PFEIFFER, Eric Armin 85, died July 8, 2021. A pioneer in gerontology, Dr. Pfeiffer immersed himself for 40 years in Alzheimer's care with emphasis on caring for caregivers, and advancing clinical research trials to mitigate the effects of the disease. Dr. Pfeiffer worked with countless families as the founding director of the USF Suncoast Gerontology Center (now the Byrd Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute). He was involved in the creation of legislation that established the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Initiative (ADI) to start memory disorders clinics, brain banks, and adult day care centers throughout the state. A prolific author and poet, he published 12 books including scholarly texts, health guides for lay readers, and poetry for anyone interested. He co-founded and co-edited, "The Compass Review," a journal that featured emerging and established poets. A number of his own poems were published in the medical humanities journal, "The Pharos." He continued to write up to the end of his life, completing his memoirs just months before his death. Born in East Prussia, his family was repeatedly displaced during wartime. As the war ended, he fled the Soviet zone through snow and gunfire with his mother and sister to reunite with his father in western Germany. The family embarked on a bold adventure to the United States. Quickly learning English, he completed college in two and a half years, and advanced through Washington University Medical School and became a psychiatrist. He married in 1964 in Rochester, NY, lived in Durham, NC for 10 years, eventually moving to Tampa, FL, where he spent the rest of his life. He is survived by Natasha, his beloved wife of 60 years, along with their sons, Eric (Marsha Pfeiffer), Michael (Anne Holmes), and Mark (Adrienne Russo), and their grandchildren, Alexander and Cassandra. Since he had a decades-long tradition of throwing a party for his birthday, the family plans to host a celebration of life open house in Natasha's home in September. His professional commitments live on through the Pfeiffer Endowed Chair in Alzheimer's Research. Donations made in his memory to benefit Alzheimer's clinical research and care at the USF Health Byrd Center may be mailed, with checks payable to USF Foundation, Inc. Fund #250148 Attn: Dan Minor, 4202 East Fowler Ave., ALC 100, Tampa, FL 33612. For questions about donations: 813-396-0731.
Published by Tampa Bay Times on Jul. 18, 2021.
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