Obituary for Dr. Richard Kittredge
Richard Donald Kittredge, MD of Solebury, PA died Monday, August 15, 2016 at his home surrounded by the love of his devoted wife, Sandra.
Born in March 1929, in Manhattan and because of his early love of music and the clarinet he attended the High School of Music and Arts. Declining a musical scholarship, he remained in NYC and attended NYU in the Heights, followed by NYU Medical School, graduating in 1954.
A surgical internship at Bellevue Hospital was followed by a residency in Radiology at Cornell Medical Center. After two years as a medical officer in the Army, he returned to NYC where he worked, first at Memorial Sloan Hospital, then as an Associate Professor of Radiology at St. Luke’s Hospital, where he performed aortograms, the first lymphangiography, and did cardiac research. These procedures, brought him into contact with 50 other radiologists, who together, founded the Society of Cardiovascular Radiology in the early 1970’s. This group developed the specialty of Interventional Radiology which resulted in the formation of the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology which now has a worldwide membership (SCVIR).
Following 25 years of teaching, research, and working as an interventional radiologist, Richard, Dick to many, or Dr. Kitt, was appointed Professor of Radiology at NYU Medical School and Chief of Radiology at the NYVA Hospital. His devotion to medicine and teaching medical students and residents was his joy throughout his 52-year medical career. Retiring at the age of 82 he maintained his medical licenses and his interest in the SCVIR, where he saw himself as “one of the grandfathers” of the society until his recent death. It has been said by colleagues “He had contributed immeasurably to the profession of medicine and his service to others, there are few as good and none better.”
Drawn by the history, beauty and the abundance of antiquing in Bucks County, PA he became a resident and maintained a home in Solebury, PA for over 30 years. Remaining a New Yorker at heart, he returned frequently to Greenwich Village to visit his adored younger sister, Dale Kahn and brother-in-law, Norman Kahn, and to attend cultural and sporting events.
His support and enjoyment of the NY Philharmonic Orchestra throughout his life began as a young teenager when his clarinet teacher, Simeon Bellison, then principle clarinetist of the Orchestra gave him tickets to rehearsals at Carnegie Hall and opera tickets, which he attended with his kid sister. They had to stand the whole performance, but enjoyed every moment. Living in Bucks County this love of classical music continued and was manifested with his support of the Lenape Chamber Orchestra and the Riverside Symphonia.
Handball, his initial game of choice, eventually led him to his love of tennis. He became a fierce competitor and US Umpire from 1963 to 1984. As a linesman and umpire he had the joy of witnessing great tennis, up and coming stars and the champions of the day. He was a member of the Seventh Regiment Armory of Park Ave, West Side Tennis Club in NYC, and Tennisport, in LIC, Buckingham Tennis Club and Doylestown Tennis Club, in Bucks County.
Wherever he traveled his tennis rackets and equipment were with him. His pleasing personality and athletic ability, allowed him to pick up games all over the world including the former Soviet Union and Outer Mongolia in the 1970’s. Never daunted by major surgery which prevented him from playing, he continued his love of the sport, evidenced by his eager anticipation of the Summer Olympic Games and the US Open.
He was a good doctor, respected radiologist, a great teacher and generous man. A fierce competitor, tough as nails when necessary, but kind, gentle, always patient and willing to listen. Even at the end of his life, his wit never failed him or his charming smile and personality. Good medicine was important to him and he believed in its availability to all. He was a strong supporter of land preservation and protection of the environment. He recognized the importance of the arts, especially music, in the school curriculum and in everyone’s life. He was loved and will be greatly missed by his loving wife, Sandra, his adored sister Dale, and brother-in-law Norman, sisters-in-law, Dianne and Martha, and many loving family members including 8 beautiful nieces and their husbands, 9 wonderful great nieces, 6 great nephews, 1 adorable great grandniece, his cherished and faithful friends, and tennis buddies.
A memorial gathering to celebrate Richard’s life will be held at the Varcoe-Thomas Funeral Home, 344 North Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 on Tuesday, August 23rd from 10:00am-12:00 Noon, with a service to be held during this time period.
Interment will follow in Doylestown Cemetery, Doylestown, PA.
In lieu of flowers, Richard would prefer memorial donations be made to one of the following charities:
WQXR c/o NY Public Radio, 160 Varick Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10013 or www.WQXR.org
Renew Theaters, Inc. (County Theater), PO Box 779, Doylestown, PA 18901 or www.countytheater.org/donate
Assistance Dogs of the West, P.O. Box 31027, Santa Fe, NM 87594 or www.assistancedogsof the west.org
Send condolences to www.varcoethomasfuneralhome.com