Dr. Charles H. Klieman of Newport Beach, Calif., formerly of Philadelphia, where he went to school (Central High School, Ursinus College) and received his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson Medical College, died Sept. 25.
The 72-year-old eminent cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon died on vacation in Maui, Hawaii.
He spent his professional life of 40 years in posts at California hospitals, where he was chief of surgery and chief of staff.
He also was known as an inventor, with a number of his patented instruments used even today in procedures to close wounds in patients.
He also was an accomplished photographer as well as artist.
With all his callings, Klieman still found time for volunteer work, including a stint a few years back doing vascular operations for those in need at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a U.S. army medical site in Germany dealing with injured Americans who had fought on the Iraq and Afghanistan fronts.
“He never had an ‘enough’ button when it came to helping others,” recalls his sister, Carol Lowe. “There was never a limit to his giving.”
For that trait and for his expertise as a surgeon, Klieman was recently honored by St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, Cal. The tribute, the Vincentian Spirit Award, is the pinnacle of honors accorded by the medical center and was received by the physician’s wife, the former Candace Barth, and son, Michael, at a posthumous event.
Klieman is also survived by a daughter, Valerie Ramsay, and a stepdaughter, Megan Barth; sisters, Susan Klieman and Judith Stein; and two granddaughters.
Contributions in his name may be made to Thomas Jefferson University, Department of Surgery Research and Education Fund, c/o The Jefferson Foundation, 925 Chestnut St., Suite 110, Philadelphia PA 19107.