UW Distinguished Alumni Award, quietly passed away on Nov. 26, 2010, in the company of his family. He was 80.

Roger E. Moe, M.D. ’59, Res. ’68
Photo courtesy of the Moe family

Raised in Brainerd, Minn., Dr. Moe came West in 1948 to attend the University of Washington. He received degrees in psychology and chemistry in 1952, while also participating in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. He served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1952–1955 aboard the aircraft carrier Rendova, and he received the Korean Service Ribbon. Dr. Moe then reunited with his wife, Emily, and they traveled around the world. When they returned to Seattle, Dr. Moe completed his medical training, and he graduated from the UW School of Medicine in 1959. He then completed a residency in surgery in 1968.

Dr. Moe embodied excellence throughout his long and distinguished career at UW Medicine. Using unparalleled teaching skills, he taught and mentored generations of UW Medicine fellows, residents and students in the laboratory, in the operating room and at the bedside. His refined understanding of the anatomy, physiology and biology of breast cancer made him an astute and prolific researcher and clinician. Dr. Moe inspired respect and admiration in patients and colleagues through his compassion and his unwavering commitment to first-rate care.

This remarkable collection of skills allowed Dr. Moe to develop a unique vision for breast cancer care, and he and partner Dr. Robert Parker founded the Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic at UW Medical Center. The clinic, which opened in 1994, comprises surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists and pathologists. In bringing together physicians from a variety of specialties to consult on each case, this multidisciplinary model provides patients with optimal care. It also provides physicians with invaluable insight into the thinking and strategies of colleagues from other branches of medicine.

Dr. Moe’s vision changed the way breast cancer patients receive their care, not only at UW Medicine and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, but also at other hospitals in our region and across the country. To honor his legacy, the Roger E. Moe Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Care was established at the UW School of Medicine in 2004. In addition to being recognized with the 2010 UW Distinguished Alumni Award and community service awards, Dr. Moe also received the Golden Tennis Shoe Award from Sen. Patty Murray in 1995.

Dr. Moe was truly a citizen of the world. His love of travel and photography and his deep appreciation of the musical arts were widely recognized by all who knew him. Dr. Moe also loved Seattle, and he embraced the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest; he was an avid boater and fisherman, and he had a secret recipe for salmon marinade that won him devotees at gatherings at the family’s home on Lake Washington.

Dr. Moe is survived by Emily, his wife of 57 years, his son, Dr. Kris Moe (Stephanie Rowe), grandchildren Madeleine and Roger Rainier Moe, and a large extended family that will miss his quiet wisdom and deep appreciation for life. He was preceded in death by his son, John Roger Moe, and his sister, Joanne Pray.

Note: Like his father before him, Kris Moe, M.D. ’89, Res. ’91, ’94, is also making important changes in the world of medicine. See our feature story.

Back to top


David Musto, M.D. ’63, Res. ’67Oct. 8, 2010

On Oct. 8, 2010, David Musto, M.D. ’63, Res. ’67, collapsed from a heart attack as he was preparing to disembark from an airplane in Shanghai. Musto was being honored by the University of Shanghai for his gifts of books and papers on the history of American policy on drugs and other dangerous substances. A center, open to scholars worldwide, will be named in his honor. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, of New Haven, Conn., his daughter, Jeanne-Marie, of Sewanee, Tenn., and his sons: David, of Philadelphia, Penn., John, of New York City, and Christopher, of Boston, Mass.

Back to top


Alexander Fefer, M.D., Fel. ’69 Oct. 3, 2010

Alexander Fefer, M.D., Fel. ’69Alexander Fefer, M.D., Fel. ’69, a retired UW professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology and a founding member of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, died on Oct. 3, 2010, at the age of 72. At the time of his death, Fefer — leader of the Fred Hutchinson /UW Cancer Immunotherapy Team — was in Washington, D.C., to receive a Team Science Award from the International Society for the Biological Therapy of Cancer. The award was “for significant and sustained contributions to the field of cancer immunotherapy and biological therapy over the past 25 years.”

Fefer was a member of the pioneering Seattle bone marrow transplant team that developed transplantation as a therapy for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. Fefer is survived by his wife, Thea, and his sons, Mark and Avram.

