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In Memoriam

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2006 - Autumn


Thomas T. Amatruda Jr., M.D. ’78, former chief of medicine at the VA Connecticut Health Care System in West Haven and director of clinical services at Waterbury Hospital, died on April 22 at his home in Woodbridge, Conn., after a short illness. He was 79. Amatruda developed an interest in medicine during his service in the U.S. Army during World War II. He started his career at the School of Medicine and became Waterbury Hospital’s director of clinical services in 1971, a post he held for 17 years. Many of his publications are considered classics in the field of endocrinology and metabolism. In 1989 he received the Laureate Award from the American College of Physicians, Connecticut Chapter. The Thomas T. Amatruda Visiting Lecture Series in Endocrinology was established in his honor at Waterbury Hospital in 1990.

John E. Borowy, M.D. ’50, died in Stamford, Conn., on February 13 after a brief illness. He was 84. Borowy came to the medical school after serving in North Africa in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. After residencies at Kings County Hospital Center in New York and the Veterans Administration hospitals in West Haven and Newington, Borowy opened a private practice in internal medicine and diseases of the heart in Stamford. He retired in 1999.

Lawrence M. Brass, M.D., professor of neurology and of epidemiology and public health, died of cancer on March 8. Brass, a nationally recognized expert who devoted his professional life to improving care and outcomes for patients with stroke, was 49. He received his medical degree from Tufts Medical School. He completed an internship at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts and a residency and chief residency in neurology, as well as a stroke fellowship, at the Neurological Institute of New York at Columbia University. In 1987 he was recruited by Yale to establish a stroke program. He was also chief of neurology at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven and co-director of the Yale Cerebrovascular Center. He was an active lecturer, and authored more than 100 articles and 20 books and book chapters. One of his legacies is the first complete database of stroke among the elderly in the United States; another is the Women’s Estrogen for Stroke Trial.

William B. Bucher, M.D. ’50, died on March 19 in Ventura, Calif. He was 83. While serving in the Air Force in World War II, Bucher received shots infected with encephalitis and spent 20 months recovering from paralysis. After the war he went to medical school on the GI Bill. He was a pediatric resident in the University of Southern California’s program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Walter J. Burdette, Ph.D., M.D. ’42, HS ’46, died on April 18 in Houston, Texas. He was 91. Prior to coming to Yale, Burdette earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1938. While at Yale he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and the Nathan Smith Club and served on the editorial board of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. During his career he was on the surgical faculty at Louisiana State University, the University of Missouri, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, the University of Utah, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas School of Medicine at Houston. His research interests included genetics and cancer treatment; his most recent book, The Basis for Gene Therapy, was published in 2001. He was honored by the Yale Club of Houston with a special Tercentennial Award in 2001.

Thomas B. Caldwell III, M.D. ’65, died on April 20 in Nashville, Tenn. He was 66. Caldwell taught anesthesiology at the University of Miami and Vanderbilt University and published journal articles and textbook chapters on anesthesiology.

Frank W. Countryman, M.D. ’44, died on February 14 in Indianapolis. He was 85. Countryman was a superintendent of Kentucky State Hospital and was on the staff of Winter Veterans Hospital and the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kan. He also served as assistant professor of psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine and consultant to the Social Security Administration’s hearing and appeals committee.

Thomas W. Ferguson, M.D. ’77, died on April 14 in Little Rock, Ark., where he was undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma. He was 62. A writer, physician and researcher, Ferguson studied and wrote about the empowered medical consumer and online health resources. In 1993 he organized the world’s first conference devoted to computer systems designed for medical consumers. Born in Ross, Calif., Ferguson attended Reed College and earned a master’s degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University before coming to Yale. He then launched a career in consumer-focused medical writing as founder of Medical Self-Care magazine. From 1980 to 1996 he authored or co-authored over a dozen books and was section editor for health, medicine and self-care for the Whole Earth Catalog.

Lucian S. Lapinski, M.D. ’50, died on January 15 in Los Angeles, Calif. He was 85. A native of Bridgeport, Conn., Lapinski practiced medicine there before moving to California 23 years ago.

Preston L. Leslie, M.D. ’53, died on November 10, 2005, at his home in Fremont, Calif. He was 81. Leslie enrolled at the School of Medicine following service in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He practiced radiology and was an associate professor at Stanford University Medical Center for several years.

Leo Lutwak, M.D. ’56, Ph.D., died on February 23 in Bethesda, Md., from complications of lung disease. He was 77. Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Lutwak received a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1951 before beginning his medical studies at Yale. Lutwak was a biochemist and endocrinologist specializing in obesity who, while a medical officer for the Food and Drug Administration, raised warnings about health risks from the use of fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine (Fen-Phen) as dietary aids in treating obesity. Despite his warnings the drugs were approved in 1996. Two formulations, Redux (dexfenfluramine) and Pondimin (fenfluramine), were taken off the market a year later when they were linked to hypertension and heart valve problems. Lutwak’s 50-year career included research, teaching and patient care.

