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Obituaries and Memorials

In Memory Of

Gregory Schmitt MD

November 25, 1954 – February 4, 2018

Gregory S. Schmitt M.D., F.A.C.S., 63, passed away Sunday, February 4, 2018 at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. Born in Woodstock, IL, Greg retired as a Cardiac Surgeon with Parkview Hospital. He was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. Greg and his family moved to Fort Wayne in 1989 after completing his fellowship at St. Louis University. He attended Bradley University, Peoria, IL and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science, Biology in 1976. Greg received his Medical Doctorate in 1980 from the University of Illinois College of Medicine-Chicago, where he was awarded the Warren H. Cole Scholar and was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. His postgraduate training included a Fellowship in Cardio Thoracic training at St. Louis University and Administrative Chief Resident, Department of Surgery at University of Illinois. His certifications included Diplomat, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, American Board of Surgery, and American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Greg held many past positions including Attending Cardio Thoracic Surgeon with Parkview Hospital; Medical Director at Parkview Hospice and St. Joseph’s Hospital; Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine; Chairman, Section of Cardio Thoracic Surgery, Surgical Executive Committee, Parkview Hospital, and Maj., (ret), 122nd Medical Squadron with the Indiana Air National Guard. Greg was currently a member of the Board of Directors St. Joseph Community Foundation, Catholic Charities, the Western Golf Association Evans Scholar Foundation, and was a member of Dutch Treat Investments. Greg previously served on the board of Anthony-Wayne Services and was a Past-President of Anthony Wayne Area Council Boy Scouts of America, and Fort Wayne-Allen County Board of Health. He was a leader of BSA Troop 333, and coached 7th grade football at Woodside Middle School. Greg was an avid Cubs fan as well as an avid golfer and a USGA Rules Official. He was a member of Fort Wayne Country Club and Bear’s Paw Country Club in Naples, FL. Surviving are his spouse of 36 years, Jane (Lowery) Schmitt, Fort Wayne; two sons, David S. Schmitt of Des Moines, IA and Michael S. Schmitt of Arlington, VA; and sister, Nancy C. Schmitt of Chicago. Greg was preceded in death by, father, Daniel M. Schmitt and mother, Betty A. Schmitt. Mass of Christian Burial is 10:30 am, Thursday, February 8, 2018 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 10700 Aboite Center Road with an hour of calling prior to the Mass. Calling at D.O. McComb & Sons Covington Knolls Funeral Home, 8325 Covington Road, Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm & 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Anthony Wayne Area Council, BSA or Evans Scholars Foundation, 1 Briar Road, Golf, IL 60029. To sign the online guest book, go to


Joseph J. Vukovich MD

May 15, 1942 – May 18, 2017




Joe Vukovich worked and played hard throughout his life. He was a bright, thoughtful, capable and caring physician whom all staff admired and liked.

Joe was an exceptional baseball player and pitched in a semi-pro league during college. He graduated Toronto School of Pharmacy in 1965 and Toronto School of Medicine in 1970. He practiced General Medicine a few years until gravitating to Emergency Medicine.

Joe worked in a few emergency rooms before starting with Professional Emergency Physicians (PEP). I believe, he and fellow Canadian Paul Blusys had previously worked together at Saint Joseph’s Hospital. After Joe became board-certified, he worked in Iowa and Evansville before returning to Fort Wayne. In 1986, about a year after I started, Joe accepted an invitation to join PEP by his good friend Paul Blusys. Like the other partners in our group at the time, he took advantage of the grandfathering clause and became board- certified (before formal residencies started in the field of Emergency Medicine).

Professionally, Joe’s extensive knowledge in pharmacology was beneficial to our patients and to me. I still use his recommended intravenous atropine for abdominal cramps. He was one of the first to use droperidol. In the 1980’s, when he found out we weren’t allowed to have succinylcholine in the Emergency Department, he ordered some himself and we kept a 200 cc multi-use bottle in the drawer in the PEP office.

Personally, he was a gentle giant who shared anything he owned. I borrowed his recreational vehicle many times for family vacations before buying my own. Every summer, I used his jet skis on vacation for a couple weeks. Joe would never take any payment for any of the sharing of his toys. He enjoyed his family vacations immensely, mostly camping and fishing often in Saskatchewan, Canada. In later life he had a condominium in Cancun. He was quite the handyman and his garage had more supplies and tools than an Ace hardware store. It was not uncommon for him to change an engine in a vehicle for family or friends right in his garage.

