In Memoriam

 

 

“Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.”  —John Donne  

 

 

We remember the UPMASANs who passed on to eternal life January- May 2022, and extend our sympathies to their family, friends and classmates who miss their presence.

“Hinahanap Kita”, with music and lyrics from Solita O’Brien (Class 1977) is dedicated to

all  of us who grieve the loss of persons whose lives have filled ours.

 

 

 

 

Jose Sulla Maisog, class 1963
Jaime Javier, class 1963
Placido Macaraeg, Jr., class 1963
Antonio Pizarro, class 1963
Conrado Pineda, class 1953
Romeo Solon, class 1964
Victoria Segura, class 1967
Rogelio Calingo, class 1967
Benjamin Rigor, honorary  UPMASA member,  UP Public Health

 

 

 

*We thank the Membership Committee for this information.  If we missed any name, kindly notify the co-chairs, Drs. Arelyne Pacho- Ramos and Patricia Ilagan at Membership@upmasa.org.  The UPMASA website will have a regular feature on our deceased members from information submitted by our members.

Eulogy for Dr. Benjamin M. Rigor

 

 

I’ve been asked to say a few words about Dr. Benjamin M. Rigor, Sr. and for that I am extremely honored.  For those of you who do not know me, I am Dr. Eusebio Kho from Scottsburg, Indiana and I’ve been practicing medicine for 50 years.  During part of that time, I have had the good fortune to know Dr. Rigor quite intimately; so, I call him “Ben” and he calls me “Seb.”

 

We first met more than 40 years ago when he was speaking at a medical convention in Chicago.  Discovering that we were both University of the Philippines (UP) alumni, he from the College of Public Health and I from the College of Medicine, we “clicked” and became fast friends; our wives, Mrs. Grace and Mrs. Letty, became great friends, too.  Over time, we were delighted when Ben became the Chair of Anesthesiology at the University of Louisville because that put us closer geographically.

 

We often dined together over the years, sharing advice and expertise.  I learned some interesting facts.  Did you know that Ben was he most honored among  his classmates at the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical College in Manila?  That he was the youngest Chair of Anesthesia at the University of New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry at Newark?  Or, that he was the longest-serving Chair of Anesthesiology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine?

 

And these are only a few of his academic accomplishments.  He also was involved in the US military; he served in the US Army actively, for 3 years, then he joined the US Navy Reserve for another 26 years.  He spent time on a US Navy destroyer as a medical officer in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam war.  He participated also in Operation Desert Storm. He retired after a distinguished service of nearly 30 years with the rank of Navy Captain. In case you don’t know, that is a very rank, equivalent to “Colonel” in the other branches of service.

 

It should be obvious that Dr. Rigor is a very intelligent man who was dedicated to serving his adopted country.  But that is not the whole story.  I would like to touch upon a less commonly discussed aspect of Ben’s personality.  He possessed a deep-seated belief that education is the key to improvement in a person’s climb in society.

 

His passion for education was so great that he launched the “Benjamin Rigor Fund for Education in Anesthesiology” to help train residents effectively in that specialty.  Naturally, fund raising was required and he thought of me and after consultation with Mrs. Kho, we donated a princely sum, which Ben appreciated very much.

 

Since 1976, he has been active in medical education as a public speaker.  After his retirement as Chair of Anesthesiology at U of L, Ben regularly participated in medical mission trips abroad to further spread education in modern anesthesia, intensive care and peri-operative medicine; lecturing and giving practical lessons in the modern art of administering anesthesia.  Our home country of the Philippines was not forgotten.  He went to perform charity anesthesia for 7,500 children with cleft-lips in just the Philippines alone.

 

Ben was a man of God; he was a very religious Catholic—he believed in the role of Jesus Christ who came into our world to save humanity; His death on the cross and resurrection

sealed that promise. Although a very good Catholic, he was fair-minded and open in his beliefs.  In fact one of his children, Rev. Benedict “De-ke” Rigor is a Protestant minister with a large congregation in Louisville.

 

Several years ago, I gave the eulogy for a mutual friend and Ben was also in attendance.  After the ceremony concluded, during lunch, Ben said to me “Seb, if I die ahead of you, I would like you to give the Eulogy for me.”  At that time, I told him “Ben, that is very unlikely since I am older than you, but if I pre-decease you, I would you to do the same honor for me” and he agreed.

 

Let me bring you to the Bible, John 14, 3-4: “ Do not be worried or upset, Jesus told them, there are many rooms in my Father’s House, and I am going to prepare a place for you…..and after I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you there myself.”

 

When we heard that Dr. Ben had passed away last Saturday, December 11, we were devastated at the loss of a great man, a very dear friend and a distinguished scientist, but we were confident that Jesus, with a phalanx of angels, came down to earth to escort Dr. Ben Rigor to his place in heaven, where he will dwell without pain, without disease, without sadness, without anxiety and only peace for all eternity!

 

Delivered on December 17, 2021 at the Arch L. Heady Funeral Home, Louisville, Kentucky
By Eusebio C. Kho, M.D., F.A.C.S., Retired Colonel, US Army,  Diplomate, American Board of Surgery, Veteran, Operation Desert Storm