Dr. Edward Matthew Rehak, 82, pathologist

September 18, 2006|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,sun reporter

Dr. Edward Matthew Rehak, a retired pathologist who was an advocate for the disabled, died of a stroke Sept. 11 at a hospital in Gainesville, Ga. The former North Baltimore resident was 82.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Ellwood Avenue, he was a 1943 graduate of Loyola High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Loyola College in 1946. He received his medical education at Georgetown University.

After internship and a residency at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Mount Alto in the District of Columbia, Dr. Rehak became a pathologist at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He held other posts, including a professorship at the Women's Medical School in Philadelphia, before becoming chief of pathology at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore from 1960 to 1970.

He also taught pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and was later a clinical pathologist at Franklin Square Hospital Center.

Dr. Rehak, who suffered osteomyelitis in one leg as a young man, became an advocate for the disabled. Family members said he befriended nuns in a Roman Catholic women's religious order, the Benedictine Sisters of Jesus Crucified, whose members are disabled.

He worked to help the nuns become trained as cytologists. In their monastery in suburban Philadelphia, they used microscopes to screen slides of suspected cancer patients.

"The idea was to speed up the process," said his son Frank Rehak, a Baltimore photographer who is on the arts faculty of the University of Maryland, College Park. "In those days, a slide screen could take three weeks or three months."

Dr. Rehak visited the nuns several times a year and consulted with them. Their work continues at a Connecticut monastery.

In 1976, he became pathologist and laboratory director at Gulf Coast Community Hospital in Biloxi, Miss. He retired in 1993 and returned to Baltimore.

Dr. Rehak enjoyed reading and gardening.

Services are private.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 52 years, the former Mary Catherine Krepp, a former member of the Baltimore Symphony Chorus; three other sons, Matthew Rehak of Bel Air, John Rehak of Greensboro, N.C., and Mark Rehak of Gordonville, Pa.; four daughters, Mary Clare Smith of Charlottesville, Va., Ann O'Connor of Mobile, Ala., Ellen Graveman of Jefferson, Ga., and Margaret Cochran of Fishers, Ind.; a brother, Dr. Joseph Rehak of Towson; and 13 grandchildren.


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