Joe developed myasthenia gravis in his late 50’s and had to retire in 2003, after 17 years with PEP. He fought a multitude of health problems but one rarely heard him complain.

Joe moved to Colorado with his wife Kari about 10 years ago. I lost touch with him but occasionally talked to him for brief periods of time. I was privileged to know and work with him for so many years. I am comforted by my knowledge that he positively influenced the lives of his many patients in his years with PEP.

On behalf of FWMS, we extend condolences to his family.

Alex D Antalis, MD Professional Emergency Physicians


Justin E. (Barney) Arata, MD

Died: November 27, 2017

Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana


Justin (Barney) Arata, MD, October 31, 1921 – November 27, 2017

Our medical community lost a lion of our profession with the death of Justin E. (Barney) Arata, who passed away at his home on November, 27th. Barney had recently celebrated his 96th birthday with his family.

Barney was born in Mishawaka, IN and graduated from high school there. He did his undergraduate premedical studies at Indiana University and then entered IU School of Medicine. Following graduation, he served his country as a medical officer in the United States Navy in World War II.

After his discharge from the Navy, Barney spent some time in post graduate education at St. Joseph Hospital here and did some locum tenens general practice in South Dakota. Ultimately, he entered his residency in general surgery at Mayo Clinic. Barney was again called to serve his country in the Korean War. After his second discharge, he returned to Fort Wayne and began his private surgical practice, which he continued until his retirement in 1991.

Barney had many achievements and honors, both professional and personal, during his long life and career. He was a member of the American College of Surgeons, and served as President of the Indiana chapter of the American College of Surgeons. Barney was a staff member of all three Fort Wayne hospitals. He served as the President of the Medical Staff at Parkview Hospital, where he also was Director of Medical Education. He served as a board member at Bishop Dwenger High School and was inducted into the Bishop Dwenger Hall of Fame.

Along with his partner, Dr. Alan Perry, he founded the Arata Health Group and the first Health Maintenance Organization in Indiana. Barney was instrumental in founding the American Society of Bariatric Surgery. He and Dr. Perry performed the first bariatric surgeries in Fort Wayne. Barney and Dave Schlueter established the first organ donation program in Fort Wayne, which at one time supplied over half of all the donated kidneys  in Indiana.

Barney was a founding member of the St. Vincent de Paul Boy Scout Troop. He donated his time and expertise to Matthew 25 Clinic for many years. Among his many other honors, he was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by the Governor of Indiana and the Kentucky Colonel Award by the Governor of Kentucky.

Through his life and career, Barney provided dedicated support for his friends and professional colleagues, in good times and in bad, through whatever conflicts or difficulties in which they might find themselves. He was always the supportive pillar on which myself and others could count on for support.

His death is a profound loss to many of us who knew him well, and to whom he provided steadfast support and encouragement in our own professional lives. The entire Fort Wayne Medical Society extend our sympathy and condolences to his wife, his children and step-children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, sisters, and brother who survive him.

David Pepple, MD



Antonio Barganza Donesa, MD

July 27, 1935-July 26, 2017

-An informed and vigilant membership is ultimately both the guardian of its interests and the beneficiary of its efforts.[1]

Throughout his career, Dr Antonio “Tony” Donesa led medical organizations from local societies to international associations. He founded the American College of International Physicians (ACIP), served as president for Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) 12th district and the Indiana Philippine Medical Association.

The politicalization of medicine has left many physicians ill prepared to combat the rising efforts to change the climate of freedom to practice medicine.[2]

Tony was elected President of our Fort Wayne Medical Society in 1990 and served us courageously during a period of great change for organized medicine and individual practitioners. A gifted writer, in addition to his presidential messages for our FWMS Bulletin, he served as editor for the ACIP Bulletin. Tony won numerous awards including the Community Service award from the Association of Philippine Practioners in America in 1982 and Outstanding Overseas Alumnus from University of the Philippines Medical School in 1985.

