In Memoriam - Dr. Sam Ludwin
Dr. Sam Ludwin passed away Tuesday, January 21st, peacefully at his home in Kingston, Ontario, after a valiant battle against ALS. Born October 16th, 1944, to Genia and Dorik Ludwin in Johannesburg, South Africa, he enjoyed a distinguished medical career, wide-ranging interests, and-most of all-the love and companionship of Vivien, his wife of 51 years, their children Derek (Stacey) and Raymond (Karen) and grandchildren Andrew and Elizabeth, his siblings, nieces, and nephews, and his friends.
After attending King Edward VII School in Johannesburg, where he combined classical learning with sports and acting, he went on an American Field Service exchange to Huntington Beach High, where he basked in California's freedom and the love of his host family. He then trained at the University of Witwatersrand Medical School before returning with Vivien to California for his residency at Stanford University. In 1975, he and his young family moved to Kingston, where he became a Professor of Pathology and an oft-awarded teacher at Queen's University, and an outstanding neuropathologist at Kingston General Hospital. He rose to leadership positions, including VP of Research at both institutions. His erudition, warmth, and generous teaching style inspired generations of students and residents. Samuel devoted his professional life to studying degenerative diseases of the brain and nervous system, and made important research advances in multiple sclerosis (MS). He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for his instrumental role in growing the MS Society of Canada, where he served as Medical Director and spearheaded a $20 million fundraising campaign for the endMS research network. He was President of both the Canadian Association of Neuropathology and the International Society of Neuropathology, and received the American Association of Neuropathology's Meritorious Service Award for his leadership and extensive research contributions. Despite his international reputation, he was best known for his modesty and efforts to nurture the professional growth of others.
Samuel's infectious energy extended well beyond his professional life; he was a true renaissance man, interested in everything and everyone. Through his travels, hobbies, sports, and passions, he amassed a large circle of friends who benefited equally from his loyalty and humour. He collected books, art, carpets, fountain pens - and especially antique maps of Africa. He climbed mountains, explored culture and nature on multiple continents, and reveled in Kingston's many water-based activities. Music was another lifelong passion: he returned to the piano later in his adult life, served as Programming Director of the Kingston Symphony, and went to concerts in every city he visited.
Although Samuel officially "retired" in 2010, and even spent time playing golf, he remained active professionally as a visiting scientist at the Montreal Neurological Institute as long as his health permitted. Above all, he was a devoted and adoring husband, father, grandfather, and friend. His loving, whimsical, and mischievous spirit will forever be remembered.
Funeral Service at Beth Israel Congregation (116 Centre Street) on Thursday, January 23rd at 11am. Interment will follow at Beth Israel Cemetery. (1018 Sydenham Road)The family will receive friends at Harbour Place Level A (185 Ontario Street) that evening from 5-7pm, and on Friday January 24th from 7:30-9:30am and 11:30am-1:30pm. Shiva will continue in Bethesda, Maryland. Samuel's family is deeply grateful for the outstanding care that he received from his physicians, therapists, caregivers, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the ALS Society of Canada, Queen's University Department of Pathology Research Fund, Kingston Symphony, or Beth Israel Synagogue.Arrangements entrusted to the Gordon F. Tompkins Funeral Homes, Central Chapel Kingston. www.GFTompkins-Central.ca