Below we pay tribute to recently deceased alumni, faculty and friends. 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.
Neil F. Thorlakson, B.S. ’49, M.D., majored in medical technology at UW Medicine and received a degree in medicine from Harvard University. He attended Roosevelt High School in Seattle, spending two years in the U.S. Navy. A practicing ophthalmologist for 33 years — he called his co-workers “my second family”— Dr. Thorlakson lived in Bellevue, Wash. He enjoyed gardening, golf, skiing, fishing, hiking, ballet, theatre and lectures; he was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts (both he and his sons were scouts), and he spent the last 10 years of his life teaching a fifth-grade geography class. Dr. Thorlakson, a strong advocate for legalizing physician support for suicide, also was the chair of Physicians for Initiative 119 (a Washington state-based initiative based on that topic in 1991). He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and their children: Rob, Rich, Beth and Lynn, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Robert M. Burns, M.D. ’56, excelled as a student throughout his life, and in 1940, he was accepted on full scholarship to Whitman College. He served with distinction as a combat medic with the 87th Infantry in Europe, earning Bronze and Silver Stars. After a residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Dr. Burns began a busy pediatric practice, first at Group Health and later at their Burien clinic. He and Betty, his wife of 66 years, were active in the Mt. Baker Community Club and neighborhood schools. Dr. Burns is survived by his daughter, Katherine, several grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Robert H. Mosebar, M.D. ’57, was drafted into the U.S. Army while attending college at Washington State University. After World War II, he completed college and went on to earn a medical degree from UW Medicine. In Guam in 1949, Mosebar met Elinor Young, his wife. Dr. Mosebar was dedicated to helping military personnel, and he is widely known as the father of “Combat Lifesavers,” soldiers trained to provide medical aid during combat. Dr. Mosebar was commander of General Leonard Wood Army Hospital in Missouri from 1973 to 1980. His many decorations and awards include the Legion of Honor, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Medic Badge, as well as the Exceptional Civilian Service Award and the San Antonio Federal Employee of the Year Award. Dr. Mosebar is survived by his wife of 60 years, Elinor, sons Howard and Bruce, daughters Catherine and Elizabeth, and four grandchildren.
Haywood L. Alexander, M.D. ’58, graduated from Shaw University in 1950 and served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952. He retired as a physician from San Jose State University Center in 1990. Dr. Alexander is survived by his youngest brother, Orville, his daughters, Sheryl, Lori and Hillary, his step-children, Onne and Jason, and his grandchildren.
Eugene M. Baldeck, M.D. ’59 graduated fourth in his class at UW Medicine and completed his internship at King County Hospital (now Harborview Medical Center) in Seattle. He moved to San Francisco in 1960 to complete a residency in ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). While at UCSF, Dr. Baldeck was a research fellow for the National Institutes of Health at the Proctor Institute of Ophthalmology. Returning to Lewiston, Idaho, in 1963, Dr. Baldeck’s first ophthalmology practice was located at the Clearwater Valley Medical, where his father, Joseph Eugene Baldeck, M.D., also worked. Dr. Baldeck was the first board-certified ophthalmologist in the state of Idaho, practicing medicine for 45 years before retiring in 2008. He was a member of the Tri-State and St. Joseph Regional Medical Centers and was chief of staff at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in 1979. He enjoyed teaching medical students and precepting for UW Medicine’s WWAMI program. In addition, Dr. Baldeck was one of the founders of the Lewis-Clark State College Foundation, and he endowed a faculty award for teaching excellence in memory of his father. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Carrie, his sons, Mark, Michael and John, his daughter, Linda Ann, his sister, Joanie, and eight grandchildren.
Ivar W. “Buzz” Birkeland, Jr., M.D. ’59, Res. ’67 (orthopaedics) was an orthopaedic surgeon, skier, sailor and father. He spent most of his career at Orthopedics International and operated primarily at Swedish Medical Center for 30 years.
