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November 2006

In Memoriam: Walter Charles Lobitz, Jr, MD (1911-2006): A Life Well Lived

Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(11):1495-1496. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.11.1495

On April 17, 2006, we lost a true giant of dermatology. On that day Walter C. Lobitz, Jr, MD, Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Dermatology, Oregon Health & Science University, died in Portland, Ore, at age 94 years. During his lifetime, he saw dermatology evolve into a scientifically based specialty, and he was a major contributor to the evolution.

Dr Lobitz was passionate about life. His enthusiasm was apparent and contagious in all he did, whether he was mentoring young dermatologists, teaching medical students, caring for patients, or fishing, skiing, or mountaineering. He was a connoisseur of fine wines, a gourmet cook, a musician and composer, even a world-class watercolor artist. His watercolors adorn the walls of homes of dermatologist friends all over the world and the hallways at Mary's Woods, his residence in Oregon for the last several years of his life. In spite of his many talents, he was a humble man and insisted on being called “Wally.” Those of us who trained with him could never quite accept such informality in addressing a person we so profoundly admired.