Harvey R. Colten, M.D. Harvey Colten, professor of pediatrics at P&S and a former vice president in Columbia University Medical Center administration, died May 24, 2007. When he joined Columbia in 2002, he brought a long and rich record in research, clinical expertise, and academic medicine leadership. Former dean of Northwestern’s medical school in Chicago, he had served on the medical faculties at George Washington University, Harvard, UC-San Francisco, and Washington University in St. Louis. At Columbia, he administered research and academic programs and played a key role in development of the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy.
Before joining Harvard in 1979, Dr. Colten was an investigator at the National Cancer Institute of the NIH, where he started lifelong research on complement proteins. As chairman of pediatrics at Washington University for nearly a decade, he led research that identified a gene responsible for producing a protein important to the normal function of lungs; disruption caused by a flaw in the gene could lead to respiratory failure and death in infants.
Dr. Colten received his M.D. from what is now Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
John K. Lattimer, M.D., Sc.D. John Kingsley Lattimer, an alumnus who joined the P&S faculty in the early 1940s, died May 10, 2007. He served as professor and chairman of urology from 1955 to 1980. At the time of his death, he was professor emeritus of urology.
|John Lattimer with his daughter, Evan, at P&S Parents’ Day in 2006
Renowned in several fields beyond urology, he brought distinction to P&S through his accomplishments in urology (founding pediatric urology as a discipline, identifying treatment for renal tuberculosis, leading two significant urology organizations, and receiving every major urology award given internationally) and his interest in history as a collector and researcher.
At a memorial service for Dr. Lattimer, his daughter, Evan, also spoke of his athletic abilities as a track star at Columbia College. She found among his possessions a letter inviting him to the 1936 Olympics, an invitation he apparently turned down to continue his studies at P&S.
Ralph Schlaeger, M.D. Ralph Schlaeger, professor emeritus of clinical radiology, died March 13, 2007. Dr. Schlaeger, a member of the P&S faculty for more than 50 years, received his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1945. He served as chief of radiology for the U.S. Army at McClellan Field Hospital in California.
After attending the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, he completed a one-year residency at Milwaukee County Hospital. His residency training in radiology was at Temple University Hospital. He joined the hospital’s attending staff and remained there until joining Columbia in 1954.
A member of the outpatient radiology staff at Columbia until retiring in 1994, Dr. Schlaeger continued to work with colleagues at P&S on a part-time basis until 2005.
Other Faculty Deaths
Lloyd C. Fisher, M.D., assistant clinical professor of medicine at Stamford Hospital, died Feb. 3, 2007.
Matthew Silvan, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor of medical psychology (in psychiatry and dermatology) at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, died Oct. 6, 2006.
|John Kingsley Lattimer, M.D., D.Sc.: A Remembrance
By Mitchell C. Benson’77
George F. Cahill Professor and Chairman of Urology, P&S
Adapted from Dr. Benson’s remarks at a June 5, 2007, memorial service honoring the life and career of John Lattimer.
I entered P&S in September 1973, a new college graduate ecstatic at the opportunity to study medicine at Columbia. Fate led me to a room on the 10th floor of Bard Hall, where on my first day I met Jon Lattimer. Jon knew all the ropes and I soon learned that his dad was the famous chairman of the Department of Urology, John Kingsley Lattimer, a regal name for a regal man.
One day in October, Jon suggested that a number of us take a field trip to his home in Englewood Cliffs. There, I met Dr. Lattimer he will always be Dr. Lattimer to me for the first time. How could one not be impressed? One looked up to Dr. Lattimer, not only owing to his physical stature, but also intellectually. Dr. Lattimer took the time to give us a tour of his many possessions. For me, one who had never been exposed to such memorabilia, it was a take-your-breath-away moment. After that, I always made sure to take the elevator in the Black Building to the 10th floor and gaze at Dr. Lattimer’s latest additions to the display case of his possessions.
My next encounter with Dr. Lattimer was during a first-year medical student clinical correlation conference, lectures meant to bring some medical relevance to the first year. Jon, the student, and I had been out the night before and I made the mistake of falling asleep during the lecture. I was terribly embarrassed and approached Dr. Lattimer to apologize during the break. Dr. Lattimer made believe that he had not noticed and suggested that I be a volunteer for the second portion of the lecture. Dr. Lattimer had me take off my shirt and he proceeded to draw every urological incision on my torso. The indelible ink lasted for two weeks. Young Jon could not stop laughing.
During my third-year clinical rotations, I met the rest of Dr. Lattimer’s faculty and I became convinced that urology was my career. Dr. Myron Roberts was the residency program director and he suggested that I meet with Dr. Lattimer. I walked into his office nervous with anticipation and I left with a job offer for the urology residency program at Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia. As a fourth-year student 30 years ago last month, I had the honor of receiving the John Kingsley Lattimer Award for Excellence in Urology given to a graduating Columbia medical student. Three decades later, I am proud and honored to chair the department he made famous.
