Dr. Robert Philip Magdeburger, 73, veterinarian and Air Force veteran

April 01, 2002|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Dr. Robert Philip Magdeburger, a noted Cecil County veterinarian and Air Force veteran of the Berlin Airlift, died of cancer Wednesday at his home in North East. He was 73.

Born in Washington, Dr. Magdeburger served as a flight engineer in the Air Force from 1948 to 1952.

During that time, he flew potentially dangerous missions, carrying food, coal and medical supplies to West Berlin, which had been blockaded by Soviet forces at the beginning of the Cold War. He also flew medical evacuation missions during the Korean War.

He earned his bachelor's degree in animal husbandry from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1955 and his doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine in 1962.

Dr. Magdeburger and his family moved in 1962 to North East, where he opened Elk Neck Veterinary Clinic, from which he served local farmers and pet owners for 35 years.

Family members said he was a man of simple tastes who quietly gave comfort and assistance to the ill and troubled.

"He was heavily involved with people - he'd be the first one to visit someone in a hospital or go help a stranger, but he did it quietly," said his son, Steve Magdeburger of Bel Air.

Dr. Magdeburger was a member of the North East Chamber of Commerce, a member and past president of the North East Lions Club, and a member of North East United Methodist Church and Sigma Tau Alpha Veterinary Fraternity.

He also was a founder and the first president of the Cecil County Youth Football League. An Eagle Scout as a youth, he was active with the Boy Scouts of America.

Last year, Dr. Magdeburger received a humanitarian award from the Lions Club.

While attending the University of Maryland, Dr. Magdeburger spent his summers working as a lifeguard with the Ocean City Beach Patrol. He later attended reunions of the patrol members.

Dr. Magdeburger enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and boating.

Services were held Saturday at North East United Methodist Church.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 43 years, Ann Magdeburger of Elkton; two daughters, Vicki O'Hara of Annapolis and Laura Magdeburger of Solomons Island; a sister, Alice Sedwick of Winter Park, Fla.; and four grandchildren.

Another daughter, Susan Kay Magdeburger, died in 1986.

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