ALFRED JARETZKI

Obituary
9 entries
  • "a great friend and colleague for many years"
    - william lovejoy
  • "One of the great surgical clinicians of the Golden Age of ..."
  • "Fred was an historic figure in the treatment of myasthenia..."
    - Lewis P. Rowland, MD
  • "Fred, you will be missed by your colleagues in the..."
    - Gil Wolfe
  • "An awesome mentor and role model"
    - Alan Benvenisty, M.D.
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JARETZKI--Alfred III, MD. 94, of New York City and Essex, CT, died on May 29. Professor Emeritus of Clinical Surgery and Special Lecturer at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Revered for his integrity both as clinician and mentor, Fred's long and distinguished career in the Department of Surgery began in 1944 and continued until his retirement in 1992. Early in his career he co-authored with Drs. Arthur Voorhees and Arthur Blakemore the seminal paper on the development of synthetic vascular grafts. This work initiated the modern era of aortic aneur- ysm surgery. After a decade at the Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY, Fred returned to Columbia, where he redefined the anatomy of the thymus gland and the importance of its complete removal in the surgical therapy for myasthenia gravis. This earned him an international reputation which continues to this day. His multiple publications on thymectomy lead to his appointment, at age 85, as co-investigator of the NIH funded Recommendations for Clinical Research undertaken by the Myasthenia Gravis Task Force. Fred's long and elegant life included being Captain of the Junior Varsity Football Team at Harvard and Treasurer of the Lampoon, skiing the Headwall at Tuckerman Ravine, winning the New York State Star Class Championship, being a founding member of the Cooperstown Planning Commission, President of the New York Thoracic Society, Practitioner of the Year, Medical Director of the Operating Rooms from 1992-1996, and co-authoring "A Proud Heritage: an Informal History of Surgery at Columbia," with Drs. Frederic P. Herter and Kenneth A. Forde. He is survived by his sister Josie Lipman, his children Alfred IV, Lasell Bartlett, Alexander and Sumner, his stepson Adam Isles and his wife Hannah and their children Nina and Peter, and his loving wife Alexandra. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, June 18 at 5pm at the Knickerbocker Club in New York. Contributions in Fred's memory can be made to the "Alfred Jaretzki III MD Endowment Fund" which supports the research of junior faculty in the area of thoracic surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. Department of Surgery Finance Office, Attn: Trisha J. Hargaden, 21 Audubon Avenue, Room 209, New York, NY 10032 (212-305-2735).

Published in The New York Times on June 4, 2014