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Ralph T. Lidge Ralph T. Lidge, M.D., 91, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, surrounded by his beloved family. Dr. Lidge is survived by his devoted wife, Jacquelyn (nee Johnson), to whom he was married for 66 years; his loving children, Ralph Jr., Patricia and Chris (Peggy) Lidge; beloved grandchildren, Bradley (Lindsay) Lidge, Catherine (Dylan) Rogers, Brian Milburn, Christopher (Angela) Milburn, Michael, Maggie, Dylan and Ryan Lidge; and his great-grandchildren, Avery and Rowan Lidge. Visitation will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Davenport Family Funeral Home, 149 W. Main St. (Lake-Cook Road), Barrington. He will lie in state on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of service at 10 a.m., at the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights, 302 N. Dunton Ave., Arlington Heights. Interment with military honors will be private at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Arlington Heights. Dr. Lidge, an orthopedic surgeon, founding member of Orthopedic Associates, S.C. in Arlington Heights, as well Northwest Community Hospital where he would become President of the Medical Staff and Chief of Surgery. Dr. Lidge was also Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago where he continued, beyond retirement to teach young doctors the profession he loved. After establishing himself in the Northwest Suburbs, he opened his office with his partner, Dr. Robert W. Alfini, in 1962. The practice became Orthopedic Associates, S.C. in1966, a base from which Dr. Lidge would practice for the next 30 years maintaining the highest ethical standards. He never turned anyone away, saw over 60 patients a day while still maintaining a personal connection with each of them beyond their medical visit, and was still making house calls in 1998, the year he retired. He treated everyone, including patients, colleagues, peers, hospital and office staff, with the utmost respect, compassion, and professionalism. He became world-renowned after traveling to Japan and meeting with Dr. Watanabe in what would become known as a new less invasive surgical technique called "arthroscopy" which has become the standard of care for most knee and shoulder surgeries being done now. Dr. Lidge tutored many surgeons in this technique and would help refine it over the years. He went on to become a Founding Member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) and International Arthroscopy Association (IAA). His exemplary reputation also led him to be selected as one of the first doctors in the United States to be approved to give chymopapain injections, a chemical derived from papaya, in the treatment of back pain. He also was a pioneer in total hip replacement surgery studying under prominent English Orthopedist Dr. Charnley. He even had to buy his own equipment in order to perfect this procedure. Although he was born in Maryland, he and his family moved to Chicago where Dr. Lidge attended North Park Academy, Northwestern University in Evanston and Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, receiving his B.S., M.B. and M.D. degrees. After interning at St. Luke's Hospital and completing one year of his orthopedic residency at the Illinois Research and Education Hospitals, he was called into military service and served from 1946-1948, leaving as a Captain in the United States Army Medical Corps. Dr. Lidge was proud to serve his country. He returned to finish his residency training and afterwards was on the attending staffs of Ravenswood Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, both in Chicago, as well as Holy Family Hospital, Des Plaines, and Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, where he was Chief of the Orthopaedic Residency Training Program from 1966 to 1974. He became a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons in 1953, received his certification by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1954, and was affiliated with numerous societies and associations including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Orthopaedic Association, Chicago Orthopaedic Society, Clinical Orthopaedic Society, Illinois Orthopedic Society Founding Member and Past President, and International Society of the Knee, and many others for which he actively participated on committees, board of councilors, ad hoc task forces plus served as President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Chairman of various societies. Dr. Lidge never stood on the sidelines to let others do the work. The word "no" was never in his vocabulary as he was asked to give lectures, present papers at local, national, and international seminars, authoring and co-authoring books, chapters of books, and articles in medical journals. He worked tirelessly as Editor of the AOA News of the American Orthopaedic Association and as a State, Regional, and National Chairman of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, a cause very close to his heart, of which he was also a Member of the Board of Trustees. He was "eating healthy" before it became fashionable and would even fit in a few games of tennis in his already hectic schedule. Retirement offered more time to do the things he enjoyed such as attending his grandchildren's dance recitals, concerts, plays, sporting events and other school events. He enjoyed traveling, family vacations and making new friendships at The Garlands of Barrington where he and Jacquelyn have resided for the last 10 years. Spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren was first and foremost in his life. Dr. Lidge was preceded in death by his beloved son, Tom; his beloved parents, Dr. Ernest and Renee Lidge (nee Engel); and his beloved brother, Dr. Ernest "Bob" Lidge Jr. His legacy is that of a humble man who loved doing what he did and having touched so many lives in, so many ways that he inspired them to be better people. Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights, 302 N. Dunton Ave., Arlington Heights, and IL.60004 or to the Northwest Community Hospital Foundation, 800 W. Central Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005. Visit www.davenportfamily.com, where online condolences can be left for the family or for information, please call 847-381-3411.


Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald from Jan. 30 to Jan. 31, 2013
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