In Remembrance: Kenneth D. Serkes ’46 Died on February 3 2022

Kenneth D. Serkes, MD, passed away on February 3, 2022, in Santa Barbara, California. He was 95.

He was the beloved husband of Margaret Bischel, MD, for 47 years and was the dear father of Jonathan M. (Sallie) Serkes of St. Louis; Elizabeth Ann (Curt) Serkes-Granzow of Buffalo, Minnesota; and Laura Serkes of Easton, Maryland. He was also the loving grandfather of Benjamin (Kacey) Serkes, Andrew (Sara) Serkes, Kathryn (Joey) Herrle, Nathaniel (Traci) Granzow and Kevin (Taylor) Granzow, David (Renae) Lazaroff, and Jess (Morgan) White; the dear great-grandfather of Melanie, Sean, and Letty Granzow, Quinn Serkes, Leo Herrle, and Sloan and Rory Lazaroff; beloved brother of Eleanor (the late Julius) Schainblatt; and the dear uncle of Merry Schainblatt and Ellen Kortum.

Kenneth was born in 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Freeda and Nathan Serkes.  He graduated first in his Soldan High School class and was awarded a full scholarship to Yale University in 1943. He joined the US Navy and served from 1944 to 1946 and returned to Yale after his service.  In 1947 he entered the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, graduating in 1951.  Training in general surgery was completed at Jewish Hospital in 1956, where later he was appointed to a faculty position and as assistant director of surgery.  He spent 11 years as an educator of young surgeons in training, medical students, and as a member of a laboratory team investigating the problems of surgical shock and resuscitation.

In 1968, he left academia for a career as medical director for the artificial organs division of Baxter Laboratories and spent the next 20 years guiding the clinical development of devices in the fields of oxygenation for open heart surgery, dialysis devices for acute and chronic kidney failure, artificial heart valves, and perfusion preservation of isolated organs for transplantation. After retiring from Baxter in 1988, he continued to consult, was a member of international professional societies and FDA consultant groups, and was author or coauthor of 49 articles.

Contributions in his memory may be made to Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Surgery.

—Submitted on behalf of the family.

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