Benjamin E. Lyons, M.D. ’38, died on March 18 at his home in Meadow Ridge, Conn. Lyons practiced ophthalmology in Norwalk, Conn., and at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary until he retired in 1989. He collected art from local artists and during his travels with his wife. He also played the violin in local symphony orchestras.

George F. Mahl, Ph.D. ’48, professor emeritus of psychiatry and psychology, died on March 11 at his home in North Haven, Conn. He was 88. Mahl’s graduate work in psychology at Yale was interrupted by four years of military service during World War II. He was a member of the Yale faculty from 1947 until his retirement in 1988, with joint appointments in psychiatry and psychology. He received the Distinguished Service Award in 1995 from the Yale Psychiatric Alumni Association. His major research contribution dealt with the expression of emotions and thought in speech and body movements during psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic interviews. The author or co-author of over 50 major papers, Mahl also served on the faculty of the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis for 25 years and was its president from 1972 to 1974. The Western New England Psychoanalytic Society awarded him its Founder Teaching Prize in 2002.

Sally L. Marchesi, M.D. ’63, died on February 13 in Essex, Conn., after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 69. A faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine since 1972, and later in the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Marchesi retired in 1997. She met her husband, Vincent T. Marchesi, M.D. ’63, at Yale. After graduation, Sally Marchesi spent several years at the National Institutes of Health, where she was one of the first researchers to isolate and study the blood factor responsible for hemophilia. An avid outdoorswoman and athlete, she ran races, coached soccer teams, hiked, biked, swam and windsurfed.

Jean M. Maynard, M.D., M.P.H. ’63, died on January 16 in Warwick, R.I. He was 91. Maynard received his medical degree from Université Laval in Quebec City, Quebec. After an internship in Maine and work as night superintendent at Rhode Island Hospital, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a medical corps captain. He served in Europe during World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge, where he earned five battle stars. He practiced medicine with his wife in West Warwick, R.I., for 20 years.

Harry L. McClelland, M.D. ’50, died on April 17 in Tracy, Calif. He was 80. A native of Madras, India, where his parents were missionaries, McClelland also lived in Calcutta and attended Kodaikanal International School. He served in the U.S. Army as a physician and as a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon. Until illness forced him to end his medical practice in March, McClelland was an active internist for 50 years. He was also a volunteer physician in Honduras following an earthquake, and in Nepal and India.

F. Patrick McKegney, M.D. ’58, died on February 3 in the Bronx, N.Y., after a brief illness. He was 73. McKegney worked at the Public Health Service in Washington, D.C., and taught psychiatry at Yale and at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, where he was department chair for four years. In 1983 he moved to Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He was regarded as a leader in the field of psychosomatic medicine and consultation-liaison psychiatry.

Richard K. Root, M.D., who in the 1970s headed the medical school’s department of infectious diseases and briefly served as acting chair of internal medicine, died on March 19 during a trip to Botswana when a crocodile attacked him. He was 68 and lived in Seattle. Root, a professor emeritus at the University of Washington medical school and an expert in infectious diseases, had gone to Botswana in March to train hospital staff at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone in the management of HIV/AIDS. He and his wife, Rita O’Boyle, were visiting a clinic in Tuli, a remote district in the northeast, when they took a wildlife tour of the Limpopo River. Root was in the lead canoe when a crocodile leaped out of the river, grabbed him and pulled him under the water. Root came to Yale in 1971 as a professor of medicine and was appointed the first Paul Beeson Professor of Medicine in 1980. He was voted “teacher of the year” by the Yale house staff in 1982. He was former president of the American Federation of Clinical Research, editor-in-chief of a textbook, Clinical Infectious Diseases: A Practical Approach, and director of the National Institutes of Health’s AIDS Advisory Committee from 1986 to 1991.

Norman J. Siegel, M.D., HS ’70, founding director of the Section of Pediatric Nephrology, former vice chair and interim chair of pediatrics and physician-in-chief at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, died on April 28 while attending a meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in California. He was 63. A native of Texas, he received his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Siegel, one of the world’s leading pediatric nephrologists, came to Yale in 1968 as an intern in pediatrics. He joined the faculty in 1972 and became a tenured professor in 1982. He was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 1983 and held leadership positions in the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology, the National Kidney Foundation and other national and international organizations.

Send obituary notices to Claire M. Bessinger, Yale Medicine Publications, 1 Church Street, Suite 300, New Haven, CT 06510, or via e-mail to