-We must be proactive, instead of reactive, on issues that concern the health and welfare of inhabitants of the state.[3]

Following his medical graduation and internship in Manila, Tony emigrated to the United States and completed additional internship in Connecticut, a year of surgical residency in Ohio and neurological surgery residency at the University of Alabama Medical Center. The Donesa family moved northward to Fort Wayne in 1966 where Dr Donesa began practicing in partnership with Dr George Manning, MD until he established his solo practice in 1970.

-The public is particularly discontented with the lack of humanitarian and compassionate aspects of medical care.[4]

Tony was known to his patients as a caring physician and saw many patients from our Three Rivers Health Services.  His medical colleagues will likely remember him, in the doctor’s lounge with Humphrey Bogart pose, challenging us to continue to better serve our indigent and underinsured patients. He was on staff at three of Fort Wayne’s hospitals.

Dr Antonio Donesa, MD died peacefully on July 26, 2017 at age 81. He is survived by Barbara, loving wife of 54 years, his children, Carmen and Christopher and his written words. On behalf of FWMS we extend condolences to his family and our sincere thanks for Tony’s leadership in our community.

[1] Donesa, AB, Bulletin Fort Wayne Medical Society Jun 1990, page 3.

[2] Donesa, AB, Bulletin Fort Wayne Medical Society Jun 1990, page 5.

[3] Donesa, AB, Bulletin Fort Wayne Medical Society Aug 1990, page 5.

[4] Donesa, AB, Bulletin Fort Wayne Medical Society Jan 1991, page 5.

James Rausch MD, Fred Dahling MD and Tom Sarosi MD




Donald E. Miller, M.D.

1930 – 2017

Between the time of growing up in close-by Spencerville, Ohio and establishing a Fort Wayne home and career long medical practice in 1962, Don Miller had graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, Ohio State University – College of Medicine, served two years in Idaho as a general medical officer in the U.S. Air Force, and completed a three year Internal Medicine residency at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis.

As a member of the Duemling Clinic, located adjacent to the “old” Fairfield Avenue Lutheran Hospital, Don helped recruit new internists to the area. Eventually Don moved his office southwest close to the then new Lutheran Hospital campus. Don was a member of several professional medical organizations including the American College of Physicians, and served as president of the Lutheran Hospital Medical Staff in 1976. He retired after 36 years in practice at the age of sixty-nine.

We the undersigned knew Don as a colleague and friend. He fit the prototypical description of the true “internist” – with his contemplative, evidence based, meticulous approach to “patient first” practice. Having had the opportunity to share in the care of some of his patients we are aware of the respect and loyalty they felt toward him.

Don Miller’s thoroughly well informed approach to medical practice was mirrored in his disposition toward all endeavors – from sailing a boat at Clear Lake Indiana to navigating the Florida intercoastal waterways. His lifelong interest and study of nature and wildlife yielded a near encyclopedic size of accumulated knowledge that he generously shared with his friends. During the retirement years he became an accomplished photographer; many of his photographs appeared on covers of our Medical Society’s quarterly publication. The very active camera club he co-founded in Boca Grande, Florida has established an annual award that bears his name.

Surviving Don is his wife of sixty-four years, Idora, their two children: Richard, a hospital chief financial officer in Phoenix and Keith, an orthopedic surgeon in Indianapolis, their spouses Debra and Anne, and three grandchildren. He will of course be fondly remembered by each of them, and also by many others who knew him as their doctor or friend.

Bill Ashman, Don Bollheimer, George Bowers, and Bill Clark



Allen Wayne Aldred, MD


Dr Allen Wayne Aldred, MD died March 26, 2017 at age 88. He was laid to rest in Vevay, IN with full military honors. He lived the American Dream.

Allen Wayne Aldred was born November 28, 1928 on a farm in Switzerland County, Indiana. Prior to his first birthday party, Black Tuesday occurred at the New York Stock Exchange and the Great Depression began and lingered for more than a decade. Commodity prices plummeted and most farmers saw their income crash; many lost their farms.

