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Dr. George William "Sandy" Reimer

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George "Sandy" Reimer

Dr. George William Reimer, known to family, friends and colleagues as "Sandy", died on March 5, 2014 from injuries sustained when his truck skidded off the Covelo Road during a sudden and severe downpour. He was 89.

Born on December 16, 1924 in Chicago, Sandy later attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, He was drafted into the Army in March, 1943 and completed basic training at Camp Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas. Having received high marks on the Army's intelligence test, Sandy was dispatched to Texas A&M to study engineering. That autumn, Sandy took the Army's medical aptitude test. He was one of five students selected from 5,000 to pursue a medical career. He studied pre-med at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and went on to graduate in 1949 from the University of Texas School of Medicine in Galveston. From 1950 to 1951, he served as a medical doctor in the US Navy and then completed his residency in radiology at Stanford Medical Hospital in San Francisco, California in 1951. The irony of being selected by the Army to become a doctor just before the war ended was not lost on him.

Sandy was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship in 1956. He served first as an instructor of Radiology (1956-1958) and later as Clinical Professor of Radiology (1961-1988) at Stanford Medical School in Palo Alto, California. In 1960, he joined the staff of Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California as a Medical Doctor of Radiology. He also served there as Chief of Staff for two terms and retired in 1988.

Sandy Reimer was the epitome of a Renaissance man. In addition to being a physician and a teacher, he was a great adventurer and connoisseur. He traveled around the world in the early 1960's and did a stint as a volunteer doctor at a hospital in Enugu, Nigeria. He was a voracious reader of books on history and natural science. He was a superb cook and he loved classical music. While living in the Bay Area he regularly attended the San Francisco Symphony, the Opera, and the Ballet.

Sandy was also an athlete. In addition to being an avid backpacker, Sandy took up downhill skiing in his fifties. He loved to go helicopter skiing in the remote Canadian Rockies. For thirty years he was deeply involved with breeding and raising horses alongside his wife Carla whom he married in 1984. A devoted rider, he particularly enjoyed going with her on pack trips deep into his beloved Sierras.

Survivors include his wife, Carla McPherson of Covelo, California; his daughters, Melissa Zahm of Santa Cruz and Daphne Reimer of Sacramento; and his grand daughters, Mary Zahm of Santa Cruz and Ione Fullerton of Sacramento

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 26, 2014
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