For all of us lucky enough to have been influenced by him, John Kingsley Lattimer was a role model and someone who will be very much missed.
Class of 1933
Megumi Y. Shinoda died May 1, 2007, at age 99. The first person of Japanese ancestry to train at Los Angeles County General Hospital, she started a general practice in the Little Tokyo-Nihonmachi neighborhood of Los Angeles before World War II and again after the war. She was honored as a pioneer by the Japanese American National Museum. Later training in psychiatry, she had a thriving psychiatric practice in Hollywood until retiring at age 88. Preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Shinoda, and by a son, she is survived by a daughter, a granddaughter, and a grandson.
Class of 1938
John K. Lattimer, renowned urologist, author, sleuth and collector, died at a hospice in Englewood, N.J., on May 10, 2007. He was 92. His illustrious academic career was matched by accomplishments in sports and historical research. As a young man, he was a track star at Columbia College and won eight metropolitan area Amateur Athletic Union hurdling championships. As a U.S. Army doctor during and immediately after World War II, Dr. Lattimer delivered care to injured troops during the Normandy invasion. He later served as a member of the American medical delegation to the Nuremberg Trials and treated a number of the infamous defendants, including Hermann Goering. He once again touched and was touched by history in 1972, pursuing ballistics research on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and later wrote up the results in a widely read book in which he affirmed the findings of the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin. In addition to close to 400 scientific papers, he wrote a number of books for the general public, including “Hitler’s Fatal Sickness and Other Secrets of the Nazi Leaders” (1999), in which he proposed the theory that Hitler suffered from advanced Parkinson’s disease compounded by the use of drugs. His vast private collection of historical artifacts included swords on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For a number of years he chaired the museum’s annual Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan, often clad in vintage armor. A revered and colorful presence in Washington Heights long after his retirement, Dr. Lattimer was an unofficial historian in residence and a loyal and committed alumnus of the medical school. He is survived by his wife, Jamie, a daughter, two sons (Jon’77 and Gary’84, both urologists), and one grandson.
Natalie J. Deyrup Venneman, a retired pediatrician, died Feb. 15, 2007, at age 93. She practiced for many years in Washington, D.C.
Class of 1940
Word has been received of the death, on Sept. 25, 2000, of Richard Lawrence, former commanding officer of the Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Fla. Survivors include his wife, Kathleen, and a son.
Class of 1942
Peter V.C. Dingman, a retired orthopedic surgeon, died April 7, 2006. Dr. Dingman served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was affiliated with Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut. Active in the Cerebral Palsy Association, he was one of the founders and chairman of the Joint Conference Committee of the Waterbury Medical Society. He also served a term as president of the Alumni Association of the Hospital for Special Surgery, where he trained. Survivors include his wife, Mary Lee, a daughter, and two sons.
Allyn B. Ley, a retired internist, died Sept. 29, 2006. Professor Emeritus at Weill Cornell Medical College, he had been director of the clinical laboratory there. Dr. Ley served as a medical officer on a U.S. Navy destroyer during World War II. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, a daughter, and five sons.
Class of 1943M
Beulah Parker, a highly respected psychiatrist and pioneer in the treatment of schizophrenia, died Jan. 1, 2007. She initially trained in pediatrics. In addition to writing articles in her field, she wrote four books: “My Language is Me” (1962), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; “Mental Health in Service Training” (1968); “A Mingled Yarn” (1972); and “Evolution of a Psychiatrist” (1987), a memoir based on her experience as a woman entering the male-dominated realm of psychoanalysis following World War II. In addition to her private practice she taught in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF and at the University of California School of Public Health at Berkeley. She served for a decade as mental health consultant to the City of Berkeley Health Department. She and her second husband, Dr. Otto A. Will Jr., founded the Free Association, a psychoanalytic training program that stressed interpersonal perspectives. Dr. Parker was the recipient of the Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Award for distinguished contributions to the understanding and psychotherapy of schizophrenia. Preceded in death by two husbands, Dr Leland Vaughan and Dr. Will, she is survived by a stepdaughter, two stepsons, and three grandchildren.
Class of 1944
Arnold N. Fenton, emeritus professor of ob/gyn at Cornell University, died Feb. 1, 2006, 12 days before his 86th birthday. Following his ob/gyn training at Presbyterian and Mount Sinai hospitals, he served in the U.S. Navy. A clinical pioneer, in 1952 he established one of the first private practices in ob/gyn on Long Island and subsequently became director of ob/gyn at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset, where an endowed chairmanship was established in his honor in 1986. He also served as medical director of Planned Parenthood of Nassau County and volunteered medical care for Project HOPE in Cartagena, Colombia. An avid golfer, he participated in several U.S. amateur championships. Survivors include his wife, Marilyn, two daughters, a son, and nine grandchildren.
