Shelby Dietrich Rector
1924 - 2019
April 27, 1924 - August 12, 2019 Shelby Lee Dietrich Rector, loving mother, pioneering physician, devoted friend, and lover of all things related to the High Sierra, died of natural causes on August 12, 2019 in Pasadena, California. She was 95. Born in 1924, Shelby grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. A precocious student who exhausted her teachers, Shelby skipped two grades, won many awards in high school and thrived as a Speech and Debate competitor. Earning both her undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Michigan, Shelby was a Wolverine to her core. Irving Rector (d. 2002), her cherished husband of 51 years, was the witty one, the one who listened. Theirs was a marriage for the ages, one that produced three daughters and a mutual love of Neighborhood Unitarian Church and the High Sierra. Shelby did not go around parading the fact that she was a breakout feminist. Yet she was way ahead of the curve. In her medical school class of 118 students, 15 were women. And Shelby was the one who would go on to become a world renown leader amongst physicians working to find a cure for AIDS and the tainted blood that began infiltrating the Hemophilia community in the early 1980s. Later, Shelby helped to found Young and Healthy of Pasadena, which brings free medical, dental and mental healthcare to underserved children. Shelby had a cadre of friends of every age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and profession. Hers was a true rainbow life. She leaves behind daughters Sarah Rector Aguilar, Lucy Rector Filppu and Ann Chapin Rector, son-in-law Len Filppu, daughter-in-law Nancy Megli, and grandchildren Albert Aguilar, Arthur Filppu, Dori Filppu and Alexi Seale. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Young and Healthy of Pasadena ( Services will be held Saturday, August 31st at 4 p.m. at Neighborhood Church, Pasadena.
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Published by Los Angeles Times from Aug. 15 to Aug. 18, 2019.
Memorial service
Neighborhood Church
, Pasadena, CA
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6 Entries
Susan Resnik
August 9, 2020
My sincere condolences to her family on the death of this wonderful lady. I'll miss all our fun outings and our annual "film festival".
Elsa Martinez
August 30, 2019
My heartfelt condolences go to Dr. Dietrich's family, and I hope that loving memories fill your hearts at this difficult time. I will always think of her as one of the pioneers of hemophilia care, who improved the lives of so many people in the bleeding disorders community. My son is one of the beneficiaries of her visionary medical care and my entire family is extremely thankful for her dedication, intellect and tireless work.
Stephanie Dansker
August 30, 2019
Stan and I send love and heartfelt condolences to her beloved family:Sarah ,Lucy,Ann,Len,Nancy,Albert,Arthur,Dori, and Alexi.
How fortunate I am to have shared part of my life journey with Shelby and to have known her wonderful husband and daughters.
Initially we worked together on an educational project sponsored by the National Hemophilia Foundation. Then, during the course of doing my doctoral dissertation research, I interviewed her and recorded her oral history/life story.It was recently digitized and is in the hemophlia community collection at Columbia University.
We began a friendship after sharing presentations at the WFH Conference in Athens, Greece in 1992.Touring with Shelby and Irving was a joy!
Writing a book chapter together about hemophilia education followed. After moving to CA,I asked her to guide me as I turned my dissertation into a book, BLOOD SAGA. She joined me in working with Marilyn Ness on her film BAD BLOOD: A CAUTiONARY TALE and appeared in it.
Shelby showed a passionate commitment to bettering lives through providing stellar health care. Her creativity resulted in creation of the hemophilia comprehensive care treatment center model with a integrated medical team approach which radically altered and bettered the lives of patients and families living with hemophilia.
I am so blessed to have had her as a colleague, mentor, and friend.
She will always be a part of me-her wisdom and humor will continuously resonate.
Susan (Suzi) Resnik
August 24, 2019
sarah Lucy and ann- my deepest sympathies and condolences on the passing of your mother to a different plane and dimension than we currently reside in.... have awesomely fond memories of your mother she was always such a friendly and interesting person! if there's anything I can do in any way please don't hesitate to let me know.xo lisa goldwhite
Lisa goldwhite
August 21, 2019
Heartfelt condolences to the family. May God give your heart peace and comfort.
August 16, 2019
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