SPIRA-- Melvin, MD, DDS. Dr. Melvin Spira passed away on October 8, 2020 in Carlsbad, CA. He was born in Chicago, IL on July 3, 1925. After college, he graduated from Northwestern University Dental School in 1947 and served in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps. He soon realized that his true passion was medicine and returned to school, graduating from the Medical College of Georgia in 1956. General surgery training at Duke University Medical School was followed by a plastic surgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Joining the full- time faculty of Baylor in 1961, he was appointed Professor and Head of the Division of Plastic Surgery in 1976. Dr. Spira was past president of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons. He served as Chairman of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and received Distinguished Faculty Awards from Baylor College of Medicine and the Medical College of Georgia and Special Achievement Awards from the American Society of Maxillo-facial Surgeons, the American Association of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Spira was a visiting professor in the US and abroad in 37 institutions, authored 35 book chapters, and authored or co-authored more than 200 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. In 2018, Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine honored him by creating the Melvin Spira MD Endowed Chair in Plastic Surgery. During his long career, Dr. Spira always made time for volunteer surgical missions to operate on adults and children with facial deformities. His last surgical mission with Surgicorps International took place when he was 89 years old. He also enjoyed his second home in Snowmass, CO skiing with his wife Rita and attending the Aspen Institute yearly to explore the latest ideas in politics, the arts, and science. As an avid collector of Western art and an artist himself, he specialized in drawing the human face, a hobby he enjoyed his entire life. Dr. Spira was predeceased by his loving wife of 60 years, Rita Silver Spira, his son Joel Spira and his grandson Joshua Fishman. He is survived by his daughters Dr. Mary Ann Rose and Pamela Spira Fishman, sons- in-law Dr. Richard Rose and Michael Fishman, grandchildren Dr. Alexandra Rose (and Noah Reiter), Brandon Rose (and Natalie Chou), Evan Rose and Anna Fishman, great-granddaugh- ter Daniela Reiter and by his loving companion of the last seven years, Evelyne Browne. Funeral services will be private but contributions can be made to Surgicorps International, www.surgicorps.org
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Published by New York Times on Oct. 11, 2020.