Edward U. Murphy, a retired ophthalmologist, died from complications following a fall on April 12, 2007, six days short of his 87th birthday. Dr. Murphy was a specialist in pediatric ophthalmology, on which he lectured at NYU’s medical school. Preceded in death by his wife, Doris, he is survived by two daughters, a son, and two grandchildren.
Class of 1945
Mack Clayton, former distinguished clinical professor of orthopedics at the University of Colorado at Denver, where an endowed chair was established in his name, died Feb. 26, 2007. He was 85. Among other accomplishments, Dr. Clayton designed a total hip replacement, pioneered hand surgery for patients severely crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, and had a surgical procedure for rheumatoid arthritis of the foot named after him. In addition to many scientific articles, he co-authored “Surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Founder of the Denver Orthopedic Clinic, where he practiced for many years, he also served as team physician for the Denver Broncos and created the Front Range Doctors’ Ski Patrol. An avid skier, he was the first doctor elected to the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame. Dr. Clayton is survived by his wife, Sally Lee, a daughter, a son, a granddaughter, and two stepgrandsons.
Thomas C. Fleming, affectionately known as Dr. Tom, died March 9, 2007, at age 85. Dr. Fleming served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. After teaching physiology at P&S and the University of Tennessee, he served as chief of chronic disease at Bergen Pines County Hospital in Paramus, N.J. Dr. Fleming also worked in the pharmaceutical industry, first at La Roche Research Laboratories, where he held the simultaneous titles of medical director of sales and advertising, director of medical information, and assistant director of clinical research; later as director of clinical research and product development at Mead-Johnson; and, finally, as group medical director at Sudler & Hennessy. Dr. Fleming was co-founder of Emergency Medicine magazine and editor-in-chief of Postgraduate Medicine. Outside medicine, he made time to act and sing with the Montclair Operetta Club and the Montclair Dramatic Club and to play piano, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, and trumpet with the Lower Basin Street Society of Upper Montclair. He was active in the field of substance abuse treatment, serving as medical director of Alina Lodge Rehabilitation Center in Blairstown, N.J., and as a member of the American Medical Society on Alcoholism. Dr. Fleming was a loyal member of the P&S Alumni Association and a lifelong supporter of the medical school. He is survived by his wife, Katherine, three daughters, and a son.
Class of 1946
James F. Connell Jr., a retired general surgeon, died Feb. 20, 2007. A former member of the clinical faculty in the Department of Surgery at New York University, Dr. Connell had been affiliated with Staten Island Hospital and St. Vincent’s Hospital of Staten Island. In his spare time he was a breeder of cattle and thoroughbred horses. He is survived by his companion, Margaret Burke, two sons, and a granddaughter.
Charles L. Larkin, a retired surgeon turned flax farmer, died Feb. 17, 2007. Dr. Larkin served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps following World War II. He is survived by his wife, Anne, two daughters, and two sons.
George W. Melcher Jr., a former associate professor of clinical medicine at P&S and past president of Group Health Inc. of New York, died Feb. 26, 2007, of cancer. An internist, he had a special interest in Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Melcher had been head of the Genetic Foundation and a co-founder of the Arizona Parkinson’s Institute. Following his retirement he ran a farm in Vermont on which he grew and logged maple trees and produced maple syrup. He is survived by his wife, Carole, six children, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Class of 1947
Harris Karowe, a child psychiatrist, died May 14, 2007, at age 86. He served for 30 years as director of the Child Guidance Center in Schenectady, N.Y., and continued to see patients in private practice until the time of his death. He was also a member of the clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Albany Medical College. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie, two daughters, four sons, and five grandchildren.
Maurice M. Osborne Jr. died of lung cancer on Feb. 14, 2007. He served in the Navy. A retired pediatrician, he had served as chief resident at Boston Children’s Hospital during the last polio epidemic and later served as director of child health for the Town of Brookline, Mass. Earning an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, he began a career in college health, first at Stanford University, then at Tufts medical and dental schools and UCLA. Dr. Osborne served terms as president of the Pacific College Health Association and the American College Health Association. Outside of medicine he was the author of two children’s books, one of which, “Ondine,” published in 1960, won the New York Herald Tribune Honor Book Award for children’s fiction. He was an accomplished artist and a self-taught musician. Survivors include his wife, Dr. Marion Shikamura Osborne, two sons by a previous marriage, and five grandchildren.
