Deceased September 15, 2018

View alumni profile (log in required)
Read obituary

In Memory

Let me start at the start, I don’t think I can do justice to the life Hank lived. He died Sept. 15, 2018, at age 90 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease...and after a lifetime of healing in medicine and greatly improving medical care in coastal Maine.

Following graduation, he spent four years at Boston School of Medicine, married Marian Ritch from Mt. Holyoke in 1950, did internship and residency in surgery at Rhode Island Hospital and spent two years in the USNR. Along the way, they had four children.

Hank spent 25 years in private practice of general and thoracic surgery in Camden/Rockport/Rockland, Maine, and a few years at a VA hospital in Togus, Maine, where he did general surgery.

In 1961 he performed the first lung resection in the midcoast, a pneumonectomy at Knox General Hospital, educated nurses in post-op care and started the special care unit at Knox. His father was a doctor and two grandfathers were ministers, and all his life, Hank felt it necessary to be of service to people and to be needed.

Not sure if his pals at Theta Delt realized this at that early age, but he lived his life that way and was a factor in better living in Maine. Marian was the true love of his life for 68 years which included his passions in music, sailing, gardening, tennis, Habitat for Humanity, travel, camping, a universal healthcare system, hospice and end-of-life care.

What’s more, he helped make some of these goals attainable by being instrumental in the planning and building of Penobscot Bay Medical Center and in the fundraising for Sussman House where he was cared for in the final months of his life.

It was not just this serious activity, for he had a lifetime of sailing; wintering in Venice, Fla.; singing with choral groups around the country, as well as with church choirs in southern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. As one would expect, Hank had very strong feelings about managed care, the insurance industry, self-serving politicians, bigoted Christians and music that was not classical.

A celebration of Hank’s noble life was held Nov. 3 at the First Congregational Church of Camden. He is survived by his beloved wife, three of his four children (predeceased by a son), five grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and many nieces and nephews.

A robust life of worthy service to his community, his profession and his elegant could not do much more with his allotted time on earth. The class salutes him.

Gerry Reilly ’49