Cover photo for Richard E. Weeks, M.D.'s Obituary
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1924 Richard 2021

Richard E. Weeks, M.D.

August 8, 1924 — January 24, 2021

Longtime Mayo Clinic physician and former CEO of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Richard E. Weeks, M.D. died on January 24, 2021 at Charter House in Rochester, MN. He was 96. Dr. Weeks was preceded in death by his parents Elvin H. Weeks and Lilian G. Weeks, sister Lois Weeks Hoiness, daughter Katherine, and his wife of 69 years, Patricia Dressler Weeks. A beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Dr. Weeks is survived by his daughter Susan Martino (David), sons Richard Weeks (Thanh) and David Weeks (Cynthia), grandchildren Jocelyn Lebow Chuy (Jeff), Megan Lebow Sambolt (Jason), Anh Pham, John Corrigan, Emily Weeks, Nick Weeks (Alexandra), and great-grandchildren Isla Chuy, Owen Sambolt, Grant Sambolt, and Theodore Weeks. Born in Watertown, NY in 1924, Dr. Weeks was a gifted and disciplined student. He received B.S., M.S. and M.D degrees from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL where he was awarded membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society. After graduation, he completed a two year internship at Cook County Hospital before entering military service. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950-54 including nearly three years at the Tokyo Army Hospital where his contribution was acknowledged with the Bronze Star Medal. He ended his military career with an assignment at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC. He was grateful to spend his time in the military assigned to in-patient medical services and said this experience confirmed his decision to become an internist. Dr. Weeks returned to civilian life in 1954 when he accepted a residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine with a Fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism. He became a Consultant in Internal Medicine-Endocrinology specializing in diseases of the adrenal and pituitary glands. For the next 38 years he had a distinguished and varied career with the Mayo Clinic that revealed his exceptional skills as a doctor, an educator, and an administrator. Dr. Weeks took an early assignment as Program Director for Internal Medicine Residency and Internship programs at Mayo. In 1974 he was named Vice Chairman of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. By 1978 he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine and the Mayo Clinic. In this position, he was responsible for clinical, educational, and research programs for the Department of Internal Medicine including 300 full-time faculty members as well as all students, residents, and fellows. His success as an executive ultimately led to his appointment in 1987 as Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the Mayo Clinic in Florida, Chairman of the Board of Directors of St. Luke's Hospital in Jacksonville (now St. Vincent's Medical Center), and Trustee of the Mayo Foundation. Throughout his medical career, he was active in the American College of Physicians, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Diabetes Association. He retired in 1992 in Florida, after which he and Patricia returned home to Rochester. They eventually moved to Charter House where he served on the governing board. He loved golf, reading, travel, the Mayo Clinic, his colleagues, and his family....especially his wife, Patricia. A private family service will be held at a later time. Online condolences can be left at www.ranfranzandvinefh.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Mayo Foundation at https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/donateMC or the charity of your choice.
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