Max C. Bader, M.D. ’61, Fel. ’84, graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle in 1955. After earning an M.D. from UW Medicine, he went on to pursue a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkley. Dr. Bader served with distinction in the U.S. Public Health Service from 1963 to 1965, and in the Seattle-King County Health Department from 1961 to 1962 and 1965 to 1979; he also served as the epidemiologist for Oregon’s department of health for almost five years. Dr. Bader is survived by his wife, Betty, daughters, Ann, Julie and Kristina, six grandchildren, and his brother, Jorgen.
Wayne E. Crill, M.D. ’61, was a UW professor emeritus in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics and the Department of Neurology. He completed a neurology residency at New York Hospital at Cornell University. Dr. Crill then returned to UW Medicine to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in physiology and biophysics, joining the department as an assistant professor in 1967, with a joint appointment in the Department of Neurology. He served as chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics from 1983 to 1999. Throughout his career, Dr. Crill maintained a clinical neurology practice and a neuroscience research laboratory — authoring nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles — while also serving as a beloved mentor to faculty and trainees. Two funds were established in his honor: the first, the Wayne E. Crill Endowed Graduate Student Research Fund, was established by colleagues, former students and friends to support students in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. The second, the Wayne E. Crill Endowed Professorship in Physiology and Biophysics, was established by former M.D.-Ph.D. student Guy L. “Bud” Tribble, Ph.D. ’83, and his wife, Susan K. Barnes, to honor Dr. Crill’s many contributions to basic science research. Dr. Crill, who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UW Medicine Alumni Association in 1999, is survived by his wife, Jean, his children, Betsy, Jennifer and Wayne, and seven grandchildren.
John W. Ensinck, M.D., Fel. ’62, received undergraduate and medical degrees from McGill University in Canada. After residency, he completed fellowships at Rockefeller University and UW Medicine, joining the faculty in 1961 and becoming a professor of medicine in 1973. In 1970, Dr. Ensinck was named director of the UW Clinical Research Center, having earlier been instrumental in establishing policies for including and protecting human subjects in research and teaching. Dr. Ensinck published over 100 papers related to diabetes, insulin and calcium metabolism, cared for patients at several sites, including UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, and was an enthusiastic teacher and mentor. He was a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American College of Physicians. When Dr. Ensinck retired, an annual lecture was established to honor his many contributions to UW Medicine. He is survived by his son, John W. Ensinck, Jr. Dr. Ensinck’s family has suggested that contributions be made online to the Friends of the UW School of Medicine; learn more by calling 206.543.5686.
Read more in The Seattle Times.
R. Palmer Beasley, M.D., Res. ’67, was born in California, received an undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College, and attended Harvard Medical School, where he decided to focus on the study of infectious diseases — a decision that would eventually save hundreds of thousands of lives. He came to the University of Washington, receiving a master’s degree in public health as well as fulfilling a residency in internal medicine, then moved to Taiwan to research rubella. While there, he became interested in hepatitis B, and he and his colleagues determined that hepatitis B virus is a primary cause of liver cancer, and that mothers can transmit the virus to their baby during childbirth. They also determined that a shot of immune globulin at birth protected children. For this life-saving work, Dr. Beasley was awarded the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine, the Charles S. Mott Prize, the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement and the 2010 Distinguished Scientist Award by the Hepatitis B Foundation. In addition to maintaining a 20-year connection with the University of Washington, Dr. Beasley worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1963 to 1965 and served as the dean of the University of Texas School of Public Health from 1987 to 2005. Dr. Beasley is survived by his wife of 32 years and scientific collaborator, Dr. Lu-Yu Hwang, two children from his first marriage, Monica and Fletcher, a daughter from his second marriage, Bernice, a brother and two grandchildren.
