HAROLD LOUIS BRODELL, M.D.
December 15, 1928 – May 22, 2018
Born December 15, 1928, Harold grew up in Canton, Ohio, with loving parents Nathan and Lena Brodell and younger brother, Robert David. An outstanding student and part-time amateur boxer, he attended Lehman High School and was an Eagle Scout.
Harold graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, winning the Edwin Linton Prize in Biology and the Samuel Jones Prize in Chemistry and Physics, from Washington and Jefferson College in 1950. Later in the year, although he was accepted to medical school at Harvard and Johns Hopkins, he chose to attend The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URSMD), based upon an inspiring admissions interview with the master physician, teacher, researcher, George Hoyt Whipple, M.D.
Prior to moving to Rochester, New York, he married his high school sweetheart, Alma Jean Montgomery. During medical school, two sons were born, James David and Robert Thomas. In 1954, Harold graduated with honors from URSMD with an M.D. degree.
From there, Harold did an internal medicine internship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, followed by an internal medicine residency and cardiology/neurology fellowship at Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, finishing his training in 1958. He published several articles in the hematology and neurology literature. It was in Cleveland that Harold and Jean’s third child was born, Sandra Jane.
During a two-year stint in the U.S. Army as a Captain and Assistant Chief of Medicine at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Harold saved the life of a civilian neighbor who had been electrocuted. For this heroic act, he was awarded the U.S. Army’s Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service (09/13/59).
At the recommendation of his father, Harold then moved his family to Warren, Ohio, where he was engaged in the solo, private practice of internal medicine for thirty years (1960 – 1990). Utilizing a unique home-office setting, Harold answered phone calls from patients 24/7 and always made himself available for emergency visits. He cared for many of his patients at Trumbull Memorial Hospital, where he was president of the medical staff from 1978 – 1980.
Belonging to countless professional and community organizations, he was, perhaps, most proud of his membership and affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America, Old Erie Lodge #3 and the American Cancer Society. He loved playing saxophone with the Top Notes, a big band directed by good friend Robert Fleming. A member of the U.S. Power Squadron, he anonymously authored a textbook on nautical knot-tying (Marlinspike Seamanship).
Harold’s reputation for engaging in an eclectic range of hobbies was legendary. He was a painter, sculptor, barber, magician, astronomer, ballroom and swing dancer, photographer, joke-teller, philanthropist and more than dabbled in ceramics, sewing, solving all sorts of complex mechanical puzzles, and making quilts and travel scrapbooks. A handyman, he reveled in literally thousands of tools which were precisely organized to be readily at his disposal.
At a young age, Harold mastered ancient memorization techniques, most recently popularized in Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein, which made him almost impossible to beat in board games such as chess, checkers and backgammon. He was an equally tenacious opponent in pool and table tennis: modest in victory, gracious in rare defeat.
Despite his many personal and professional exploits, Harold’s major emphasis was on cultivating good friends and a productive, happy family. He leaves behind a cadre of children and grandchildren who have emphasized careers in community service: three children – Dr. Jim (Ann), Dr. Bob (Dr. Linda) and Sandy (Elia); eight grandchildren – Dr. Lindsey (Kevin), Julie (Derek), Dr. David (Taylor), Dr. Erin (Brian), Nathan (fiancée Kellen), Michael, Jimmy and Andy, and five great-grandchildren – Kara, Charlie, Kate, Logan and Brody.
There will be no calling hours. Interment will be private. In remembrance of Harold, the family suggests considering a donation to the Harold Louis Brodell, M.D. ’54 and Alma Jean Brodell Musculoskeletal Research Development Fund (A11116) at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, 14627.