Class of 1952
Denton Sayer Cox, clinical associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, died March 3, 2007, of chemical burn wounds and lacerations following an assault. An internist specializing in comprehensive preventive care and anti-aging medicine, Dr. Cox’s practice included many high-profile patients, including writers, artists, ambassadors, entertainment personalities, and royalty. A fund has been set up to establish a professorship in his name at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell.
Peter Kornfeld, clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University, died Feb. 2, 2007, at age 81. Born in Vienna, Austria, he and his family escaped the Nazi terror and emigrated to New York. Enlisting in the U.S. Army, he survived a bout of scarlet fever and attended SUNY Buffalo, where he graduated first in his class. Before moving out West, Dr. Kornfeld served for more than three decades as a member of the clinical faculty in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he and a team of investigators conducted pioneering research on myasthenia gravis. The co-author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, he was honored with the Globus Award of the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine. An avid soccer fan, he was a co-founder and longtime coach of the American Youth Soccer Organization. Dr. Kornfeld was a loyal alumnus and faithful supporter of P&S. Survivors include his wife, Carol, a daughter, a son, and four grandchildren.
Class of 1955
Lloyd C. Fisher, a retired internist, died Feb. 3, 2007. Dr. Fisher attended Dartmouth Medical School before transferring to P&S. His military service was at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda, Md., then he moved to Stamford, Conn., where he was a co-founder of the Stamford Medical Group, Stamford’s first group medical practice. Following his retirement from medical practice, he moved to Grantham, N.H. He continued to teach in retirement as an adjunct professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, three daughters, a son, and nine grandchildren.
|Ruth and Lloyd C. Fisher’55
Peter Fleming died Jan. 22, 2007. A general surgeon, he had been chief of the Department of Surgery at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in South San Francisco. Dr. Fleming served in the U.S. Navy. He is survived by a son.
Class of 1959
Edward A. Vadeika, a retired psychiatrist in private practice, died Feb. 26, 2007. Dr. Vadeika served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He had been a member of the clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. Survivors include his wife, Jeanette, a daughter, a son, and five grandchildren.
Class of 1961
Belated word has been received of the May 3, 2003, death of Stuart L. Billig, a Cleveland ophthalmologist. He is survived by his children, Amalia, Allan, and Daniella Billig.
Class of 1962
Elihu N. Root, associate professor of clinical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, died April 29, 2007, of acute myeloid leukemia. At Baylor he taught physical diagnosis and principles of medical management to medical students and residents. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, including a year in Vietnam. For 35 years he practiced as a medical oncologist at the Seybold Clinic in Houston, Texas, where he was chief of the hematology/oncology section. Dr. Root also served as co-chief of the hematology oncology section at St. Luke’s Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Jane, two daughters, two sons, and eight grandchildren.
Class of 1962 PSY
Robert S. Shapiro died July 5, 2005. A psychiatrist in private practice and former member of the staff at Columbia Psychoanalytic Center, he is survived by his wife, Melba.
Class of 1963
Clifton M. Howard, a physicist turned psychiatrist, died March 3, 2007, at age 84. A research assistant at the Atomic Energy Commission’s Brookhaven National Laboratory before he switched professional paths to pursue medicine, Dr. Howard had a private adult psychiatric practice for 40 years. He also taught for several years on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at P&S. Considerably older than the other members of his class, he had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, participating in nine major naval campaigns in the South Pacific Theatre. Dr. Howard was the recipient of the William Raynor Watson Psychiatry Prize. He was also the founder and president of several computer software companies and wrote numerous articles on Apple computers. Proud of his lineage, Dr. Howard conducted genealogical research documenting 50 different lines of descent from 16 of the 26 Mayflower male heads of family passengers, the most on record. He is survived by his wife, Susan, three daughters by an earlier marriage, and three sons.
Class of 1968
Radiologist Doreen P. Liebeskind died March 16, 2007. A diagnostic radiologist and neuroradiologist, Dr. Liebeskind was a former member of the clinical faculty in the Department of Radiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is survived by her husband, Arie Liebeskind, M.D., a daughter and two sons (all physicians), and four grandchildren.
Eric J. Vanderbush died June 28, 2006. A cardiologist, he had been affiliated with Harlem Hospital Center. Dr. Vanderbush served for two years as a general medical officer with the U.S. Public Health Service Indian Division in North Dakota.
Class of 1969
George J. Saari died suddenly March 24, 2007, while skiing in Yellowstone Park. A revered internist-rheumatologist associated with Bozeman Internal Medicine Associates in Bozeman, Mont., Dr. Saari also served as associate director of the University of Washington Medical School at Montana State University, where Montana medical students complete their first year of medical education. He chaired the first-year introduction to medicine course and in 2003 received the University’s distinguished teacher award. Before launching his private practice he served for two years with the Indian Health Service in Washington and New Mexico. An older son died several years ago in a skiing accident. Survivors include his wife, Anne, a daughter, and a son.