Back to top


Peter M. Ambrose, M.D. ’71June 21, 2010

Adapted from an obituary in The Seattle Times, June 27, 2010

Peter M. Ambrose, M.D. ’71Peter M. Ambrose, M.D., ’71, passed away on June 21, 2010, at the age of 70. Born in Seattle, he attended Lakeside High School where he played football, ran track and served as president of his senior class. He enrolled at Dartmouth College — where he played rugby — then received degrees in business and in medicine from the University of Washington, completing his medical degree in only three years. After residency training in Texas and work in Los Angeles, he and his wife returned to the Northwest, settling in Bellingham, Wash., in 1974. He practiced emergency medicine at St. Luke’s in Bellingham for approximately 20 years, later starting a medical practice in the Whatcom Occupational Health Clinic.

Ambrose was an avid sailor, skier, golfer, fisherman, Husky fan, friend and family man. He is survived by his wife, Pat, two daughters: Kari Aggerholm (husband Chris) and Heidi Shors (husband Andy), and two sisters Florence Covey (husband Dave) and Sis Woodside (husband Chet). He also has five grandchildren.

Back to top


Roger Ranch, PA-C (Seattle Class 6, 1973)Dec. 23, 2010

Roger Ranch, PA-C (Seattle Class 6), succumbed to injuries received in a house fire in Anchorage, Alaska. Ranch was an Army veteran who did high-altitude, low-opening jumps from airplanes. Ranch was also known as “Bones” because of the numerous bones he set while a pediatric PA.

Back to top


Marianna B. Woodward, M.D. ’87June 21, 2010

by David Perlmutt, the Charlotte Observer, July 29, 2010

Marianna B. Woodward, M.D. ’87Her classmates cheered that June day in 1973 when Missy Woodward walked across the stage to receive a Davidson College degree. They understood history had been written. Singing the alma mater, they spontaneously changed the lyrics, substituting “loyal sons undaunted,” with “loyal sons and daughters.” That’s because Woodward was the first woman to graduate from the formerly all-male college. She’d graduated cum laude with an art degree, the only woman in a senior class of 217 men. Her story made headlines around the country.

On Sunday, Marianna “Missy” Boaz Woodward, a popular pediatrician in Fairbanks, Alaska, died suddenly of a heart attack while working out in a gym. At 59, she was preparing for an upcoming walking trip in Spain.

“She took enormous pride to hold her own in this very challenging and male-dominated environment,” said Gardner Roller Ligo, a classmate and current Davidson merit program director. “She knew she was being scrutinized at every turn. She showed them that being a woman didn’t mean you couldn’t do the hard stuff and do it well.”

During the early 1970s, Davidson, like many single-gender schools, began discussing coeducation. Then-president Sam Spencer negotiated an exchange program with all-female schools in the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia. But those women students had to return to their schools to graduate. In spring 1970, Missy Boaz, raised on an apple farm outside Charlottesville, Va., was a freshman at all-female Agnes Scott College and had a blind date with Davidson art student Kes Woodward. They were engaged after the second date, and Missy began taking classes at Davidson.

The two married in May 1971. Missy applied to Davidson and was admitted as a junior — under a new provision that allowed women to enroll as degree candidates if they were married to Davidson students or related to faculty members. “She was the kind of person they would normally welcome at Davidson if she just was not a woman,” Kes Woodward. “She was a great test case.”

Four years after the couple graduated, they moved to Alaska, where Kes became curator of museums in Juneau, and then Fairbanks. Missy worked as a potter for years. Then, in the early 1980s, “she announced she was going to be a professional,” her husband said. She thought about law school, but lawyer friends advised her against it. So, despite not taking a science course since ninth grade, she started three years of undergraduate math and science courses to apply for medical school. She went on to get her M.D. at the University of Washington and later returned to Alaska to become medical director at a pediatrics clinic.

All day Wednesday, condolences from the Davidson community rolled in by e-mails to the Woodward home, Kes Woodward said. “She was an historical first and her passing has struck a chord,” said Davidson registrar Hansford Epes, who knew the Woodwards when they were students. “A pioneer has passed on. That’s a marker, a sad marker in time.”

Back to top

Connect With Us

Help us go green

Help us go green
Update your email address

Send a ClassNote

Send a ClassNote
Send an update

Write the editor

Write the editor
Tell us what you think

Make a Gift

UW Medicine UW School of Medicine

Box 358045, Seattle, WA 98195-8045 206.685.1875 |