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Obituary for John Herweg, M.D.

John Herweg, M.D.
John C. Herweg, M.D. passed away peacefully at age 96 on Monday, April 2, 2018.

The son of a travelling salesman for Burroughs Adding Machine Company, Dr. Herweg spent his childhood in various Midwestern cities. He attended Drury College, graduating in three years, and went on from there to Washington University School of Medicine, where he graduated first in his class. He fell in love with pediatrics and did his internship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Following his service as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Dr. Herweg returned to Children’s Hospital to take up the post of chief resident in pediatrics. There he met and married fellow pediatrician Janet Scovill. In 1951, after a brief time in private practice, Dr. Herweg joined the staff of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He and Janet had four children, Judith, Marjorie, Mary Jo, and James. Janet passed away in 1958, and he married Dorothy Glahn, head nurse on the infants’ ward at Children’s. They had one daughter, Jan Marie. They also had a loving, supportive marriage that lasted 59 years.

Dr. Herweg was a fixture at Children’s Hospital throughout the 1950’s and early ‘60’s. While honing administrative skills that would serve him well in the years ahead, he melted the hearts of all who watched him gently interact with his young patients and their families.

In 1965, Dr. Herweg became Associate Dean of Washington University School of Medicine. In this position, he served for nearly 25 years, dedicating himself to the development of hundreds of future physicians whose attributes would combine clinical excellence with compassion and who would reflect well on the institution he loved and served for so many years. In his time as head of the Admissions Committee, he took it as his mission to increase the number of minority and women candidates. He was known for his unwavering support of the students admitted to the program, helping them surmount whatever obstacles they might face in the course of their studies. Throughout his life, tributes continued to arrive from students wishing to share their success and express their gratitude for his support and guidance.

In retirement, John and Dorothy were able to fully indulge their shared love of birds and nature. They traveled the world in search of far-flung winged species, setting foot on all seven continents, most of them several times. World travels never supplanted their annual vacation to the beloved family cottage in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula located on the shore of a glacial lake where John pursued the elusive large mouth bass.

In his later years, John developed a passionate interest in the protection of the environment. He read deeply about the plight of our endangered Earth and contributed generously to organizations devoted to the protection of endangered wildlife and wilderness spaces. He also wrote letters. John Herweg’s name appeared often on the opinion page of the Post Dispatch, reminding his fellow citizens of ways in which our actions on behalf of our environment or each other fell short of what was called for. His was a fine mind guided by a generous heart. He will be greatly missed.

Private services were held. Memorials in John C. Herweg, M.D.’s name would be appreciated to: Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University, CB 1204, 7425 Forsyth Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63105, Environmental Defense Fund, 257 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010, or St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation, 1 Children’s Place, St. Louis, MO 63110.
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