Robert Healy, 89, surgeon, Civil War enthusiast

February 22, 1999|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Dr. Robert F. Healy, a retired Baltimore general surgeon who for more than 40 years had offices downtown and in Southwest Baltimore, died Thursday of heart failure at his home, the Foxhall estate in Catonsville. He was 89.

Dr. Healy was an attending surgeon at St. Agnes Hospital from 1937 to 1982 and had offices in the Medical Arts Building in Mount Vernon downtown and later on Wilkens Avenue near the hospital.

"He had the perfect demeanor for a surgeon, very low-key and easygoing," said Raymond Kendall, who knew Dr. Healy for about 25 years. "He had a way to make people feel extremely at ease."

FOR THE RECORD - A letter from the editor To our readers: On Feb. 22, in the obituary of Dr. Robert F. Healy, a retired surgeon, The Sun published the following paragraph: " `He had the perfect demeanor for a surgeon, very low-key and easygoing,' said Raymond Kendall, who knew Dr. Healy for about 25 years. `He had a way to make people feel extremely at ease.' " After the article appeared, a member of the family told the newspaper that she had been unaware of Raymond Kendall's existence and suspected that he and the quotation were fabrications. The reporter who wrote the obiruary, queried by an editor, at first stood by the story and then, on Monday, acknowledged the fabrication. He was dismissed from the staff yesterday. People who read a newspaper have a right to expect news, not fiction. On behalf of The Sun, I apologize to Dr. Healy's family and friends, and to our readers. John S. Carroll, editor

A native of Glyndon, Dr. Healy graduated from Franklin High School in 1926 and received his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1930.

He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1934. While in medical school, Dr. Healy was selected for the Rush Medical Society and the Randolph Winslow Surgical Society, both honorary medical societies.

He received his surgical training at St. Agnes Hospital from 1934 to 1937, and opened his practice in the Medical Arts Building after his training.

He was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and belonged to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Dr. Healy collected 18th-century antiques and was an avid student of the Civil War who had a large collection of books dealing with the war. He also enjoyed vegetable gardening and growing exotic flowers.

"When he was young, he always said he wanted to be a doctor or a farmer, and fortunately he was able to be a surgeon," said his sister Eleanor H. Taylor of Glyndon.

In 1982, at the annual Catonsville parade, he was honored as the Catonsville citizen of the year.

Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. today at Witzke Funeral Home of Catonsville, 1630 Edmondson Ave.

Dr. Healy married Adelaide Lucke in 1934; she died in 1994. He is survived by two daughters, Barbara H. Johnson and Patricia Fields, both of Catonsville; another sister, Martha I. Healy of Glyndon; and four grandchildren.

Pub Date: 2/22/99

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