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In Memoriam

John W. Berg, M.D. ’51, a pathologist and cancer epidemiologist, died on July 6, at his home in Tempe, Ariz. He was 82. Berg enlisted in the Army after two years at Yale College and then returned to Yale after service in Europe during World War II. He completed his training at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City in 1955, and then joined the staff as a pathologist/cytologist. He...

John W. Berg, M.D. ’51, a pathologist and cancer epidemiologist, died on July 6, at his home in Tempe, Ariz. He was 82. Berg enlisted in the Army after two years at Yale College and then returned to Yale after service in Europe during World War II. He completed his training at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City in 1955, and then joined the staff as a pathologist/cytologist. He joined the National Cancer Institute in 1965 as a pathologist/epidemiologist. In 1973 he became director of the Iowa State Cancer Registry and professor of preventive medicine at the University of Iowa. In 1977 he moved to Colorado, where he served first as director of epidemiology and statistics at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, then as professor of pathology and preventive medicine at the University of Colorado Health Services Center. He was author or co-author of over 100 research papers and articles, primarily on cancer pathology and epidemiology, and served as editor of Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society.

Richard W. Breck, M.D. ’45, died on July 30 at his home in Wallingford, Conn. He was 89. Breck served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was a medical officer at Scott Air Force Base, Fort Belvoir and Walter Reed General Hospital. He was an attending physician at Meriden-Wallingford Hospital from 1949 to 1981 and chief of staff at the hospital from 1960 to 1962. He also served as medical...

Richard W. Breck, M.D. ’45, died on July 30 at his home in Wallingford, Conn. He was 89. Breck served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was a medical officer at Scott Air Force Base, Fort Belvoir and Walter Reed General Hospital. He was an attending physician at Meriden-Wallingford Hospital from 1949 to 1981 and chief of staff at the hospital from 1960 to 1962. He also served as medical director and attending physician for the former Convalescent Home, now the Regency House of Wallingford; from 1949 to 1980 he was physician for the International Silver Company. A former secretary of the executive committee of the Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988. Breck retired from general practice in 1995 but continued to see geriatric patients on a part-time basis.


Robert C. Charman, M.D., FW ’64, HS ’67, died on May 8 at his home in Lebanon, N.H. He was 71. In 1967 Charman joined the staff at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Lebanon and served in various positions, including acting chair of medicine, director of clinical services for the Department of Medicine and director of the office of graduate and continuing medical education. In 1992 he published At Risk: Can the Doctor-Patient Relationship Survive in a High-Tech World? The book, written for patients and their families rather than physicians, was favorably reviewed by theAnnals of Internal Medicinein 1993. Charman served as vice president of the New Hampshire Medical Board and chair of its Medical Review Subcommittee until 1996.

Kenneth M. Frankel, M.D., HS ’66, died of cancer on June 17 at his home in Longmeadow, Mass. He was 66. After an internship at Yale, Frankel served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969. For his service he received several medals, including the Bronze Star. He was one of the founding members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In 1974 he moved to Longmeadow, where he was...

Kenneth M. Frankel, M.D., HS ’66, died of cancer on June 17 at his home in Longmeadow, Mass. He was 66. After an internship at Yale, Frankel served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969. For his service he received several medals, including the Bronze Star. He was one of the founding members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In 1974 he moved to Longmeadow, where he was chief of thoracic surgery at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. He taught at Tufts University School of Medicine and published a number of articles on pulmonary malignancies, self-inflicted chest wounds and the management of dyspnea.


Laurie B. Hickey, M.D. ’00, M.P.H. ’00, died on May 24 in Ithaca, N.Y. She was 36. While at medical school, Hickey traveled to Gabon, Africa, to work at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné. Upon her graduation she completed a residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston and Boston Medical Center. She moved to Auburn, N.Y., in 2005, where she joined the Auburn Pediatrics Group as...

Laurie B. Hickey, M.D. ’00, M.P.H. ’00, died on May 24 in Ithaca, N.Y. She was 36. While at medical school, Hickey traveled to Gabon, Africa, to work at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné. Upon her graduation she completed a residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston and Boston Medical Center. She moved to Auburn, N.Y., in 2005, where she joined the Auburn Pediatrics Group as a primary care pediatrician. Hickey was a candidate fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Russell Miller Jr., M.D. ’55, Ph.D., died on June 18 in Elk Grove, Calif. He was 80. Miller practiced medicine in the East Bay area for more than 30 years and was an associate clinical professor at the school of medicine of the University of California, Davis.