Persistent winter rains produced an 80 feet crest of the Ohio River (flood level 50 feet) and The Great Flood of 1937 extended from Cincinnati through Louisville, leaving already struggling cities, towns and farms further devastated.  Later that year, 9 year-old Allen Wayne was asked by his music teacher what he hoped to be when he grew up. The hopeful boy replied, “Miss Marvel, I can be anything I want,” and pointed to a framed photograph atop his teacher’s piano, Allen Wayne continued, “I’m gonna do just like that boy does!”¹

She was the girl of his dreams. Allen Wayne fell in love at age 16 with Eleanor Jean Wiley. The sweethearts wed 7 years later while Allen Wayne was a medical student. They were married for 65 years. Together they reared four children and were further blessed by 8 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

Allen Wayne was a lifetime learner. His entire K-12 public school education was in Switzerland County. He then graduated from IU Bloomington in 1950 with a B.A. Allen Wayne received his MD degree in 1953 from Indiana University and did an internship at Marion County General Hospital. Dr Aldred began a rural general practice in Rising Sun, IN until Uncle Sam called him to military service during the Korean War where he served as a naval medical officer aboard General A.E. Anderson in the Pacific theater. When his tour of duty ended he joined the Whitlatch Clinic & Hospital in Milan, IN in 1956. After six years of family practice, Allen Wayne returned to IU Medical Center and completed a four year residency in Clinical and Anatomic Pathology. In 1966 he joined Drs Walter Geist, MD and Charles Aust, Sr., MD in practice at Lutheran Hospital and became a member of our Fort Wayne Medical Society. Dr Aldred was board certified and a member of the College of American Pathologists, American Medical Association and American Society of Clinical Pathologists. He was a member of the Medical-Business Coalition and also was elected medical staff president at Lutheran Hospital 1974-75.

Allen Wayne believed in God, family and country. His family and friends knew him as a loving parent and trusted mentor. His medical colleagues trusted his expertise and laughed along with him in his friendly and gregarious manner. On behalf of the Fort Wayne Medical Society we extend our sympathy and prayers to Eleanor and family as we share in your loss of this fine Hoosier physician and gentleman.

¹ The photograph on the piano was of Harold Griffith, MD, member of FWMS and co-contributor of this memorial. Dr Griffith’s mother, Mrs Marvel Griffith, was Allen Wayne’s piano teacher.

James Rausch, MD and Harold Griffith, MD


Frederick O. Mackel, M.D.

January 25, 1920 – February 8, 2017

In 1950, Dr Fred Mackel joined his Fairfield Orthopaedic Surgeons partners Wayne Glock, MD and Fred Brown, MD. Their practice, precursor to Fort Wayne Orthopaedics, covered Lutheran and St Joseph Hospitals and staffed the Crippled Children’s Clinic. It was in this clinic that the young orthopaedist entered the battle against the polio virus. Prior to the Salk (1955) and Sabin (1961) vaccines, the number of polio cases were increasing at an alarming pace. Parents worldwide were in panic. In 1952 alone, 60,000 Americans were infected by the virus with greater than 3000 deaths. Iron lungs were installed in hospitals to support the respiration of those affected. Many survivors needed long term rehabilitation with tendon and muscular surgery in addition to orthopaedic bracing. Fred received many academic honors at Indiana University for both undergraduate and medical school. Preceding his IU Med Center orthopaedic residency, he served in the US Army as captain and quarantine officer in Panama, gaining practical experience with communicable and tropical diseases. Dr Mackel was certified by the American Board of Orthopaedics. Fred practiced in our community for 41 years until his retirement in 1991. Born in Clinton, IN, Fred married his childhood sweetheart, Irma Biggs, and they were wed 63 years until her passing. Together they had four children, Jerry, David, Susan and Diane, all of whom earned MD degrees. The Mackels were blessed with 13 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. A man of faith and a man of accomplishment, healer of many and an inspiration to his colleagues, Dr. Fred Mackel, MD was the epitome of an orthopaedic surgeon and a gentleman. On behalf of the Fort Wayne Society we send our condolences to the Mackel family.

