Deceased September 27, 2017

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In Memory

On Sept. 27, 2017, Paul died at 88 of the prostate cancer he’d been fighting with chemotherapy for two years. How we’ll miss his broad grin and lively words at our reunions. 

Before Amherst he’d attended 11 different schools while his dad worked in varying communities around the Midwest, so Paul reached our circle with a knack quickly to befriend! Working on the Amherst Student and fraternity business management, his chemistry major prepared him for Northwestern U. med school (1950-54) and two Philadelphia hospital jobs where his specialty was internal medicine and hematology. As an Army draftee, he continued work in medical research, also launching into space two monkeys, Abel and Boker!

After 1960-65 at Stanford U. Medical Center, he entered private practice from his home in Palo Alto but continued work at the University’s hospital and med school too, helping his cancer patients take advantage of their facilities and staffs. With his lovely wife, Ursula Witte (m. 1971), he fostered four children and eight grandchildren.

When he finally retired in 1997 from his private practice, as a professor emeritus at Stanford’s Medical Center, he continued teaching and consultation for Community Oncology Centers. Now free to pursue also his passion for the history of nearby San Francisco, he joined the San Francisco City Guides to walk with visitors. Having traveled throughout the U.S. in his youth, Paul, with Ursula, enjoyed visits to Israel, Egypt, Thailand and Kenya; enjoyed skiing and keeping up with Yeats, Frost and other readings.

As his son Chris ’97 wrote at Paul’s death, “At his core, he was a man dedicated to humanity:  as a physician, he saved lives; as a professor, he educated generations of healers; as a friend, he was loyal and always stayed in touch and as a family man, he had an endless love for Ursula [and] instilled in his children lofty ideas, noble principles and generosity. He was also a very devoted and selfless grandfather full of love. In his passing, a guiding light left the world.” 

John Priesing ’50

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