Deceased February 5, 2017

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In Memory

Jose came to us from Puerto Rico, joined Phi Delt and was a diligent pre-med student. In later life, he was honored as perhaps the most distinguished and dedicated doctor they had in the School of Medical Science at the campus of the University of Puerto Rico.

He attended the University of Puerto Rico until 1954 and did his internship at the University Hospital of Maryland. He married Chela O’Neil when he began his residence in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin. In 1957 he joined the army and was assigned to the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. Upon discharge, he returned to Wisconsin to specialize in cardiology.

When he returned to Puerto Rico, it was clear that his vocation was teaching, and he joined the faculty at the school of medicine, where he designed the course of physical diagnosis and was chosen many times as Teacher of the Year.

His obsession with details led him to take an hour with every patient and to work all hours of the night. In the late 1960s, an immune disease affected his nervous system, but he continued his work in a wheelchair.

In 1979, the mayor of San Juan invited him to serve as chief of internal medicine at the municipal hospital, which he did for four years before going back to his teaching and chairing programs at the Cardiovascular Center of Puerto Rico. He won numerous awards, worked for 55 years and earned the highest honor of Distinguished Professor.

He died Feb. 5, 2017, survived by his wife and two daughters and enshrined in the memory of thousands of students, doctors and patients for his love and dedication. Here is a man who really made a difference and one for whom our class can be truly proud—and humbled.

Gerry Reilly ’49

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