RALPH YODAIKEN

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RALPH YODAIKEN  

Ralph Yodaiken died Saturday, December 22, 2012 at age 88 in his home, keeping his trademark smile and sense of humor through a prolonged illness. He had a full, adventurous life, was a deeply principled physician, and was devoted to his family. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. At 17 he enlisted in the Irgun and was sent to Italy where he helped train and smuggle Jewish concentration camp refugees to fight in Israel. He joined the Israeli Army, serving in Commandos during the War of Independence. He later became a physician in South Africa and moved to the United States to escape Apartheid. He was a university professor, researcher and teacher, practicing physician, and in the U.S. public service. He spent the last part of his career as the Director of the Office of Occupational Medicine, in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, where he was a fierce advocate of protection of workers' health. He had a great enjoyment of and appreciation for life. He will be missed. He is survived by his wife Naomi Baumslag Yodaiken, daughter Ruth, son Victor, daughter-in-law Beth, grandchildren Aaron and Chaia, and many relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his son Barry. Ralph donated his body to medical science. A small gathering of family and friends will take place Wednesday, January 2, 2013 and we hope to celebrate his life in the spring. Donations can be made in his name to American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
 


Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 25, 2012
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