Bryce E. McMurry, M.D., Res. ’67 (psychiatry), after completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Washington in 1941, enlisted in the U.S. Navy and completed his flight training in Penscacola, Fla. He retired from active duty in 1945, having earned the rank of lieutenant commander. Dr. McMurry received an M.D. from the University of Oregon and did an internship and residency at Doctors’ Hospital in Seattle. He began a residency in psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago, completing it at UW Medicine. Dr. McMurry practiced psychiatry at Northwest Hospital & Medical Center until his retirement in 1990, also serving on the hospital’s executive committee; he was a member of the King County Medical Society for 58 years. He is survived by his wife Ellen, children Bryce, Laurie, Paul and Kevin, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Donald G. Bliss, M.D. ’77, completed medical residencies in family practice at the University of Wisconsin, orthopaedic surgery at the University of Utah, and a medical fellowship in pediatric orthopaedics at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. He practiced orthopaedics in St. George, Utah, from 1985 to 1990 and in Kitsap County, Wash., from 1990 to 2012. Dr. Bliss’s professional interests included joint replacement and reconstructive surgery of the hip and knee, hip resurfacing, computer-assisted surgical navigation, minimally invasive surgery techniques, osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment, pediatric orthopaedics and aviation medicine, and he was a founding partner of WestSound Orthopaedics, P.S. Dr. Bliss is survived by his wife, Shawna, his children, Ian and Erica, and his siblings, Nancy, Janet and William.
Bruce E. Hubler, M.D. ’91, Fel. ’97 (radiology), graduated from Caldwell High School in Idaho in 1983. As an undergraduate student at the University of Washington, Dr. Hubler excelled in microbiology, receiving the Charles Evans Award for the highest GPA and graduating with honors, Phi Beta Kappa. He entered the UW School of Medicine as part of the WWAMI-Idaho contingent, and he graduated with honors in 1991 (including election to Alpha Omega Alpha). Dr. Hubler did a residency in diagnostic radiology at Virginia Mason Medical Center, and, in 1997, he completed a fellowship in radiology (abdominal imaging) at UW Medicine. Hubler began his career at Mercy Hospital in Nampa, Idaho, then joined Boise Radiology Group at St. Luke’s Medical Center, where he served until his untimely death. He is survived by his parents, his wife, Cheri, his children, Lexi and Cameron, and his siblings, Carol, Jennifer, Timothy and Alicia. The family has established the Bruce E. Hubler, M.D. Endowed Scholarship for Idaho Medical Students at UW Medicine; contribute online or learn more by calling 206.543.5686.
Nelson Fausto, M.D., UW professor of pathology, senior advisor to the dean of the School of Medicine, and former chair of the Department of Pathology, died at home after a long illness with multiple myeloma. He was 75. Fausto was co-editor of the universally used medical textbooks Robbins and Cotran’s Pathologic Basis of Disease and Arias’ The Liver: Biology and Pathobiology, an acclaimed researcher in the field of liver growth and disease, and a teacher and mentor to several generations of medical students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and other younger colleagues. Born Dec. 13, 1936, in São Paulo Brazil, Fausto attended Colégio Mackenzie and Rio Branco College. He graduated from the University of São Paulo Medical School in 1960. Afterward, he conducted postdoctoral research on liver regeneration at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and became a citizen of the United States.
Fausto joined the UW School of Medicine in 1994 as chair of the Department of Pathology. Under his leadership, the department held the largest number of National Institutes of Health grants in the country for many years. He guided a large faculty while continuing his basic research on liver function and disease, topics on which he published more than 200 widely cited research papers. Last October, after 17 years, Fausto stepped down as chair of the department to serve as senior advisor to Paul Ramsey, dean of the School of Medicine.
Prior to joining the UW faculty, Fausto was founding chair of Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Brown University in Providence, R.I., from 1983 to 1994. Fausto was president of the American Society of Investigative Pathology (ASIP) from 2004–2005. From 1992–2001, he served as editor–in-chief of ASIP’s flagship journal, The American Journal of Pathology. Under Fausto’s leadership and influence, the journal became the leading journal in pathology research.
