Carl F. “Fritz” Hinz, Jr. MD
Carl F. “Fritz” Hinz, Jr. died peacefully on September 7 at the age of 92 at home in Kennett Square, PA, surrounded by his loving family. Fritz was above all a generous and thoughtful mentor and friend to everyone he encountered, including students, colleagues, friends and family but especially his beloved wife of 66 ½ years and life partner “Joanie”. Throughout his life Fritz was known for his intellectual strengths, mentorship, kind spirit and generosity to others. He and Joan were avid travelers, healers, birders, gardeners, explorers and scholars during their many wonderful years together.
Fritz was born April 9, 1927 in Cleveland, Ohio to Carl Frederick and Marie Jones Hinz and raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The eldest of three boys, he was an attentive and thoughtful elder brother to Roland (Jack) and James. Fritz attended Adelbert College of Western Reserve University receiving his BS in 1948 followed by an MD in 1951, with a short stint in the Hospital Corps of the USNR 1945-1946 during college. Following medical school Fritz completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia University / Presbyterian Hospital in NYC where he met the love of his life, Joan Herndon, a nursing student at Columbia University School of Nursing. Fritz and Joan married in 1953 and returned to Cleveland where he completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in Hematology at Western Reserve Medical School, and then joined the medical school faculty where he remained until 1967, including a sabbatical year at the Wenner Gren Institute in Stockholm, Sweden in 1965-1966. Though a successful researcher who earned honors and accolades, Fritz ultimately realized that his greatest satisfaction came from teaching future physicians and in 1967 he joined the founding faculty of a new medical school at the University of Connecticut. Serving as Associate Dean of Medical Education and Professor of Medicine, Fritz remained at UConn for the rest of his professional career, with one sabbatical leave in 1987 as a Senior Scholar in Residence at the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. During Fritz’s tenure UConn Medical School grew from a few simple prefab buildings in a parking lot to a substantive regional academic medical center and his leadership and mentorship were legendary, helping to define the character of that institution and inspiring many generations of physicians. Fritz’s contributions spanned academic, medical, administrative and personal domains and were always made with humility and humor. His sense of fun was legendary and especially so with UConn medical students who were always ready to see what his next trick might be, including on one early occasion when he was found roller-skating through the Medical Center’s long halls as an April fools’ prank. Later, as a retirement “gift” from colleagues Fritz was nominated to serve as “clown for a day” with the Barnum and Bailey circus, an honor and experience he greatly relished. Fritz retired from UConn in 1992, though his involvement in alumni affairs continued while he and Joan traveled the world, often combining adventure with service. During his lifetime Fritz lived in Shaker Heights, OH, New York, NY, Cleveland Heights, OH, Stockholm, Sweden; Avon CT; Washington, DC and Kennett Square, PA.
Fritz is survived by his cherished wife Joan Herndon Hinz; four children Betsy (Steve) Howard, Richard (Rose Ho), Cathy (Brian) McNally; Gretchen (Darin) Bartram and eleven grandchildren (Patrick, William, Grace, Mai, Colleen, Michael, Charlie, Jeremy, Abigail, Clara and Edward).
A memorial service will be held at Christ Church Christiana Hundred, Wilmington, DE on Saturday, September 21st at 2pm.
Contributions in his memory can be made to the Hinz Fund at UConn foundation (www.foundation.uconn.edu/memorial-honorary-gifts/) or Christ Church Christiana Hundred (www.christchurchde.org/giving).
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