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Dr. Walter H. Abelmann

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Dr. Walter H. Abelmann Obituary
ABELMANN, Dr. Walter H. Professor emeritus, Harvard Medical School was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany in 1921, of Cambridge, on Jan. 6, 2011. Educated in Switzerland, he emigrated to the US in 1939. After a bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1943, he received hisMD degree from the University of Rochester in 1946, followed by residencies on the Harvard Medical Services at Boston City Hospital and at Memorial Hospital in New York. He completed residency and fellowship training in cardiology at Boston City Hospital on the Harvard Medical Services and the Thorndike Laboratory, where he became a full-time academic cardiologist, advancing to Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of Cardiology and Visiting Physician, Harvard Medical Services. In 1974, Abelmann became Chief of Cardiology at Beth Israel Hospital Boston, until 1978. He remained there as Chief of Cardiovascular Research until 1988, devoting his activities increasingly to the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), for which he served as Chair of the Board of Tutors and Advisors, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, Interim Co-Director 1990-92, Director of Alumni affairs, and Faculty Advisor. Many of the 68 fellows he trained in clinical and investigative cardiology became professors, chiefs of cardiology and heads of cardiovascular societies. In his "retirement years," Dr. Abelmann remained active in HST, taught a popular undergraduate seminar at MIT, "The Art and Science of Medicine," edited the HST Newsletter "The Connection," and until 2006, was director of HST Alumni Affairs. The leisure of his later years permitted him to return to some of his earlier avocations, such as reading history and classics. He is survived by his wife, Rena, sons Arthur and Charles, daughters Nancy Abelmann, Ruth Abelmann, and Karen Gross, and 9 grandchildren. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Walter H. Abelmann Family Book Fund at the Harvard College Library, c/o the Recording Secretary, Holyoke Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138. There will be a Memorial Celebration of Walter Abelmann's life in spring 2011.

Published in The Boston Globe from Jan. 10 to Jan. 11, 2011
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