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1926 - 2014
Baler, Dr. G. Robert Of Boston, Mass and Hallandale Beach, Florida, passed away unexpectedly on April 18, 2014, after a tragic accident while walking near his home in Florida. He was 88 and had recently celebrated his birthday with an evening of dining and dancing with his wife Nancy, the love of his life. They were married for 63 wonderful years. Dr. Baler (Bob) was an exceptional man, a loving husband, father, and grandfather, dedicated physician, teacher, mentor and friend. He was a highly respected and well-loved dermatologist in Brockton since 1956, where he raised his family and lived for many years. He was a member of Temple Israel, and an early supporter of the Fuller Art/Craft Museum. During that time, he also served as Chief of Dermatology at the Brockton Hospital, and was a long-standing faculty member in the Department of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, his alma mater, a unique relationship that would continue for many decades. During their years together, Bob and Nancy travelled the world in ways more adventurous than most- the Amazon by riverboat, the Inca trail on foot, to Africa on safari, India, China, Turkey and more. Always a doctor at heart, he visited remote medical clinics along the way. Even at home, Bob led a truly active life. An amateur photographer, avid skier, and gardener with a green thumb, he also maintained a daily exercise routine, loved to swim and enjoyed walking around whatever city he found himself in. If there was music playing, you could always find him on the dance floor with Nancy. Together they enjoyed many concerts, local festivals and art shows. Bob loved nothing more than spending summers on Cape Cod with people he loved. For nearly 50 years he enjoyed swimming, sailing, and being surrounded by friends and family on the Cape. Fishing was his main passion. From catching stripers, blues and tuna off the Cape, to salmon in Alaska, Bob pursued his favorite pastime with the same passion he had for his profession. He shared his love of fishing, and often his catch, with many a friend. His household was always a hub for gatherings of extended family and friends. Hosting the High Holiday services on the deck and the BU dermatology residents' family picnic were always highlights for him. Dr. Baler graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Boston University, received his medical degree from BU School of Medicine in 1950, and after finishing his residency in the Department of Dermatology, served continuously as a faculty member since 1956. He was appointed as a Clinical Professor of Dermatology in 1988, and as Professor Emeritus since 2001. In 2010, he was honored with the endowment of the G. Robert Baler Lecture Series. After retiring from his Brockton dermatology practice, he continued to teach residents and see patients in the Department of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine until last summer in 2013. While his own medical school classmates were retiring from the field, Dr. Baler was, as he wrote in his class notes, "actively practicing dermatology". "As an outstanding member of the Department of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine for over 50 years, Dr. Baler continually demonstrated a tremendous commitment to teaching medical students, residents, and fellows of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. His extraordinary efforts to pass on his years of knowledge to the next generation of trainees were truly exceptional," wrote Dr. Rhoda Alani, Dermatologist- in-Chief, Boston University School of Medicine. He served in numerous leadership roles within the medical community including President of the New England Dermatological Society; Member of the Board of Trustees, Noah Worcester Dermatological Society; Member of the Board of Trustees, Boston Medical Library; Member of the Executive Committee of the Advisory Council, American Academy of Dermatology; and House of Delegates, The Massachusetts Medical Society. He is survived by his loving wife Nancy, daughters Pamela Baler-Amaral (Ken Amaral), Judith and Karen, sons Joseph (Mary Ellen Drislane) and Andrew, and grandchildren Mackenzie Baler, Alex and Rose Baler and their mother Shauna Hynes-Baler. He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Mae Baler and his sister Phyllis Sturman. Dr. "Bob" Baler will be remembered for his love of family, his devotion to the medical field, his sense of humor and his zest for life. He will be greatly missed by family, friends, colleagues, students and the many people whose lives he touched. A Memorial Celebration of Life Service to be held in Boston later this year will be announced at a future date. Please share your thoughts, memories and condolences – http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/bobbaler/homepage.aspx
Published in The Boston Globe on June 1, 2014
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