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Luis L. GONZALEZ M.D. D Sc. (1927 - 2014)

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GONZALEZ

Luis L. Gonzalez, MD, D. Sc. died at the age of 86 on his birthday, June 7, 2014 in his home in Naples, Florida. He had been diagnosed with ALS in February. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonides(1933) and Genoveva(1943). The families of both of his parents were pioneers of Texas settling there in ranch life before Texas became a Republic in 1836. His sisters were proud members of the Daughters of the Texas Republic. Luis' father died at the height of the Great Depression in 1933 leaving eight children (three were 5 years old or younger) behind. "Having five older sisters and one bathroom in preparation for school in the morning was not much fun, " he enjoyed stating in jest. The eventual result of this dilemma was entirely due to the excellent efforts and drive of his mother who was always seeking improvement in educational goals of her children. Luis enjoyed and greatly admired the accomplishments and spiritual values of his wife, Jeannine, of 25 years whom he dearly loved. Three older sisters, Olga, Elpidia, Gloria and two younger brothers, Angel and Dr. Hugo survive Luis. He is also survived by his six children, Luis Gonzalez Jr. (Ann), Steven Gonzalez (Ruby), Mark Gonzalez (Trish), Martha Kingsmith (Pascal), David Gonzalez (Vicky) and Christine Gonzalez. Luis was a loving grandfather to 19 grandchildren. Luis was born June 7, 1928 and spent his early childhood in Edinburg, Texas where he graduated from high school in 1944. He did not recall ever being unemployed. His Social Security (SS) card began recording income in 1937 when he was 9 years old, two years after the institution of the SS law. Child labor laws in South Texas were very lax in those days. He returned to the University of Texas after serving two years in the US Marine Corps. He was eternally grateful for the values and training he received in the Marine Corps and was quick to state that at every opportunity. Following competitive testing, Luis turned down an invitation from the Marine Corps to attend the Naval Academy at Annapolis because his lifetime goal was to become a physician. Luis graduated from the University of Texas in 1949, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Honor Premedical Society. He then graduated from the University of Texas Galveston in 1953, Alpha Omega Alpha,an Honor Medical School fraternity. After two years of internship in California, he enrolled in the University of Cincinnati (UC) surgical residential program. He finished the General Surgical and Thoracic Surgery programs in 1961 after receiving Board Certification from both specialties. During this period of training and throughout his career, his interest was always the improvement of surgical techniques for his specialties. He was fortunate to have been in practice during the time when so many innovations were made giving him the opportunity to observe and use them. Research he conducted during his residency on one of the cardiac valves led to his work entitled "Tricuspid Insufficiency". For this he received the Doctor of Science degree from UC. Following his residency he was invited to join the surgical faculty of that institution where he was Associate Professor of Surgery until his retirement in 2001. During his faculty time at UC he authored 35 original research and clinical surgical publications and 8 cooperative publications. He gave numerous oral presentations, some in Europe. He belonged to many surgical societies having a relationship to the specialties to which he belonged. In spite of his role as a faculty member at UC, he began a very active program at The Christ Hospital. He integrated that surgical program into the UC Faculty and served as Director of Thoracic Surgery. He had the honor of serving as President of the Medical Staff of The Christ Hospital. Following his retirement, he missed his work and his patients. This led him back to work at the Veterans' Administration Clinic in Ft. Myers, FL. He performed general surgical procedures there for six more years and especially considered it a privilege to treat and hear the stories of the WWII vets. Luis spent some time during his "Golden Years" trying to improve his golf game. Though his scores did not improve, the story telling and retelling of previous rounds with friends did. Throughout his golfing career he maintained an interest in the details of operating country clubs. He served as President of two clubs in Cincinnati, Hyde Park CC and Kenwood CC. Luis remained very active in the Marine League in Naples, Florida. Together, he and Jeannine tutored students with disciplinary problems at New Beginnings Middle School in Collier County, a Marine League sponsored project. Luis was an active member of First Baptist Church Naples at 3000 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples, FL 34109. A memorial service will be held there Monday, June 16 at 4:00PM. A memorial service will also be held in Cincinnati at Armstrong Chapel, 5125 Drake Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45243 on Thursday, June 19 at 11:00AM. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Luis may be made to First Baptist Academy, 3000 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples, FL 34109 or to Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples, FL 34105. Arrangements entrusted to Garfield Funeral Care & Cremation Service in Naples, FL (239) 596-5288. Please offer your condolences by visiting www.garfieldcares.com

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Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer from June 11 to June 15, 2014
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