Eugene Zachary Hirsch, M.D.
It is with profound sadness that the Hirsch family announces the peaceful passing of Dr. Eugene (Gene) Zachary Hirsch, age 88, of Pittsburgh, PA, on Thursday, September 3, 2020. Born in Brooklyn, NY, on December 18, 1931, Gene was a husband, father, physician, teacher, poet, artist and philanthropist. He contributed tirelessly to the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh poetry community, the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, and a number of social, political and educational causes close to his heart. Gene earned his pre-med degree from Hiram College and completed his studies at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He accepted a position in Melbourne Australia before coming back to Cleveland, where he served as a volunteer physician for the Cleveland Free Clinic, attended patients and conducted research at the Veterans Administration, and founded the Cleveland chapter of Physicians For Social Responsibility. After retiring, he took a position as a professor of medicine, teaching Death and Dying and Ethics and Humanities in Medicine at the University of Tennessee, the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOUCOM/NEOMED), University of Pittsburgh and his alma mater, Hiram College. He volunteered for 10 years as medical director of Forbes Hospice in Pittsburgh, and attended and taught poetry workshops at the Campbell Folk School. Gene was a collector and benefactor of the arts community. He was an accomplished classical pianist and encouraged the study of arts in his children. While Gene was a man of many talents and accomplishments, he was foremost a man who cared for and about people. He saw the best in people, acted from a place of love, and treated everyone around him with respect and dignity. Gene is survived by spouse Virginia Spangler, daughter Julie Hirsch, son-in-law Adam Jamison and grandson Shane Jamison, son Gary Hirsch and daughter-in-law Gwen Schnurman, grandson Eli Rueben Hirsch, granddaughter Emma B. Rose Hirsch, son Paul Hirsch and daughter-in-law Amy Hirsch (nee Molls). Also survived by his brothers Fred Hirsch and Mark Daniel Hirsch. Gene is preceded in death by mother Bertha (Billie) Hirsch, father Nathaniel (Nat) Hirsch and stepfather Jules Halfant. Arrangements are private and entrusted to English Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 378 Maryland Ave., Oakmont, PA 15139. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating to ACLU and Doctors Without Borders.
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