Beloved husband, father, grandfather and physician, Dr. Robert J. Hamburger MD of Wellesley Massachusetts passed away at age 79, on April 2, 2021 at the VA Medical Center in Boston, surrounded by his loving family, after a long, courageous, medical struggle with cancer. He will be sorely missed by all he touched. Born on May 30, 1941 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Frieda Lindenheim and Jacob R. Hamburger. Dr. Hamburger was a caring, compassionate, conscientious physician, who possessed a wonderful sense of humor and a unique philosophical approach to patient care and medical education.
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Robert Jay Hamburger MD, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Dr. Hamburger enjoyed a distinguished medical career, having earned his medical degree at the Tulane University School of Medicine and completed his postgraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in internal medicine and a fellowship in nephrology. After a 5-year tour of duty at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, he then moved his family to Boston in 1976. He joined the Nephrology Department at the Boston Veterans Administration Hospital. He rapidly rose through the academic ranks and became the Chief of Nephrology at the Boston VA Medical Center in 1981, and Chief of Nephrology at West Roxbury VA Hospital in 2000 after the merger of both hospitals. During this time, he was appointed Associate Prof. of Medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine, and later Prof. of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine until his passing. He has published over 60 articles, primarily in hypertension and various causes of renal disease in major medical periodicals, edited a textbook of Nephrology, in addition to writing numerous book chapters. The recipient of many medical awards including: Alpha Omega Alpha the medical honors Society, the David Littman award for "uncompromising dedication to patient care and teaching", are two among the many awards bestowed upon him. He was further honored by his peers in 2018 when the new Dialysis Unit at the Boston VA Medical Center was named in his honor.
He was interested in eastern philosophy, Japanese poetry and literature and relied on these interests to guide his teaching skills and to inspire his medical students, residents, and fellows. He and his wife Marilyn shared their interest in eastern philosophy and Asian Art. Robert served on the Harvard Art Museum's Collection Committee for Asian Art and was a founding member of the Asian Art Society of New England.
For 57 years he was the beloved husband of Marilyn Gardner Hamburger of Wellesley, devoted father of Keith Hamburger and his wife Heidi of Mendon, Massachusetts and Eric Hamburger and his wife Amanda Rowe-Beddoe of Wellesley. Robert was also a devoted, loving grandfather to four wonderful grandchildren: Jacob, Page, Owen and Caitlin
Robert Hamburger will be remembered, by all who appreciated his presence, by his favorite quote: "Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation " (Rumi)
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in his name can be made to: RYR-1 Foundation, PO Box 13312, Pittsburgh, PA 10243