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Frederic Rueckert, Jr.

Published: 5/4/2017 2:59:57 AM
Modified: 5/4/2017 3:00:03 AM

Hanover, N.H. — Frederic Rueckert, Jr. died on Monday, May 1, 2017, at the age of 95. He lived a full and productive life dedicated to his family and to the patients he treated during his long career as a plastic surgeon at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Born in Cambridge, Mass. on Oct. 24, 1921, Fred grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. After his father died tragically in a car accident, his mother moved the family to Southern France. Leaving his family at the age of 15 he made his way alone across Nazi occupied France to Portugal where he boarded a ship to New York and then on to the Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts. He later graduated from Hamilton College in the class of 1945. Due to the War, he did not receive his official diploma until 1961. He remained dedicated to his educational institutions serving on the board of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, and as an active member of his class at Hamilton.

Fred served in the United States Naval Reserves from 1943 to 1945 and subsequently in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1953.

In 1947, Fred received his MD degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and pursued an internship at Bellevue Hospital and residencies at The American University of Beirut, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He joined the staff of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in 1956 where he served until his retirement in 1986. He continued to serve as a consultant to both the DHMC and the Veterans Administration Hospital in White River Junction, Vt. until 2005. At DHMC Fred served as Chairman of the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for 13 years, and was appointed Professor of Plastic Surgery and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Surgery on the faculty of the Dartmouth Medical School. During his career he was also active with the American Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons.

Meeting at a young age during their summers in the Thousand Islands, Fred and Joan Dodge were married on May 31, 1947. After Fred’s appointment to the staff at DHMC they moved to Hanover where they raised their four children and have lived for the past 65 years. Fred was an avid skier with a weekly, group ski lesson at the Dartmouth Skiway for over 50 years. He also was a dedicated tennis player and was a regular fixture on the Dartmouth courts and on his court at their summer home.

Hanover was home but the family gathered at the Thousand Islands. Prior to his retirement, he and his family would spend vacations at the “River.” But after his retirement, he and Joan purchased “Mid River,” a home that for 30 years became a gathering place for their growing family. Fred spent many, happy summers at the River swimming, managing projects, tending to his tennis court and happily giving any interested grandchildren a lesson.

Fred is survived by Joan, his wife of 69 years; his sister, Nancy Lawrence; his daughter, Lee Coughlin, her husband Tom and their four daughters; his daughter, Patricia Ares, her husband, Toni and their three daughters; his son, William Rueckert, his wife, Fleur and their three children; and his daughter, Carolyn Stouffer and her two children. Fred has 12 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one more on the way.

Fred’s family thanks the staff of Wheelock Terrace in Hanover for the years they gave dedicated care and comfort to Fred. A private memorial service will take place later this year.

Contributions can be made in Fred’s memory to: Northfield Mount Hermon School or Hamilton College.

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