Dr. Jack Wexler, 91, city cardiologist who taught at Hopkins medical school

May 20, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. Jack Wexler, a retired cardiologist who taught at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, died of heart complications May 13 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida at age 91. A former resident of Mount Washington and Pikesville, he had moved to Longboat Key, Fla., in 1975.

Born in Ukraine, he fled with his family because of persecution of Jews. They traveled across Europe for three years before reaching the United States and settling in Boston. He carried the family wealth in gold buttons, covered in cloth, sewed in double rows on his long coat.

Dr. Wexler earned his undergraduate degree at West Virginia University and won the Robert C. Bryant prize for excellence in pathology at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, graduating at the top of his class. He was a resident at Boston City Hospital and studied cardiology under Nobel laureates George R. Minot and William B. Castle.

During World War II, Dr. Wexler served in the Army and was chief executive officer of Edgewood Arsenal's medical division. He attained the rank of major.

Dr. Wexler moved to Baltimore in 1950 and established a practice on Eutaw Place and later at 222 W. Cold Spring Lane. He taught internal medicine and cardiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and was on the staff of Sinai Hospital. He was a consultant to the Veterans Administration and Bethlehem Steel Corp.

"He was known as a superb diagnostician," said his son, Dr. Richard M. Wexler of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. "He was a man who spoke his mind. He always did what he thought was right, not what was necessarily popular."

The elder Dr. Wexler was a past president of the Baltimore chapter of the American Jewish Committee and served on the boards of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and the Baltimore Community Relations Council.

He enjoyed exercise, and at age 87 wrote a book, Heart Friendly Exercises.

Dr. Wexler was a co-founder of the All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota and of Temple Beth Israel at Longboat Key, where services were held Sunday.

Survivors also include his wife of 58 years, the former Ruth Gherman; two other sons, Dr. Bruce E. Wexler of Hamden, Conn., and Steven P. Wexler of Sarasota; and five grandchildren.

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