Raymond P. Srsic

Longtime Anne Arundel Pediatrician Loved Caring For Children And Worked Until Just Days Before His Death

July 01, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Raymond P. Srsic, a longtime Anne Arundel County pediatrician and professor of medicine whose practice spanned 50 years, died Thursday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

He was 81 and lived in Queenstown.

Dr. Srsic, the son of a saloonkeeper and a homemaker, was born and raised in Pittsburgh.

He was allowed to skip his senior year at North Catholic High School and enrolled at the University of Notre Dame, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1948.

He earned a master's degree in 1949 in human physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and then served in the Army as a toxicologist from 1951 to 1953, when he was discharged with the rank of captain.

Dr. Srsic enrolled at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree in 1957. While a student at the medical school, he met and fell in love with a student nurse, Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Bordeaux, whom he married in 1958.

After completing an internship and a pediatric residency at Hopkins, Dr. Srsic worked in Florida treating patients on Indian reservations. Dr. Srsic established his pediatric practice in Severna Park in 1961 and later moved to Arnold in 1979. He was still practicing at the time of his death.

"He never retired. He saw patients the Friday before he died," said a daughter, Rebecca Mobley of Stevensville.

She said her father had an "active patient list of some 5,000 patients" and was treating the "fourth generation of families."

Mrs. Mobley said the day after her father last saw patients, he walked her down the aisle to get married. Two days after that, he entered Hopkins Hospital, where he died three days later.

"As my mother said, his medical journey began here, and it was fitting to end at Hopkins," Mrs. Mobley said.

Through the years, Dr. Srsic was so busy that he established a satellite office in Chester, which he operated for six years.

"That's what he wanted to do. He was still attending grand rounds at Hopkins on Wednesdays. He never wanted to stop," she said.

Dr. Srsic was so adamant and certain about returning to work, he told his wife from his sickbed not to cancel his patients scheduled for the next week.

Mrs. Mobley said her father was a deeply religious man who never went to Hopkins without pausing for a moment or two to reflect at the Christus Consolator or the "Divine Healer" statue that has stood for more than a century in the lobby of the domed Billings Administration Building.

In addition to his practice, Dr. Srsic also was an associate professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School.

"I was his nurse and office manager for 24 years, plus my son and daughter were his patients," said Lee Anne Clemens, who lives in Pasadena.

"He was a very caring doctor and a very caring person. He loved children, and they always brought a smile to his face when they came in," she said. "He was always very proud of their accomplishments, and he'd tell parents what a great job they were doing raising their children."

Mrs. Clemens described him as a "meticulous physician" who checked on patients daily when they were in the hospital and talked with their families.

"He had such affection for those children," she said. "They were his life, and he enjoyed taking care of them and keeping them well until they were grown."

Mrs. Clemens said he also cared about his staff. "He'd never let us walk to the parking lot alone," she said. "We miss him dearly."

For 32 years, Dr. Srsic lived in Queenstown in a home overlooking the Wye River, where he was able to indulge his passion for boating, crabbing and fishing.

He was an avid Notre Dame football fan and also liked traveling and attending the theater.

He had been president of the Maryland Chapter of the American Cancer Society and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Dr. Srsic was a former longtime communicant of St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in Queenstown, and was a member of St. Christopher Roman Catholic Church in Chester, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Tuesday.

Surviving in addition to his wife of 51 years and his daughter are a son, Peter A. Srsic of Queenstown; two other daughters, Karen Shorter of Moodus, Conn., and Beth Conolly of Jeffersonton, Va.; a sister, Martha Berdnik of Pittsburgh; and six grandchildren.

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