FORDE--Dr. Kenneth A. A Tribute on the Passing of a Gentle Giant. The Chairman and faculty members of Columbia University Department of Surgery and its alumni organization, The John Jones Surgical Society, mourn the loss of Kenneth A. Forde, MD, Jose M. Ferrer Professor Emeritus of Clinical Surgery, who passed peacefully at his home on Sunday, June 2, 2019. Dr. Forde completed his surgical residency training at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and served on the faculty from 1966 until his retirement in 2006. He lived a remarkable life, and we are honored to have shared this time with him. While he received many accolades, it is the essence of our friend and colleague that we will all remember. Often described as a "gentle giant," Dr. Forde was known for his generosity of spirit, his kindness and deep desire to help others, his sense of humor, and infectious chuckle, his frequent poetry recitations and use of Shakespearean quotes or, his favorite proverb Verba volant, scripta manent (spoken words fly away, written words remain) - to emphasize a point. He loved music and many recall his rich bass voice singing his favorite Gilbert and Sullivan song "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General." Dr. Forde's legacy lives on in younger generations of surgeons. Those he trained remember him as an incredible role model, a true gentleman, who was gently persuasive yet persistent, and a visionary whose leadership inspired the best in them. Many who experienced his mentoring, and observed his compassionate patient care share how they try to emulate those qualities and hopefully inspire others. His faith was his guiding light. It gave him inner strength and purpose. Dr. Forde respected all people, and no matter the slights or challenges he encountered in his life, he always took the high road. One trainee remembers the advice Dr. Forde gave him under difficult circumstances, "don't get bitter because that ruins everything." He was blessed to share his life and work, for sixty years, with his late wife, Kareitha, and is survived by his son, Trevor, his grandchildren, Sarah and Michael, his sister, Lolita Chandler Crumpley, brother-in-law, Grady Crumpley, and nephew David Chandler. We offer our deepest condolences to the Forde Family. While, he will be sadly missed, we can rejoice for him in the knowledge that he has found his resting place. On Saturday, July 13, at 11am, a memorial service, celebrating his life, will be held at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th St., New York, NY 10025. Donations in memory of Dr. Forde, can be directed to, The Kenneth and Kareitha Forde Endowment for Music Fund, at Christchurch Riverdale, 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway, Bronx, NY 10472, and the Kenneth A. Forde Scholarship, at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, attn.: Laura Tenenbaum, 516 West 168th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10032.
Published in New York Times on Jun. 26, 2019.