In Memoriam: Winter 2023


  • Vincent Beltrani, MD, retired associate clinical professor of dermatology, died June 24, 2023. Read more in Alumni In Memoriam (Class of 1957).
  • Stanley Bone, MD, a faculty member in the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, died March 21, 2023.
  • Filippo Giancotti, MD, PhD, the Herbert and Florence Irving Professor of Basic Science in Genetics & Development (in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center), died July 14, 2023.
  • Burton A. Lerner, MD, a faculty member in the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, died Dec. 4, 2022.
  • David Y. Levine, MD, a faculty member in the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, died Jan. 2, 2023.
  • Shearwood McClelland, MD, retired director of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Harlem Hospital Center and associate professor of clinical orthopedic surgery, died Aug. 13, 2023. Read more in Alumni In Memoriam (Class of 1974).
  • Herbert J. Schlesinger, PhD, professor of clinical psychology (in psychiatry), died Sept. 16, 2022



Martin “Marty” Beller’46

Martin “Marty” Beller, a retired orthopedic surgeon residing in Gaines, Pennsylvania, died June 6, 2023, at age 99. He was a Phi Delta Epsilon and Alpha Omega Alpha member during medical school. He served as a U.S. Army captain before an orthopedics residency at New York’s Hospital for Joint Diseases. He joined the orthopedics partnership of brothers Dr. Irvin Stein and Dr. Raymond Stein in Philadelphia, where he practiced until 1997. He was a clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of orthopedic surgery at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. With the Steins, he authored a book in 1955 titled “Living Bone in Health and Disease.” In 1963, he toured Great Britain as a member of the prestigious American-British-Canadian Traveling Fellowship program of the American Orthopedics Society. He enjoyed humor, spending time with his grandchildren, and serving his church’s vestries. Dr. Beller is survived by three children, 10 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.


John Plunkett Leddy’56

John Plunkett Leddy, who served as chief of allergy, immunology, and rheumatology at the University of Rochester for 26 years, died March 19, 2023. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Boston University Medical Center. As a member of the U.S. Army, Dr. Leddy completed a fellowship at Walter Reed Medical Center and, after military service, completed another fellowship at the University of Rochester. His greatest joy was mentoring younger faculty and teaching at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where he was honored with multiple awards for teaching. A humorous storyteller and avid outdoorsman who appreciated music and art, Dr. Leddy is survived by three children and four grandchildren.

Nicholas Yankopoulos of Malibu, California, died April 27, 2022. He was 93.


Vincent Beltrani’57

Vincent Beltrani, an allergist and dermatologist who practiced in the Hudson Valley for 55 years, died June 24, 2023. He was 92. The proud son of Italian immigrants, his first language was Italian, and he obtained Italian dual citizenship at age 87. He enjoyed family, food, opera, and classical music. He is survived by four children, seven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.


Richmond “Dick” Prescott’59

Richmond “Dick” Prescott, an internist and cardiologist, died March 1, 2023. He was 95. He earned a law degree from Harvard and practiced corporate law in New York City before pursuing medicine. He completed internship and residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1971, Dr. Prescott joined Kaiser Permanente’s South San Francisco Medical Center as chief of medicine. He retired as an associate executive medical director for the Permanente Medical Group. After purchasing a cottage built by his uncle, he spent many summers of retirement in Nonquitt in his hometown of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Dr. Prescott is survived by three daughters, six grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.


Griffin “Grif” Bates Jr.’61

Griffin “Grif” Bates Jr., a psychiatrist and painter, died April 21, 2023, in Audubon, Pennsylvania. He was 87. He completed internship and residency at Mary Bassett Hospital and Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, before moving to Vermont in 1970. He worked in the emergency room at Rutland Regional Medical Center in Vermont and the nearby Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital and retired from practice in 1997. He served for years on the VP&S Lawrence J. Durante Scholarship Fund committee, established in 1964 for a former classmate. Dr. Bates started painting the summer before medical school and continued until two weeks before his passing. He is survived by his wife, three children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


William Klein Jr.’62

William Klein Jr., an internist and nephrologist, died June 8, 2023. He was 87. From 1963 to 1965 he served in the Peace Corps as a physician in Ghana, West Africa. He completed an internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, where he was a Mead Johnson Scholar. After a career in academia, he practiced nephrology in Reading, Pennsylvania. He served as chief of the medical staff and was on the board of Reading Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Klein was an avid skier who loved Vail and retired in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is survived by his wife, Sybil, three children, and four grandchildren.


Kenneth Marshall’64

Kenneth Marshall, a plastic surgeon who taught at Harvard medical school, died July 30, 2023. He was 84. Following two years of training in general surgery, he joined the flight surgeon program in Pensacola and from 1966 to 1969 made two cruises on the USS Intrepid to Tonkin Gulf and Vietnam. He and his colleagues were awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for providing emergency care to the injured in the USS Forrestal Fire in 1967. Dr. Marshall completed training in plastic surgery and established a medical practice affiliated with several Boston area hospitals, including Mount Auburn, where he served as chief of plastic surgery. He was president of the Massachusetts, New England & Northeastern societies of plastic surgery. In retirement, he continued to serve on the board of Former Crew Members of the Intrepid and traveled the world, including to Guatemala, where he assisted with volunteer surgical and medical work. He enjoyed squash, skiing, and tennis. Dr. Marshall is survived by two sons and four grandchildren.


