Dr. Ingeborg W. Fromm, 79, Parkville internist

July 29, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Dr. Ingeborg W. Fromm, a retired Parkville internist whose nearly 40-year family practice earned her praise from patients and colleagues, died of pneumonia Sunday at Ocala Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla. She was 79.

Ingeborg Kathe Wehrmeyer was born and raised in Oldenburg, Germany. During World War II, she was drafted into the German army and assigned to a munitions factory.

"She had been ill as a child and suffered from chronic asthma. She also had polio and couldn't walk for a year. I think that's what drove her into the medical field," said her daughter, Dr. Susanna Fromm-Weakland, a Summerfield, Fla., veterinarian.

Dr. Fromm earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, in 1953. She came to Riverside Hospital in Newport News, Va., the next year, when she was accepted into a yearlong rotating internship.

She moved to Baltimore in 1958 when she joined the staff at Union Memorial Hospital as an assistant resident in the emergency room. In 1959 she was promoted to chief resident and was named a fellow in internal medicine in 1960.

In 1961, Dr. Fromm established a private practice in cardiology and geriatrics in an office at 1 E. University Parkway and also in her Old Harford Road home in Parkville.

"She was bright and good and had an excellent family practice. And her patients loved her. I remember one who described her as the `Earth mother with a Teutonic accent,'" said Dr. William H.B. Howard, a Baltimore surgeon.

"Her patients were enamored of her because she was accepting and very outgoing. She was the kind of doctor who didn't push her patients around. She was your friend as well as your doctor," said Dr. Allan D. Jensen, a Baltimore ophthalmologist and longtime friend.

Dr. Miriam L. Cohen, a cardiologist, first became acquainted with Dr. Fromm 40 years ago.

"She was my teacher at Union Memorial and was the one who taught me how to practice medicine. She was very serious and always stood up for what she thought was right," said Dr. Cohen.

"She was an old-fashioned doctor and wasn't in medicine for the money. She was in it for her patients," she said.

During her lifetime, Dr. Fromm faced her own medical problems.

"She overcame meningitis, and when she was in her late 40s, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had chemotherapy treatments and fought very valiantly. She never let her own illnesses get in the way of her life," Dr. Cohen said.

Dr. Fromm's professional memberships included the Baltimore City Medical Society and the International Woman's Medical Society. She was a past president and secretary of Branch 3 of the American Medical Women's Association.

Dr. Fromm retired in 1996 and had lived in Summerfield since 2001.

She enjoyed ballroom dancing, raising German shepherds, listening to classical music and gardening.

Her marriage to Dr. Gunter Fromm, ended in divorce.

No services are planned.

In addition to her daughter, Dr. Fromm is survived by a sister, Marianne Visser of Oldenburg.

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