Jim Rausch MD, Harold Griffith MD, Steven Glock MD and Gilbert Bierman MD


Dec 9, 1930 – December 12, 2016

Dr Peter Casey was a board-certified pathologist and active member of our Fort Wayne Medical Society from 1982-1998. Dr Casey’s practice was based at St Joseph, Whitley County and Adams County Hospitals. Peter was known as a quiet, competent and bright physician by his medical partners – Lou Schneider, M.D., Charles Pan, M.D., Sisira Ranasinghe, M.D. and Scott Wagner, M.D.. His forensic skills coupled with a keen knowledge of gross pathology assisted coroners, physicians and families throughout northern Indiana to establish the causes and means of a person’s death. After college graduation from St Francis College (NY), Peter served two years as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Chemical Corps. Marquette University Medical School graduation in 1961 lead to a rotating internship, one year of surgical residency at St Joseph Hospital (Milwaukee, WI) and five years of general practice in Wauwatosa, WI. Desiring a change in his medical career, Dr Casey completed pathology residency 1968-1971 at Hollywood Memorial Hospital in Florida. Prior to his arrival in Fort Wayne, Peter practiced general pathology in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. After 16 years of practice in our community, Dr Casey retired and with his wife, Ellen, returned to Wauwatosa, WI. Dr Casey chaired the Red Cross Advisory Committee and served as a member of our FWMS Editorial Board. Peter participated in teaching pathology to second year medical students at the IPFW campus. Peter and Ellen Casey were active members of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The Society extends our condolences to Ellen and family with our gratitude for Dr. Peter Casey’s many contributions to the patients, physicians and hospitals of the greater Fort Wayne community.

Jim Rausch MD and Sisira Ranasinghe MD


DR. WILLIAM EDWARD BALTES, 66 died Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. Born in Fort Wayne, Ind., he was a son of Dr. Joseph H. and Margaret Baltes. He graduated from St. John the Baptist grade school, Bishop Luers High School, attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, and graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine. Ed completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiology at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. He and his family moved back to Fort Wayne in 1980 where he practiced cardiology for 30 years. Ed was passionate about medicine and loved his work. He never turned anyone away because they couldn’t pay, believing that God’s plan for him was to use his talent and education to care for all people who came to him for medical care. Ed was a tireless advocate for his patients. Ed was Chief of Staff at St. Joseph Hospital and worked for the good of the hospital, taught for the IU School of Medicine, and mentored many medical students and PA students. He loved to share his knowledge with anyone who was interested in learning. He was a true gentleman of integrity, compassion, generosity, and kindness known for his exceedingly quick wit and sense of humor. Ed loved learning, and studied many non-medical subjects that he felt would complement his practice of medicine. Ed was devoted to his family. He loved cooking big meals, sharing stories, and spending time with them. The dinner table often included a guest who he always made feel like a part of the family. He is survived by his wife, Marsha; sons, Jonathan (Lisa) Baltes, Christopher (Adrienne Romary) Baltes; daughters, Emily Baltes, and Elizabeth (Steven) Kady; and grandchildren, Will and Greta Baltes; as well as thousands of patients he cared for and looked after like family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Margaret; brothers, Joseph and Richard; and sister, Nancy Jones. Memorial Mass is at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14th, 2016, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 4525 Arlington Ave., with calling one hour prior. A celebration of Ed’s life will follow Mass from 2:30 to 7 p.m. at Fort Wayne Country Club, 5221 Covington Rd. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to Cure PSP. Arrangements by DeMoney-Grimes, a LifeStory Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City, Ind. To sign the online guest register or to send the family a condolence visit


Click on this link to make your donation to the Fort Wayne Medical Society Foundation in Memory of Dr. John F. Csicsko

DR. JOHN FRANCIS CSICSKO, 73, died Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. He was born in Gary, Ind. on Jan. 18, 1943. After graduating from Bishop Noll High School John obtained a Bachelor’s in the Science of Pharmacy from Purdue University. John graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1971 with a MD and MS in Pharmacology. He completed his Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Residency in 1977. Over the past four decades he had been a passionate and tireless advocate for patient care. John lived to work, loved to learn, and enjoyed bringing a smile to all with his quick wit. In addition to his medical practice, he held various teaching and administrative roles throughout his career including Chief of Staff at St. Joseph Hospital and President of the Fort Wayne Medical Society. He served as the Fort Wayne Medical Society Foundation President since 2005. John was a true friend to his family, friends, colleagues, and patients and will be dearly missed. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Barbara Csicsko; sons, Christopher (Lauren Caggiano) and Nicholas (Emi Ferguson); mother, Zorka Csicsko; and sisters, Janet Mahoney and Carole Kibler. He is also remembered by his honorary Macedonian sons, Filip Lazovski, Goce Mihajlovski and Ivanco Talevski. Memorial Mass is 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1 2016, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. Visitation and a celebration of John’s life will follow Mass from 2:30 to 8p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, at Sycamore Hills Golf Club. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the Fort Wayne Medical Society Foundation.