In 2010, in recognition of his role as past president, as founding editor of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics and as “an individual who represents the highest ideals in pathology and medicine,” he received the Gold-Headed Cane award from ASIP, the highest honor offered by this organization. This year, Fausto received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Pathology Chairs (2012).
Nelson Fausto is survived by his wife, Ann DeLancey, and his brothers, Boris and Ruy. The family suggests that those who wish to make donations can contribute online to the Nelson Fausto and Ann DeLancey Endowment for Native American Education or the Fausto-DeLancey Endowed Professorship in Pathology at UW Medicine; to learn more, contact 206.543.5686.
Photo: David Wentworth Photography
Albert Basil Harris, M.D., was a cum laude graduate and a four-year national merit scholar who attended Birmingham Southern College. He received his M.D. from the Medical College of Alabama in 1954 and did postgraduate neurosurgery training at Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, Mo. Dr. Harris served as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1955–1957 and was part of the medical faculty of Washington University, St. Louis until 1966. He joined UW Medicine’s Department of Neurological Surgery in 1967 and was named professor emeritus upon his retirement in 2001. Dr. Harris held numerous leadership positions in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and its Washington chapter, as well as in the Western Neurological Society. He is survived by Freda, his wife of 54 years, his children, Elizabeth, Kathryn and Basil, and four grandchildren.
James R. Smith, M.D., was a clinical professor emeritus in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UW Medicine, and he worked in the perinatal division for nearly two decades. Morton Stenchever, M.D., the former chair of the department, recalls that he and Dr. Smith were colleagues and friends at Case-Western Reserve University and the University of Utah before coming to UW Medicine. At Utah, Dr. Smith, in addition to serving as medical faculty, led a large effort involving the Neighborhood Health Center program and served on the school’s admission committee. “His strengths were in teaching, patient care and administration,” says Dr. Stenchever. “People liked him very much everywhere he worked, and he related well to everyone.” The same held true at UW Medicine, says David A. Eschenbach, M.D., Res. ’73, present-day chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Especially for Dr. Smith’s patients. “J. R. was the consummate professional, always considering a patient’s wishes along with her care,” says Dr. Eschenbach. “He had an uncanny ability to mesh an expectant mother’s desires with her often-difficult medical condition in a way that produced the optimal outcome for both parent and child.” Dr. Smith was also a very good colleague, says UW professor Thomas Benedetti, M.D. ’73, MHA. “He was the ultimate team player — always available to assist the residents through difficult situations,” says Dr. Benedetti. “He had a smile and a warm laugh to add any situation, and everyone who worked with him will remember the way he role-modeled calm in the face of chaos.” Dr. Smith retired in 1994, and his wife, Patricia, notes how much he had enjoyed working in the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) program. He also enjoyed his work on the UW School of Medicine’s admissions committee. “J. R. was very proud of this work — selecting the physicians of the future,” says Dr. Eschenbach. “If even a portion of them emulate his values, the citizens of Washington and the WWAMI region are very well served. My colleagues and I want to thank Jim’s family for sharing him with us for all these years.”
Alvin J. Thompson, M.D., was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1940 before earning his medical degree from Howard University in 1946. He moved to Seattle in 1953 to work at the VA. Shortly after, he established a private practice, and he created the gastroenterology and internal medicine lab for Providence Health and Services. Dr. Thompson helped found several area organizations and annual events, including the Washington State Association of Black Professionals in Health Care and the Northwest Kidney Centers’ annual Kidney Health Fest. Dr. Thompson — a clinical professor at UW Medicine — strengthened UW Medicine’s mentoring program for minority medical students by connecting the campus with more area physicians. A laureate and master in the American College of Physicians, Dr. Thompson served on numerous county, state and national government committees, focusing on equal access to healthcare, the use of tobacco, diabetes, immunization, education and research. He received many honors, including the John Geyman Health Justice Advocate Award, the Dr. Benjamin Rush Award for Citizenship and Community from the American Medical Association and the Philanthropist of the Year from Washington Gives in 1989. He is survived by his wife, Faye, and his children, Michael, Donna, Kevin, Susan and Gail. The family suggests that those who wish to make donations can contribute online to the Alvin Thompson Medical Student Support Fund at UW Medicine; to learn more, contact 206.543.5686.
