Dr. Rodney Brimhall, 69, internist, director of cardiac rehabilitation

August 02, 2005|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Dr. Rodney Lee Brimhall, an internist and director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at Anne Arundel Medical Center, died there Saturday of cancer. The Annapolis resident was 69.

Dr. Brimhall was born and raised in Jacksonville, Fla. He was a 1964 graduate of the University of Florida College of Medicine and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore in 1966. He also completed a cardiology fellowship at the University of Florida.

From 1966 to 1968, Dr. Brimhall served as a ship's physician in the Navy, where he attained the rank of lieutenant.

He was in the private practice of Brimhall, Verkouw, Jackson and Kinzer in Annapolis for 25 years until retiring in 1995.

In 1970, he began his association with Anne Arundel Medical Center, where he has headed the cardiac rehabilitation program for the past 15 years.

In addition to establishing a cardiac support group at the hospital, he also had been medical director of its Home Health Hospice program and was a member of the hospital's utilization review program.

"He had an excellent reputation and was honest and straightforward," said Dr. Peter F. Verkouw, his longtime friend and colleague with whom he had practiced for 35 years. "He was a warm human being and a cheerful man who was very good with his patients. And as a cardiologist, he also did a lot of teaching."

Dr. Brimhall's daughter, Kimberly J. Brimhall of Baltimore, described her father as "an unusually compassionate man who had a great love of people. He was an incredibly loving man who just wanted to help others. He'd make house calls and would hold the hands of patients as they died. I think that's why he went into medicine."

Dr. Joseph D. Moser, vice president for medical affairs at Anne Arundel Medical Center, said, "You could always count on him getting a patient seen, and when they came back, they were happy that you had sent them. In a cynical day and age when we think that such idealized doctors no longer exist, Rodney was one that you could describe that way."

Dr. Brimhall enjoyed sailing and was a member of the Annapolis Yacht Club. An accomplished artist, he enjoyed painting still lifes, seascapes and Annapolis scenes in oils and acrylics.

Dr. Brimhall, who had an enthusiasm for learning, returned to school and earned a master's degree from St. John's College in 1989.

He was a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Annapolis and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1300 West St., Annapolis.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 39 years, the former Joyce Wilhelm; a son, William S. Brimhall of Annapolis; a brother, Mark E. Brimhall of Jacksonville; a sister, Marsha A. Leavitt of Kamas, Utah; and two grandchildren.

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