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In Memoriam

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2009 - Spring


Rebecca L. Calderon, M.P.H. ’81, Ph.D. ’86, died on December 21 at her home in Chapel Hill, N.C., after an 18-month struggle with lung cancer. Since 2004 Calderon served as director of the human studies division of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory at the Environmental Protection Agency.Rebecca L. Calderon, M.P.H. ’81, Ph.D. ’86, died on December 21 at her home in Chapel Hill, N.C., after an 18-month struggle with lung cancer. Since 2004 Calderon served as director of the human studies division of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory at the Environmental Protection Agency.

William A. Clermont, R.N., M.P.H. ’57, died on December 22 at Fort Pierce Hospice House in Fort Pierce, Fla. He was 92. Clermont served as a medic in the U.S. Army in England during World War II and was a hospital administrator at Alice Hyde Memorial Hospital in Malone, N.Y.

Charles H. Crothers, M.D. ’44, HS ’48, died on January 10 of cancer at his home in Van Buren, Ind. He was 88. Crothers practiced pediatric medicine in Connecticut for more than 40 years. After serving in the U.S. Army in the Philippines, he returned to Grace-New Haven Community Hospital in 1948, where he was chief resident and assistant professor of pediatrics. In 1952 he began a private practice in New Britain, Conn.

Nicholas D. D’Esopo, M.D. ’36, died on December 12 at his home in Woodbridge, Conn. He was 99. During the 1940s D’Esopo conducted studies that led to the development of combined chemotherapy for the treatment of tuberculosis. From 1953 until 1985, he was chief of the pulmonary disease service at the West Haven VA Medical Center. He was also a clinical professor of internal medicine at the medical school until 2004.

Rocko M. Fasanella, M.D. ’43, chief of ophthalmology at Yale from 1951 to 1961, died on February 11. He was 92. Fasanella established the ophthalmology residency program and headed the section when it was still within the Department of Surgery. He laid the foundation for ophthalmology’s growth into a freestanding department with its own full-time faculty. He is known for a surgical technique that bears his name and is still widely performed, the Fasanella-Servat procedure for drooping eyelid, which was developed with Javier Servat, M.D. His popular textbook, Management of Complications in Eye Surgery, was a must-read in the 1960s and 1970s.

Francis R. Fekety Jr., M.D. ’55, died at Parkcliffe Alzheimer’s Community in Toledo, Ohio, on January 6. He was 79. After service in the U.S. Public Health Service and a teaching appointment at Johns Hopkins University, Fekety established and was named chief of the Infectious Diseases Division of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. He was on the faculty there from 1967 until his retirement in 1995.

Joanne E. Finley, M.D., M.P.H. ’51, died on October 15 in Baltimore, Md. Finley was the commissioner of health in New Jersey from 1974 to 1982 and deputy secretary of health for the state of Maryland from 1983 to 1984.

Dennis R. Hamilton, M.P.H. ’71, died on September 16 in New Hampshire of a heart attack. He was 66. A resident of New Haven, Hamilton was in New Hampshire working on a photo exhibit for Amman Imman, a project started by Ariane Kirtley, M.P.H. ’04, to bring water to remote areas of the African country of Niger. Although retired, Hamilton was active in New Haven’s progressive community and was associate director of Amman Imman. An accomplished pianist, Hamilton often played at his friends’ birthday parties.

Edward H. Hon, M.D., HS ’55, died on November 6 at his home in Bradbury, Calif. He was 89. Hon worked with Orvan Hess, M.D., to invent electronic fetal heart rate monitoring at Yale in the 1960s. Born in China to Australian parents in 1917, he grew up in Australia and came to the United States in 1945 to attend Loma Linda Medical School, then known as the college of Medical Evangelists of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Hon and Hess published their landmark paper on fetal electrocardiography in Science in 1957. Hon received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Robert F. Hustead, M.D. ’54, died on December 6 from complications of pneumonia in Baltimore, Md. He was 80. Hustead was a longtime resident of Wichita, Kan., and a world-renowned anesthesiologist. From 1957 to 1959 he was a captain in the U.S. Army and served at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Aberdeen, Md. In 1959 he became an instructor in anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he started the anesthesiology department. In 1961 he moved to Kansas City to take a position as assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He patented numerous medical devices and invented the Hustead epidural needle, used to eliminate childbirth pain.

W. Raymond James, M.D. ’44, died on December 16 at his home in Essex, Conn. He was 89. After an internship in Los Angeles and a residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York, James and his wife moved to Essex in 1948, where he practiced medicine. A proponent of regionalization and special education, he served on the Essex Board of Education and the Region 4 Board of Education. He was also a health officer in area towns and won awards for his efforts to clean up the polluted lower Connecticut River.

Mildred H. January, M.D. ’35, died on January 5 in West Hartford, Conn., after a long period of failing health. She was 101. After postgraduate training January specialized in psychiatry and psychoanalysis. She maintained a private practice in Hartford, Conn., and was affiliated with clinical settings in Stamford, New Britain, New Haven and Hartford.

