In Memoriam, Summer '22

We Knew You When
William Marchl: The Doctor of Feelings

It’s good to say the things we mean. Of all we’ve seen and heard and felt for and wished and knelt for…. It’s good to talk, don’t you think?” asks X the Owl, in episode 15 of the beloved children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

“Sure,” answers William Marchl (MD ’64, Res ’67), smiling from under his dark-rimmed glasses in the 1968 Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

His answer wasn’t meant to be make believe, though. For Marchl—who provided lessons on physical and emotional health to a vast cast of puppet-characters during his appearances as the Doctor of Feelings in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood—the role allowed him to reach real children worldwide.

Marchl died in 2020 at the age of 82; he spent much of his career practicing psychiatry in Pittsburgh. But his practice transcended the city and time. On the show, he helps characters with complexities like dealing with embarrassment, developing friendships and trying to understand dreams. His cameos are earnest, skillful and profoundly kind.

“My husband was the most gentle person you could have ever spoken with,” recalls Mary Anne Marchl, who met her husband at Pitt-Johnstown, where they were both undergraduates.

For his U.S. Public Health Service assignment, Marchl was a staff psychiatrist for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons in Denver, where he worked with adolescents. He later served as director of Head Start Child Development Center, director of the preadolescent inpatient unit at St. Francis Hospital, medical director of Craig House-Technoma, and as a consultant at the Speech Clinic at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as well as at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. He maintained a private practice in Shadyside.   —Rachel Mennies

Jack Paradise
Sept. 1, 1925—Dec. 20, 2021

The intern watches intently as the attending pediatrician prepares to perform an earwax removal procedure. The physician, Jack Paradise, instructs the child’s parent to have the youngster lie down. Then the doctor pulls out a custom otoscope head—which he invented and named, appropriately enough, the Paradise. The device combines a magnifying glass and a small loop for wax removal.

John Williams, the intern, marvels at the ease of the ensuing procedure: “He made it look effortless and with minimal discomfort for the child. I thought to myself, ‘That’s the gold. That’s my standard.’”

Throughout Williams’ internship at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (1994-1995), he says he learned much by observing Paradise, a Pitt professor of pediatrics and of otolaryngology.

“He was a model of patience and just a marvelous clinical teacher,” recalls Williams, who today is professor of pediatrics and of microbiology and molecular genetics at Pitt and director, Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity in Children. “He taught me how to do ear examinations and remove ear wax,” which, says Williams, “sounds simple but is actually difficult to do without tormenting the child.”

Patient care and teaching were just two aspects of an internationally renowned career in pediatrics for Paradise, who—at 96—died peacefully in his home last December.

When he joined Pitt’s faculty in 1970 and became director of the Children’s Hospital outpatient department, he began decades-long studies—first examining a question he encountered during his practice: Did severe throat infections lead to future illness and necessitate tonsillectomies or adenoidectomies? Paradise’s results, finding no need for such widespread operations, led to a nearly 80 percent reduction in pediatric tonsillectomies nationally.
Paradise then undertook another study—whether tympanostomy-tube placement was necessary in children with persistent ear infections involving fluid accumulation. Those ear tubes had been used with the intention of preventing impairments in speech, cognitive and psychosocial development. But Paradise found no significant differences between ear-tube recipients and nonrecipients, prompting pediatric associations to recommend alternative interventions.

After his 2006 retirement, Paradise remained active in three studies: use of antibiotics in children with acute ear infections, length of therapy for that condition and use of tympanostomy tubes when that condition recurred. All were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, most recently in May 2021.

“A lot of our current trainees are benefiting from his impact,” notes Williams. “He is a big part of our history here in Pittsburgh and in pediatrics.”   —Marty Levine

Adapted from the University Times, © December 2021.


In Memoriam


George Gilmore, MD ‘52
Feb. 4, 2022

Thomas Gustin, MD ‘59
Jan. 13, 2022

Robert Horsch, MD ‘59
April 19, 2022

Martin Jones, MD ‘55
Dec. 17, 2021

George McCollum, MD ‘57
Feb. 19, 2022

Donald Meister, MD ‘54
April 13, 2022

David Schaub, MD ‘53
April 10, 2022

Harold Thomas Jr., MD ‘54
March 9, 2022

Robert Urban, MD ‘56
Jan. 23, 2022

John Ward, MD ‘57
Feb. 17, 2022

A. Leonard Zimmerman, MD ‘58
Jan. 13, 2022


Ronald Amalong, MD ‘61
Feb. 20, 2022

Barry Berkey, MD ‘61
April 12, 2022

James Garrettson, MD ‘65
Dec. 18, 2021

James Houston, MD ‘62
March 4, 2022

David Kraus, MD ‘65
April 7, 2022

Stanley Rabinowitz, MD ‘66
Jan. 1, 2022

Janet Titus, MD ‘67
Dec. 9, 2021


Michael Mallinger, MD ‘74
April 23, 2022

Lawrence Nelson, MD ‘70
April 15, 2022


Erin Sabo, MD ‘90
Feb. 12, 2022


Alicia Saunders, MD ‘10
Dec. 13, 2021