Jaroslav F. Hulka
Jaroslav Fabian Hulka

Chapel Hill

Jaroslav Fabian Hulka (Jerry to his friends) died at the age of 84 on November 24, 2014 at the University of North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. He is survived by his wife Barbara Sorenson Hulka, who remains in residence at 2317 Honeysuckle Rd and his children – Carol Ann Hulka (DiPietrantonio) resident of Wayland, MA, Gregory Fabian Hulka resident of Hillsborough, NC, and Bryan Herbert Hulka resident of New Bern, NC. Their spouses are respectively John DiPietrantonio, Susan Weeks Hulka, and Donna Scheungrab Hulka. Additionally, he leaves 7 grandchildren: Abigail Forbes, Helen Ahlquist, Katherine Rose and Margaret Grace in Hillsborough; Miles Sorenson in New Bern, and Christian Joseph and Jessica Elena in Wayland.

Jerry Hulka was born in his parents' home in Queens, New York on September 29, 1930. After attending local public schools and studying piano, Jerry went to Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, where he was assigned by the high school band director to play the French horn. This unplanned directive led to his life-long love of the instrument and enjoyment of music. Thereafter, he attended Harvard University and Columbia Medical School, followed by a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a research fellowship in immunology.

While at Harvard he met Barbara Sorenson via the Harvard/Radcliff orchestra. She was the concertmaster and he was the first horn player. After 4 years of courtship they were married in November 1954 and over the next 12 years had 3 children – Carol, Gregory and Bryan.

After a 6 year sojourn on the faculty of the University of Pittsburg, School of Medicine, Dr. Hulka moved with his family to Chapel Hill to join the faculty in the School of Medicine (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology), School of Public Health (Department of Maternal and Child Health) and the Carolina Population Center, where he continued to pursue his clinical and research goals until the late 1990s. He developed the Hulka clip, which allowed for a potentially reversible method of occluding the fallopian tubes in women, initiated the use of laparoscopy at UNC and internationally, and wrote 3 editions of "Textbook of Laparoscopy". Perhaps his greatest contribution was his unfailing desire to help women with their reproductive goals and support them in their efforts.

Concurrent with his professional work he continued to play the horn – Doctors' orchestra in New York, McKeesport orchestra in Pennsylvania, the Village orchestra (subsequently known as the Chapel Hill Philharmonia), and many chamber music groups in each location.

He was a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, member and president of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists and a long-time member of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club.

A memorial will be held to commemorate the life of Jaroslav Hulka on Sunday January 11 at 3:00pm in the Old Well Room of the Carolina Inn.
Published by The News & Observer on Dec. 4, 2014.
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5 Entries
January 3, 2015
Dr Hulka mentored and inspired decades of physicians. A humble and gifted teacher, he has contributed more to women's health than we can comprehend. Among laparoscopic surgeons, his name is synonymous with safety and innovation. His contributions are immortal. We will miss him.
Ralph Turner
December 30, 2014
Dr. Hulka was one of the most energetic, entertaining, and knowlegeable attendings I worked with during residency (1987-1991). His spirit will be with me forever in the OR. Listening to classical music while operating was a joy! My thoughts are with you and know you celebrate a life well-lived.
Mary Segars Dolan
December 8, 2014
A complete person.Educated,talented,skillful but gentle.(And picked the perfect mate )
Jim Dingfelder
December 4, 2014
Dr. Jerry Hulka changed my life in the most positive way. As a young resident, I was immediately struck by his gentlemanly and scholarly manner. Always with a smile on his face and warm encouragement to his patients and students, he has served as a role model of what a physician should be. He made the world a better place for those who were fortunate to have known him and he will be missed deeply.
Gary Berger
December 4, 2014
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