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Stanley Haig Nahigian, MD

May 22, 1932 ~ February 9, 2019 (age 86)

Age 86, died February 9, 2019, of cardiac amyloidosis.  He is survived by his wife, Grace, daughters Joyce Nahigian, Barbara (Luis) Fernandez, and grandchildren Tom and Anna. He was preceded in death by daughter Grace Ann, brother Robert (Helen) Nahigian, and parents Kevork (chief mechanical engineer at NASA and Rose Nahigyan, who both immigrated to the U.S. escaping the Armenian Genocide. Stan, born 1932 in Worcester MA, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University in 1954 and received his MD from Ohio State University in 1957. He completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at St Luke’s Hospital in 1962 and a Hand Surgery Fellowship in Sweden in 1963.

Stan loved practicing medicine and was board certified in both Orthopedic Surgery and Surgery of the Hand, but hand surgery was what he loved most and specialized in for most of his 50-plus year career in the Cleveland area, until retiring in 2012. Stan was Chief of Staff at Hillcrest and St Luke’s Hospitals and was on active surgical staff at these as well as at St Vincent Charity Hospital. He published numerous medical articles and presented frequently at local and national meetings. He developed and patented a thumb joint for surgical treatment of arthritic hand patients. He risked his life for several months during the Vietnam War to help Vietnamese children whose hands had been severely injured by bombs, and helped US servicemen when needed.

Stan loved teaching.  He was an Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery for Case Western Reserve University’s medical resident training program at St. Luke’s Hospital for 36 years, until hospital closed in 1999. He was also an Anatomy Demonstrator for Case Western Reserve University Medical School students and a Trustee of the Cleveland Medical Library at Case. Stan was a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Cleveland Academy of Medicine, Cleveland Orthopaedic Society, as well as both member and past President of the Cleveland Orthopaedic Club, The Medical Arts Club, and The Pasteur Club.

Stan was respected by his colleagues and loved by his patients for his high standards of care, great medical skills, warm bedside manner, for always speaking candidly with them, and for making himself available even during his time off if his friends, family, patients, colleagues or the hospital needed his help or expertise.

Stan was a unique and memorable individual. Throughout his life he was an inspiration to those around him. He was known for his high energy level, hard work and integrity. He had a rare combination of qualities: he was tough yet kind-hearted; was critical, yet forgiving and encouraged learning; was successful, yet down-to-earth and unassuming; was serious, but had a good sense of humor and enjoyed making people laugh. He ran his office highly professionally, yet created a fun work environment and treated his staff like family.  

Stan was a lifelong athlete and avid sports fan. He loved playing football, basketball and baseball in high school, and talking about and following sports as an adult. He enjoyed working out at the gym, playing tennis and golf with friends, and doing other sports on vacation with his family. He was a long-time member of the Cleveland Racquet Club, the Mayfield Sand Ridge Club, and the Bonita Bay Club in Florida.

Stan was very generous with family, friends, employees, professional associates, his church, Church of the Savior, and a wide variety of charities and organizations. He was a devoted husband to his wife of 61 years, Grace, and loving father to his daughters, whom he enjoyed spending his limited free time with, whether at home or traveling. Visitation with the family is 4-7 pm Fri March 15, 2019 at Brown-Forward Funeral Home (17022 Chagrin Blvd, Shaker Hts, OH 44120), and 1-3pm Sat March 16 at Church of the Saviour (2537 Lee Rd, Cleveland Hts, OH 44118). Funeral at 3pm at Church of the Saviour. Reception afterward, off-site. Interment private, Knollwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Amyloidosis Foundation (amyloidosis.org), or the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).

Donations may be made to:

Alzheimer's Association
23215 Commerce Park, Suite 300, Beachwood OH 44122
Web: http://www.alz.org/cleveland

Amyloidosis Foundation
7151 N. Main Street Suite 2, Clarkston MI 48346
Tel: 1-248-922-9610
Email: info@amyloidosis.org
Web: http://info@amyloidosis.org

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