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In Memoriam

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2003 - Summer


Franklin C. Behrle, M.D. ’46, of Grantham, N.H., died October 6 of renal failure due to diabetes. He was 80. Behrle, professor emeritus and chair of pediatrics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, was co-founder and executive chair of the Statewide Perinatal Services and Research Center.

Ronald C. Brown, M.D. ’74, of South Orange, N.J., died August 14. Brown, whose practice was in internal medicine, was a former vice president of medical affairs at Oxford Health Plans in Edison, N.J.

Joseph Budnitz, M.D. ’34, former chief of cardiology at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass., died on October 7 of cardiac arrest at the age of 93. In 1941, he was among the first physicians certified by the newly formed American Board of Cardiovascular Disease.

Harrison Dunn, M.D., HS ’63, of Visalia, Calif., died on October 15 in Pixley, Calif., at the age of 73. For most of his career Dunn was an emergency room physician at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Meriden, Conn. He retired in 1993 and moved to California, where he was employed by the state as a physician at the Corcoran Prison.

Stephen Fleck, M.D., professor emeritus of psychiatry and public health at Yale, died on December 19 at the age of 90. Fleck served as psychiatrist-in-chief of both the Yale Psychiatric Institute and the Connecticut Mental Health Center and was known for his influential research work on schizophrenia and the family. During World War II he helped to evacuate and treat concentration camp prisoners and to interrogate German prisoners.

William W. Glenn, M.D., former chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the medical school, died on March 10 at Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, N.H. He was 88. In 1950, using a pump made from parts of a child’s Erector set, Glenn and colleague William H. Sewell, M.D., created a mechanical heart pump, the forerunner of heart-lung bypass machines. Four years later Glenn became the first to use a vena cava-pulmonary artery shunt to bypass malformed hearts in the treatment of blue babies. And in 1959, Glenn and colleagues introduced the concept of electrical stimulation by radio frequency induction into medical practice, first used to pace the heart and later the diaphragm. Glenn’s textbook, Glenn’s Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, now in its sixth edition, has become the international standard text for vascular surgeons.

Elizabeth R. Harrison, M.D. ’26, one of the first women to graduate from the School of Medicine and pediatrician to three generations of New Haven children, died in her sleep on January 5 at the age of 103.

Charles A. Janeway Jr., M.D., professor of immunobiology at the School of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, died on April 12 at age 60 in New Haven after a long illness. One of the leading immunologists of his generation, he developed many of the concepts that are the basis of immunology today. He is renowned for his recent work on innate immunity, the body’s first line of defense against infection. Janeway predicted in 1989 that pattern recognition receptors would mediate the body’s ability to recognize invasion by microorganisms. This prediction was made first on theoretical grounds, and subsequent experimental work established the underlying mechanisms. Janeway published more than 300 scientific papers and was the principal author of the acclaimed textbook Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease, now in its fifth edition.

Ernest R. Kimball, M.D. ’36, of Jacksonville, Fla., died December 27 at the age of 93. A pediatrician dedicated to the benefits of breastfeeding, Kimball helped found the Evanston (Ill.) Hospital Breast Milk Bank. Kimball and his wife, Alicia, co-founded a not-for-profit ranch in Zion, Ariz., providing physical and recreational therapy for children with mental and physical disabilities.

Samuel Reback, M.D. ’25, a retired neurologist and psychiatrist, died November 22 in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., He was 101. Reback, a former resident of Staten Island, N.Y., was an expert in mental illness and neurological disorders and testified at trials. He wrote many papers on neuropsychiatry and was the first to describe the disorder known as Familial Paroxysmal Choroeoathetosis.

Priscilla Taft, M.D. ’44, of Lenox, Mass., died November 23 at the age of 85. Taft was a pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. She graduated from Radcliffe College but was turned down for admission by the Harvard Medical School because they would not accept women. While at Yale she contracted tuberculosis, an occupational hazard for medical students, and met her husband, Edgar B. Taft, M.D. ’42, while both were in treatment.

Arnold D. Welch, Ph.D., M.D., former chair of pharmacology at Yale, died at home in San Diego on October 11 at the age of 94. Welch also served as department chair at Western Reserve University and was president of the Squibb Institute for Medical Research. At age 75, Welch joined the National Cancer Institute to coordinate the National Cooperative Drug Discovery Groups and served as acting deputy director of the division of cancer treatment.

C. Bruce Wenger, M.D. ’70, Ph.D. ’73, of Natick, Mass., died November 22 after a long illness. He was 60. A pharmacologist, Wenger had been a medical researcher for the Army, specializing in heat-related illnesses. He loved to sing and belonged to the Stambandet Swedish Singing Group and the Norumbega Harmony Singers. Wenger was a long-standing member of Gideons International, the oldest Christian business and professional men’s association in the United States, and the Park Street Church Missions Committee.

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