In Memoriam

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In Memoriam Archive

Karl F. Urbach ’42

Karl Frederic Urbach ’42, November 8, 2003, in San Francisco, California, from colon cancer. Karl attended medical school in Austria, but was diverted to the Dachau concentration camp before he was able to finish his immigration process. Eventually released, he came to Oregon with his brother with an unfulfilled ambition to join the U.S. Army. He enrolled at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, then transferred to Reed and received a BA in chemistry, working summers as a firefighter and roofer. He went to Northwestern University and earned a PhD in chemistry in 1946 and an MD in1950. In 1952 he married Lilly Mendelsohn, and they had two children. Karl's 30-year career as physician with U.S. Public Health Service, included 14 years at the USPHS hospital in Staten Island, New York, heading the anesthesiology department; and 10 years as director of the USPHS Hospital in San Francisco. He retired in 1980, and enthusiastically pursued his interests in hiking, camping, skiing, gardening, reading, travel, and translating. He once noted that Reed reinforced his respect and interest for intellectual endeavors. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and three grandchildren. His son predeceased him.

Appeared in Reed magazine: May 2004

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