Edward M. Kenny, M.P.H. ’63, died on November 26 of prostate cancer. He was 78. Kenny was the assistant administrator at Stamford Hospital from 1963 to 1965; assistant administrator at Manchester Memorial Hospital from 1965 to 1967; executive director of Manchester Memorial Hospital from 1967 to 1983; and president and CEO of the Greenwich Hospital Association from 1984 to 1991. He served for more than two decades in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1979. He was a recipient of the Connecticut Hospital Association T. Stewart Hamilton, M.D., Annual Award for Distinguished Service and was a member of the boards of Workers’ Compensation Trust, Opportunity House (for autistic residents) and Milford Hospital.

James M. Lansche, M.D., HS ’53, died on November 2 in Pocatello, Idaho. He was 78. Lansche became the first neurosurgeon in Pocatello when he moved there from California in 1972. He was chief of staff at the Bannock Regional Medical Center and served on several professional boards, including the State Board of Medical Discipline, as well as in numerous civic and professional organizations. After retiring in 1992, he spent much of the year at his cabin on Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.

Anthony Lovell, M.D. ’67, died on November 15 at his home in Springfield, Mass., of a glioblastoma. He was 68. Lovell had recently retired after 35 years as a cardiologist in Springfield. The son of a lobsterman on Cape Cod, Lovell earned money for college and medical school by shell fishing and commercial fishing. Long interested in serving the community, he helped initiate one of the region’s first cardiac rehabilitation programs at the Springfield YMCA.

John L. Mahoney, M.D. ’63, HS ’69, died on October 5 of prostate cancer at his home in Oakland, Calif. He was 71. After an internship at Seton Hall University Medical Center in New Jersey, Mahoney joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a captain and instructor in neuropsychiatry. In 1973 Mahoney took a position as staff psychiatrist at Highland General Hospital in Oakland. He also started a private practice, consulted at senior living centers and in 1999 became staff psychiatrist at San Quentin State Prison. In 2004 he transferred to Solano State Prison. He retired in 2006.

Hugh J. McLane, M.D. ’46, died at his home in the Laurel Lake Retirement Community in Hudson, Ohio, on January 11. He was 85. After attending Amherst College and the School of Medicine, McLane served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Berlin from 1947 to 1949. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He practiced internal medicine in Fond du Lac, Wis., for more than 40 years and retired in 1992. He served as president of the Fond du Lac Medical Society and president of the Wisconsin Heart Association.

Allan R. Oseroff, M.D. ’76, Ph.D., died on October 16 in Buffalo, N.Y. He was 65. Oseroff was chair of dermatology at the University of Buffalo and at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. He was internationally recognized for the photodynamic treatment of skin cancer.

Frederic M. Richards, Ph.D., a structural biologist and an innovative leader in the study of the relationships between protein structures and their biological functions, died of natural causes at his home in Guilford, Conn., on January 11. He was 83. Richards, professor emeritus of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, was instrumental in the development of molecular biophysics and structural biology at Yale and nationwide. His most paradigm-shifting experiment, published in 1958, provided the first evidence that a protein peptide’s ability to form a three-dimensional structure is an intrinsic property of its amino acid sequence. Richards obtained his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1952. He pursued postdoctoral research at the Carlsberg laboratory in Copenhagen, Denmark, and at Cambridge University in England. In 1955 he joined the biochemistry faculty at Yale and in 1963 merged the departments of biochemistry and biophysics to form the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, with a mandate to move the department into the new field of molecular biology. Between 1963 and 1967 and from 1969 to 1973, as chair of this new department, Richards initiated the development of one of the major centers in the world for the study of biophysics and structural biology. Richards was a member of the National Academy of Sciences the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded the Connecticut Medal of Science in 1995.

Samuel Ritvo, M.D. ’42, a faculty member at the Yale Child Study Center for nearly six decades, died on December 3 while hospitalized for treatment of lymphoma in Maryland. He was 91. Ritvo graduated from Harvard College in 1938. He trained in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and in pediatrics and psychiatry at Columbia University in New York. He joined the Yale faculty in 1950 as part of the reorganization of what became the Child Study Center and held the rank of clinical professor of psychiatry from 1965 until his retirement in 2007. The first director of training in child psychiatry at Yale, Ritvo was a training and supervising analyst at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and the Western New England Institute of Psychoanalysis in New Haven. A highly respected teacher and clinician, Ritvo trained generations of child psychiatrists.

Jerome H. Shapiro, M.D. ’48, died on October 14 in Bedford, Mass., from complications of Alzheimer disease. He was 84. Shapiro served in the U.S. Army during World War II and completed his medical education following his discharge. He was president of the Massachusetts Radiological Society, the New England Roentgen Ray Society and the American College of Radiology (ACR). He received the ACR gold medal in 1992 and a gold medal from the Radiological Society of North America in 1996.

Ellis J. Van Slyck, M.D. ’47, died on December 20 in Grosse Pointe, Mich. He was 84. After his residency and service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War, Van Slyck joined the hematology division at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He authored or co-authored 80 publications about his specialty, cancer and hematologic disorders. From 1981 to 1983 he chaired the medical advisory board of The Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan.

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

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