Benjamin T. Friedman, M.D.
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VILLA PARK, CA: Benjamin T. Friedman passed away on September 22, 2012 at the age of 89 at home in Villa Park, California after a long battle with kidney disease. His wife Birgit Park Friedman preceded him in death. He lived the rest of his life in memory of his beloved wife.
He was born June 7, 1923 in Circleville, Ohio to Edgar T. Friedman and Ruth Diorio. He graduated from Lancaster High School, and went on to serve in the Navy in 1943 until 1946, as a Pharmacist's Mate, Second Class. It was during his time that he developed an interest in studying medicine, while assisting in the hospital at Opa Locka Naval Air Station in Florida. While working numerous jobs, he put himself through college and medical school pursuing his dream of becoming a doctor. Benjamin then began practicing anesthesiology in the San Jose area before moving to southern California to practice at Marina Mercy Hospital in Marina del Rey, CA and St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton CA.
When Ben met the love of his life, Birgit, his world changed. They were married on February 24, 1992. His love for her was impassioned, and he took no short cuts in treating her royally. They travelled many places around the globe, and enjoyed an active social calendar, much of which centered on their involvement in the Danish American Club in Yorba Linda. When Birgit became ill, he committed himself to care for her diligently to her final moments. Birgit succumbed to breast cancer in December 1998.
In recent years, his happiest days were with friends, and Benjamin was a friend to many throughout his long life. Those who were close to him when his health declined would say that he maintained his fiery spirit of perseverance to the very end.
His cousin, Maxine Friedman Schoenbaum, of Columbus, Ohio survives him, as well as many nieces and nephews, and his dog-companion, Lucy.
Internment with Military Honors will be at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California in January. As cancer research was important to Benjamin, donations in his honor can be made to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, or City of Hope, Los Angeles, CA.
Published in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette on Nov. 18, 2012