Monica A. O’Neill, M.P.H. ’86, died on August 18 of cancer at her home in New Haven. She was 49. Until her illness O’Neill was a senior vice president of the PMA Insurance Group of Pennsylvania.

Sidney N. Paly, M.D. ’52, FW ’54, HS ’58, died in Marblehead, Mass., on September 23 after a brief illness. He was 81. Paly, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Russian and Polish immigrants, graduated from Stuyvesant High School for Science in 1943 and spent the war years in the Army Specialized Training Program. Following the war he graduated from Clark University in 1948. He completed neurosurgical...

Sidney N. Paly, M.D. ’52, FW ’54, HS ’58, died in Marblehead, Mass., on September 23 after a brief illness. He was 81. Paly, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Russian and Polish immigrants, graduated from Stuyvesant High School for Science in 1943 and spent the war years in the Army Specialized Training Program. Following the war he graduated from Clark University in 1948. He completed neurosurgical fellowships in Sweden and London. In 1959 he joined the North Shore Medical Center in Massachusetts as one of Salem Hospital’s first two neurosurgeons. He served as chief of neurosurgery from 1966 until 1989 and practiced at Salem and Beverly hospitals until his retirement in 2006. That year he was honored by the Essex South District of the Massachusetts Medical Society as a Community Clinician of the Year. Paly served as president of Cohen-Hillel Academy from 1972 to 1973. He also was a recipient of the Dr. E. Augustus Holyoke Memorial Award in 2002, which recognizes professional excellence and service to the community.


Morton F. Reiser, M.D., the Albert E. Kent Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and training analyst at the Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute, died on June 21. He was 87. Reiser served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was a research psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He joined the faculty of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, trained at the New York...

Morton F. Reiser, M.D., the Albert E. Kent Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and training analyst at the Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute, died on June 21. He was 87. Reiser served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was a research psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He joined the faculty of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, trained at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and joined the faculty there. In 1969, Reiser came to Yale, where he was the Charles B.G. Murphy Professor and chair of psychiatry until 1986. Reiser’s leadership fostered the emergence of the Connecticut Mental Health Center and of the psychiatry department as a preeminent psychiatric program. He advanced an approach to psychiatric illness that linked biological, psychological and social dimensions of illness. He also probed the interface of the psychology and biology of consciousness, particularly altered states of consciousness.

Thomas R. Shea, M.D. ’58, died on July 21 at his home in Sherman, Texas. He was 75. After graduation Shea was an intern in general surgery at Philadelphia General Hospital and completed his residency in eye surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. He subsequently settled in Sherman because he felt the city needed an eye surgeon with his training and experience. He served the community as...

Thomas R. Shea, M.D. ’58, died on July 21 at his home in Sherman, Texas. He was 75. After graduation Shea was an intern in general surgery at Philadelphia General Hospital and completed his residency in eye surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. He subsequently settled in Sherman because he felt the city needed an eye surgeon with his training and experience. He served the community as an ophthalmologist for more than 40 years.


Rajinder S. Sikand, M.D., a former assistant professor of medicine and a physician at Yale University Health Services, died on July 23 in Southbury, Conn. He was 83. Sikand was a graduate of the University of the Punjab Medical School in Lahore, Pakistan, and completed his clinical training in the United States and England. His interest in pulmonary physiology led to the publication of several...

Rajinder S. Sikand, M.D., a former assistant professor of medicine and a physician at Yale University Health Services, died on July 23 in Southbury, Conn. He was 83. Sikand was a graduate of the University of the Punjab Medical School in Lahore, Pakistan, and completed his clinical training in the United States and England. His interest in pulmonary physiology led to the publication of several articles on electrocardiography at Yale in the 1940s and 1950s and to a position as visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1964 and 1965. In 1967 Sikand returned to the United States to serve as a lecturer and researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo. After 1969, he focused his efforts on research and teaching at Yale and was a physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital. In 1973, Sikand was hired as a physician at Yale University Health Services. In 1975 he joined the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven as co-director of the Pulmonary Section. After retiring to Southbury in 1993, Sikand read extensively about art, philosophy and history and nurtured a late-life infatuation with golf.

