Friday, February 6, 2004

Dr. Bernard Wexler, teacher and researcher

Family man known for humor

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Dr. Bernard C. Wexler was known for using sayings and catch phrases to inspire others. One of his favorites: "Be strong and be unafraid."

"He would always tell his students and his family members that," said his son, William Wexler. "Ironically, at the end, I was whispering that in his ear."

Dr. Wexler, emeritus professor of experimental pathology and medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, died Jan. 29 of heart problems.

He was born in Boston in 1923, and attended Boston Latin School and Dartmouth College before enlisting in the U.S. Army during World War II.

As a graduate student at the University of California Berkeley and Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Wexler began his research career in endocrinology, cardiovascular disease, aging and stress.

He moved to Cincinnati in 1955 to continue his research at the former May Institute for Medical Research and became the director in 1964. He authored more than 250 publications in medical and scientific journals. After retiring, he continued teaching medical students, pharmacists, nurses and other health care professionals.

In July 2000, he was recognized with a part-time Faculty Service Award for 45 years of continuous teaching at the University of Cincinnati.

"He had a great, great sense of humor," his son said. "He was always light-hearted about things."

Dr. Wexler enjoyed watching football and was a devoted family man.

Other survivors include his wife of 57 years, Jean; two daughters, Nancy Brothers of Evanston, Ill., and Helen Yurong of Honolulu; and six grandchildren.

Interment was private. Memorials may be sent to the Institute for Learning in Retirement Friends Fund, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210093, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0093.


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