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Howard Kline


1932 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Howard Kline Obituary
Howard Jay Kline, M.D.

November 5, 1932 - June 20, 2017

A patient's doctor. The heart in cardiology. A medical student's bedside manner. A student of science, art and literature. A true hakase. His wife's companion through history. His sons' field of dreams.
Howard Jay Kline, M.D. passed away on June 20, 2017 after suffering a severe brain injury while swimming, one of his many passions.

Born November 5, 1932 in White Plains, NY, son of Ray & Rose, brother to Robert and Norma, Howard attended Dickinson College where a professor convinced him to consider medical school, for which he has always been grateful, contributing each year to the college. He graduated from New York Medical College in 1958, completed his internship in Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital, did his residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center and UCSF, following that with a two-year fellowship in cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. In 1969, he headed west – convertible, degree, wife, 3-year old son and pennies in his pocket – to pursue what became a 59-year career in medicine. Always his own boss, Howard started his own practice and grew it over the years to include other physicians and staff. In addition to his private practice, he was a longstanding member of the medical staffs at CPMC and St. Mary's. While he recently announced plans to retire later this year, he practiced medicine until the end and even saw a pre-surgery patient before heading to the pool to swim.

He loved to learn and always had a medical journal in hand. But, more than that, he loved to teach. Dr. Kline was an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai until 1969, when he became a Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF School of Medicine. From 1970 to 1990 he was the Director, Cardiology Training Program at St. Mary's and beginning in 2012 he was a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Creighton University School of Medicine. He twice received special recognition for his contribution as a member of the Clinical Faculty at UCSF, and the hospital remained committed to his teaching post-retirement.

He loved life. And life meant for him the one-hop to shortstop, sunset at Nepenthe's in Big Sur, the City Lights Bookstore, the perfect white wine sauce, the Beatles and La Boheme, being a Lt. Colonel in the US Army during the Vietnam War and an anti-war protester in the Haight, swimming and skiing, London and Kyoto.

Howard is survived by his wife, Ellen, sons Michael and wife Robin, Ethan, and Christopher, and grandsons Levi and Caleb, and he lives on in the memories of scores of patients, colleagues, interns, and friends who frequently and proactively commented on his humility, compassion, tenacity, and overall love of life.

A memorial service will be held at Congregation Sherith Israel at 1:00PM on Sunday, June 25th. 2266 California Street, San Francisco. Parking can be found at Clay & Webster.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the hospital that meant so much to him and where he practiced for many years: St. Mary's.
St. Mary's Foundation
450 Stanyan Street
San Francisco, CA 94117.

The family sends its gratitude to the ER, ICU and administrative staff at St. Mary's Hospital for the care they provided Howard and to the staff and fellow swimmers at Rossi Pool who were there for him when he needed them.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 23, 2017
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