Dr. Bernard Ludwig has Passed Away

This post is about Dr. Bernard Ludwig, my uncle (mother’s brother) who, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 16 at the age of 90. His funeral will be Wednesday, Sept. 19 1 p.m. at Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel (2401 Steeles Ave West).

What is best known about him is that during his long career as an obstetrician-gynecologist, he delivered 20,000 babies – the population of a small town. He has been acclaimed for his willingness to work long hours and his devotion to his patients. This devotion found expression not just in his availability to perform deliveries, but in his willingness to listen and, if appropriate, offer advice.

On one of my visits when he was still at home, I brought my 12 year old son Alexander with me. He had a message for Alex, delivered succinctly in the words “aim high,” which he then expanded upon in terms of the importance of setting ambitious goals. He then had a personal demonstration for us. One of the reasons he was in such demand was that he was highly skilled in doing the difficult deliveries. He has large hands, and he asked both of us to hold his hands so that he could show us that they still remained – at age 90 – strong and steady.

He also has a large heart, and it was this largeness of heart that inspired his practice, and that his patients responded to. And it was this kindliness and warmth that his relatives, in particular grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and grand-nephews responded to.

I’ve often written about local heroes, people who never have 15 minutes of widespread fame, but who make a huge contribution to the community around them. Dr. Ludwig was the epitome of a local hero.

While in the hospital room as he was dying, one of his former patients who knew he was in the hospital came by to offer prayers for him. And I was there to hold his hands. It was my way of saying thank you.

 

4 comments

  1. He is the most wonderful person that i have ever met in my life.. I have been treated like a family to him.. He had been my doctor and i was always been treated special when i come to see him.. He often ask how am i doing and often offer some advice. i will forever remember him…. as a very special person in my whole life… Rest in Peace … Dr. Ludwig……

  2. I remember “Uncle Bernie” as a teacher and later as a colleague who sent patients to me for GYN surgery. I considered his referrals as a great compliment because he was a consummate clinician and surgeon as well as a respected obstetrician. He was not always admired by his peers as he was an iconoclast and a lone wolf in a profession populated by a plethora of followers. He was unique, caring and a notorious workaholic who very likely gave more of his life to his patients and colleagues than to his family or himself. There will be few if any doctors willing or capable of the sacrifices that Dr. Ludwig made during his career. I will miss him like many others.

  3. He was friends with my family. whenever he saw me he used to give me a hug because I was the smallest baby he delivered in the early sixties and lived. i was born in 24th week gestation which was crazy rare. he always said ” I have a special plasce in my heart for you…

  4. so sad to know that Dr. Ludwig passed away he was indeed a very nice man, very humble inspite of his achievements. rest in peace and God in heaven has a special place for you.

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