Richard F Barronian, MD

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Date of Death

Jun 29, 2016


Richard Frank Barronian ("Dick") MD was born May 7, 1918 in Chelsea, Massachusetts to Armenian immigrants, Nishan and Florence Barronian who fled the Armenian Genocide. His father died when he was very young, yet without a role model, he became a wonderful father to 5 children. He passed away June 29, 2016 at age 98. Dick served in WWII as a forward observer and air observer with the armored field artillery battalion in Italy, France, Germany, Central Europe, and North Africa. He survived malaria, a broken arm suffered in a plane crash, and  being shot by a German officer while being held prisoner. The bullet shattered his femur requiring surgery and months in a body cast. He achieved the rank of Captain and was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and WWII victory medals. A lifelong student who loved to read and learn, Dick received a BA in zoology from Harvard, a Master's Degree in bacteriology from the University of Chicago, and a Medical degree from Tufts University. In 1952 he married Emily Jane Batt who he met at Long Island College Hospital. After completing an internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic he and Emily made Tacoma their home. Despite growing up on the east coast, he was immediately entranced by the Pacific Northwest and sang its praises frequently. Dick practiced internal medicine for 35 years at Tacoma General, St. Joseph's, and Allenmore hospitals in Tacoma; served as the President of the Medical staff of Tacoma General and the President of the Pierce County Medical Bureau. He had a passion for many things including history, foreign languages, music, golf, fishing, and even gardening (although he never quite acquired the knack of distinguishing flowers from weeds). He loved bread, cheese, chocolate, nuts, and doughnuts but what he loved most, was his family. His beloved son and fishing buddy, Richard predeceased him in 2013. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Emily; by his children Barbara, Dianne (Charles), Alan (Sheri), and Leslie; his daughter-in-law Stephanie; and by his grandchildren Charlie, Elliott, Trevor, Payton, Natalie, Abigail, and Seth. Most importantly, he leaves behind a legacy of love, as he showed us all how to love well. You will be missed, Chief. We love you. Never a man to stand on ceremony, the family will honor him with a private family gathering. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to your favorite charity.

Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on July 10, 2016