David Svahn’65

David Svahn, a longstanding attending physician in internal medicine at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, died July 24, 2023. He was 84. He trained at Columbia affiliates in Cooperstown (Bassett Hospital) and New York City (Presbyterian and Harlem hospitals). He served three years with the U.S. Army in Germany before returning to Bassett, where he was lauded for teaching. He was an inaugural member of the American Society of Hypertension and was active in regional and state American Heart Association organizations. Following retirement in 1999, he continued at Bassett supervising residents in primary care. Dr. Svahn developed a new interest in the medical humanities and served as executive editor for a book of medical student writings, “Let Me Listen to Your Heart.” Until 2010, he taught nurse-practitioner students at Binghamton University. He sang for years in choral societies and acted with the Leatherstocking Theatre Company. Dr. Svahn is survived by his wife, Karin, three children (including Jennifer Svahn’91 and Jonathan Svahn’97) and four grandchildren.


Edward Mullin Jr.’68

Edward Mullin Jr., a urologic surgeon for 40 years in Allentown, Pennsylvania, died June 4, 2023. He was 80. He trained at Massachusetts General Hospital and Duke University Hospital before serving in the U.S. Public Health Service at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. In Allentown, he served as chief of urology, president of the medical staff, and interim chair of surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital. He was also a clinical professor of surgery at Penn State Hershey Medical School. His world travels included running across the original Olympic field in Greece and summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. He was a member of Allentown’s St. Thomas More Catholic Church, where he served on the parish council. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, three children, and seven grandchildren.


Robert “Bob” Titzler, a general practitioner, died May 13, 2023. He was 83. He worked at Floyd County Comprehensive Health Program in Wheelwright, Kentucky; Rutgers University in New Jersey; Mercy Hospital in Anoka, Minnesota; and Group Health Inc. of Minnesota. In retirement, he worked part time covering for physicians on leave. He held extensive volunteer roles, including serving in the Peace Corps in Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria, and Monrovia, Liberia. Other international volunteerism included Rural Hospital Doctors in Dimitrov, Russia, and a Methodist mission in India. He volunteered with the New York City Mission Society; Hands on America in Biloxi, Mississippi, after Hurricane Katrina; Audubon Society; Sherburne Wildlife Refuge; and Wisconsin Citizen Scientists. An avid birder, Dr. Titzler loved the outdoors, teaching his children and grandchildren an appreciation for nature. He is survived by two daughters and two grandchildren.


James “Jim” Taylor’70

James “Jim” Taylor, a cardiologist, died July 27, 2023. He was 78. He served in the U.S. Air Force and joined UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, as a cardiologist and professor. Dr. Taylor is survived by three children and seven grandchildren.


Charles Max Jones’71

Charles Max Jones, a general surgeon in private practice at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, for 28 years, died June 10, 2023. He was 76. Dr. Jones was a chief resident at Emory University and also trained at Grady Memorial Hospital. He spent two years in Florida in service to the U.S. Navy, where he was on active duty as a lieutenant commander for the Naval Reserve. He served as chief of general surgery at Piedmont Hospital and was a longtime member of the Southeastern Society of Clinical Surgeons. He attended Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Dr. Jones was a gifted vocalist who also enjoyed playing the piano. He is survived by his wife, Sandra, one daughter, and two grandchildren.


Shearwood McClelland’74

Shearwood McClelland, associate professor of clinical orthopedic surgery at VP&S and director of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Harlem Hospital Center for 25 years, died Aug. 13, 2023. He was 76. Dr. McClelland was a beloved and long-standing member of BALSO (Black and Latino Student Organization) at VP&S and mentor of students, served on the VP&S medical school admissions committee, and was a former president of the VP&S Alumni Association. As an undergraduate student, Dr. McClelland joined his father working in the steel mills of Gary, Indiana, during summers to help pay his way to Princeton University. He completed an orthopedics residency at Columbia and volunteered with his wife, Yvonne Thornton’73, for active duty in the U.S. Navy. They were commissioned as lieutenant commanders and were stationed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where Dr. McClelland served as chief of total joint surgery. In 1996, he and Dr. Thornton earned executive master of public health degrees in health policy and management from the Mailman School of Public Health. In addition to being a skilled surgeon in musculoskeletal trauma, he completed a fellowship in joint implant surgery at the Ohio State University. He joined Harlem Hospital in 1983, where he was dedicated to serving the underserved. He was a member of the New York State Board of Professional Medical Conduct for nine years and a senior oral examiner for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery for 25 years. In 2005, Dr. McClelland was selected to be a Health Policy Fellow of the National Association of Public Hospitals. He is survived by his wife, two children, and a granddaughter. His son, Shearwood McClelland III, graduated from VP&S in 2004.


Ramin Oskoui, a cardiologist associated with Sibley Memorial Hospital and owner of Foxhall Cardiology in Washington, D.C., died May 5, 2023. He was 60. Sibley Memorial Hospital honored Dr. Oskoui as Physician of the Year in 2015.


Lawrence Cheung’98 with family

Lawrence Cheung, a dermatologist and public health advocate, died July 17, 2023, from esophageal cancer. He was 51. Dr. Cheung was born in Hong Kong and moved to New Jersey as a child. In medical school he started Columbia’s first course on cultural diversity in medicine and was the first national president of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association. He completed a psoriasis research fellowship and served as co-chief resident of his dermatology program at Washington University in St. Louis before establishing a thriving solo dermatology practice in San Francisco. He specialized in the care of patients with psoriasis and eczema, and his practice offered clinical trials and a phototherapy unit. Dr. Cheung served the indigent clinic at St. Mary’s and established the teledermatology service for Asian Health Services. He was president of the San Francisco Marin Medical Society, commissioner for the San Francisco Health Authority, and vice speaker of the California Medical Association House of Delegates. He played a pivotal role in initiating San Francisco’s successful soda tax initiative and a ban on flavored tobacco products. Dr. Cheung was a passionate amateur gourmet chef. As a former member of the Harvard Glee Club, he loved vocal music and served as a board member for the Young Women’s Choral Projects of San Francisco. He is survived by his wife, Angela Wong, and twin children.