Read more about Dr. Thompson at The Seattle Times.
Photo courtesy of UW Medicine’s Center for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Marvin R. Young, M.D., earned B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Oregon, interned at Philadelphia General Hospital, spent two years in the Navy and returned to Oregon for his dermatology residency. He was a clinical professor in UW Medicine’s Division of Dermatology, donating his time for 46 years by attending clinics and conferences. In 1965, he started 30 years of private practice as a dermatologist in Seattle, and, in 1992, Dr. Young began 19 years of commuting to private and Native clinics in southeast Alaska, the VA facility in Anchorage, Alaska, and Native clinics in Montana. Dr. Young was an active advocate for the practice of medicine; he served as president of the Seattle, Washington, and Pacific Northwest dermatologic societies, as well as the King County Medical Society and the Washington State Medical Association. He also was involved with the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Contact Dermatitis Society and Physicians Insurance. In 1992, Dr. Young received the Superior Leadership Award in Medicine from the Seattle Academy of Internal Medicine. He is survived by his wife, Julian, his children, Leslie and John, and two granddaughters.
Jack A. Benaroya was the leading commercial real-estate developer in the Seattle area for many years. Born in Alabama, he spent part of his childhood in California, coming to Seattle in 1933. In 1939, he graduated from Garfield High School, and he served in the Navy in the Philippines during World War II. As well-known as Mr. Benaroya was for his business prowess — he brought the concept of the industrial park to the Northwest — he was equally well-known (with his wife, Becky) for philanthropy. The home of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra bears the Benaroya name, as does the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. The Benaroyas also supported diabetes research — among many other areas — at the University of Washington. In addition to his wife of 70 years, Rebecca (Becky), Mr. Benaroya is survived by three children, Donna, Alan and Larry, four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and a sister, Rose.
Read more in The Seattle Times.
Photo courtesy of the University of Washington
Lucille (Lucia) Rinaudo Phillips married her high-school sweetheart, radiologist Leon Phillips, M.D., on July 3, 1948. The couple settled on Mercer Island in 1959 with their two sons. Mrs. Phillips worked as a travel agent, and she was also a dedicated wife, mother, sister and friend. In 1965, she served as president of the Medical Faculty Wives’ Club (now known as the Friends of the UW School of Medicine) and she was a vibrant member of the Covenant Shores Community. Dr. Phillips, a UW Medicine professor emeritus, died in 2006, and Mrs. Phillips is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law: Cliff Phillips and Babette Heeftle and Bill Phillips and Debra Rinaudo, as well as by two grandchildren, Keller and Ciara Rinaudo.
George B. Rathmann, Ph.D., was a renowned biomedical innovator and entrepreneur. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Northwest University, he earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Princeton University. Dr. Rathmann, who became the director of research at Abbott Laboratories, went on to become the co-founder and CEO of Amgen. Under his direction, Amgen identified the gene for erythropoietin or EPO, a hormone that triggers the body’s production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. In 1989, the FDA approved the sale of EPO, which has since been used to treat chronic anemia in kidney dialysis patients and other types of anemia, such as that experienced by chemotherapy patients. In addition to heading this hugely successful company, Dr. Rathmann — who retired from Amgen in 1990 — retained an interest in biotechnology, and served as chairman of Icos Corp. (now known as CMC Icos Biologics), Nuvelo and ZymoGenetics. Rathmann also was interested in philanthropy, and he and his family created the Rathmann Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Patient-centered Clinical Education at UW Medicine. Dr. Rathmann is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joy, sons James and Richard, daughters Margaret, Laura Jean and Sally, and 13 grandchildren.
Photo courtesy of Amgen