Nicholas P.R. Spinelli, M.D. ’44, a much-loved physician and medical educator, died on November 30, 2007, in Milford, Conn. He was 86. The son of immigrants from Italy, Spinelli entered Yale College in 1937 and started medical school in 1941. During World War II, he served in the U. S. Army as a neuropsychiatrist in Germany. His medical career of more than six decades included nearly 20 years of...

Nicholas P.R. Spinelli, M.D. ’44, a much-loved physician and medical educator, died on November 30, 2007, in Milford, Conn. He was 86. The son of immigrants from Italy, Spinelli entered Yale College in 1937 and started medical school in 1941. During World War II, he served in the U. S. Army as a neuropsychiatrist in Germany. His medical career of more than six decades included nearly 20 years of community service as an internist in Stratford, Conn. He subsequently became director of medical education at Bridgeport Hospital, where he developed a collaboration with the Yale School of Medicine that included a program in pediatric medicine and recruitment and training of medical practitioners and educators from developing countries. Today scores of practicing physicians credit their careers to his training and mentorship. Spinelli retired from Bridgeport Hospital in 1985 and became director of alumni affairs at the School of Medicine. One of his primary interests was the well-being of students, and early on he recognized the importance of scholarship aid. He helped to establish the Class of 1944 Scholarship Fund, which supports three students each academic year. He remained devoted to his classmates, keeping them in touch over seven decades. Spinelli received numerous awards for his service to Yale, including the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the Peter Parker Medal and Yale’s highest alumni honor, the Yale Medal. Of all the honors, he would say, the most important came when he was 16 years old. “The greatest gift I got was the letter saying I was accepted to Yale.”


Lee Van Lenten, M.D. ’66, died on September 11 in Rockville, Md., after a brief illness. He was 69. Van Lenten retired in 1995 after 24 years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he served as a health science administrator at the National Institute of Medical Sciences. In the mid-1980s Van Lenten was the administrator of the NIH’s Medical Scientist Training Program, which supported...

Lee Van Lenten, M.D. ’66, died on September 11 in Rockville, Md., after a brief illness. He was 69. Van Lenten retired in 1995 after 24 years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he served as a health science administrator at the National Institute of Medical Sciences. In the mid-1980s Van Lenten was the administrator of the NIH’s Medical Scientist Training Program, which supported M.D./Ph.D. candidates. He administered a portfolio of grants in the areas of physiology, trauma and burn injuries. He also published several articles on the radioactive labeling and chemical modification of glycoproteins. Van Lenten received two Commendation Medals and an Outstanding Service Medal during his years at the NIH.

Walter A. Van Sandt, M.P.H. ’52, died on August 30 in Oakland, Calif. He was 89. During his career Van Sandt was an industrial health and safety engineer, publishing articles on the safety design of welders’ helmets, beryllium spectrographs and the calibration of mercury vapor detectors.


M. Henry Williams Jr., M.D. ’47, died on September 16 in Berlin, Vt. He was 83. Born in New Haven, Williams was a ’45W graduate of Yale College. He completed his internship and residency at Columbia University. During the Korean War Williams was a captain in the U.S. Army and chief of the respiratory section at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was a professor of medicine and director of the...

M. Henry Williams Jr., M.D. ’47, died on September 16 in Berlin, Vt. He was 83. Born in New Haven, Williams was a ’45W graduate of Yale College. He completed his internship and residency at Columbia University. During the Korean War Williams was a captain in the U.S. Army and chief of the respiratory section at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was a professor of medicine and director of the division of pulmonary medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York from 1958 until his retirement, and also served as director of the Chest Service at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center. Between 1972 and 1976, he was chair of the advisory committee of the Yale Lung Research Center. He was managing editor of Lungfor many years and served on the editorial boards of Pulmonary PerspectivesExcerpta Medica, and Respiratory Times. He retired from Albert Einstein in 1994 and received emeritus status in 1998.