Uncle Jack's Obituary
John Dallas Hallahan, M.D.
26, 1917 – December 28, 2010
(portrait taken at his retirement as Director of Medicine
at Riddle Hospital in 1977)
John Dallas Hallahan, my only and much beloved uncle,
was a gifted physician and significant mentor, especially during my early years.
The following is the obituary written by his daughter, Marjorie,
and published by the Bringhurst Funeral Home.
Dr. John D. Hallahan died at his home in Media on Tuesday, December
28th. He was 93 years old. His wife of 64 years, Marion Laskey
Hallahan, died in February of 2009.
Dr. Hallahan was born in Lansdowne, PA on September 26, 1917. It was
during his grade school years he began studying biology which continued
through his graduation from Haverford College. He went on to study
medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from Temple in
1941 with his medical degree.
He served in the United States Navy both domestically and overseas as an
Assistant Surgeon and a Camp Physician and Surgeon. It was during this
time he married Marion Laskey, who was in service with the Red Cross.
His love of travel began during the summer of 1938 when he traveled
throughout Europe by every means of transportation available. He and
Marion traveled the world extensively and had many collections to show
from their journeys. They both had a mutual interest in Natural History
and took camping expeditions to exotic locals like Madagascar and
Tasmania. Together they enjoyed mountain climbing expeditions. In 1976,
they survived a blizzard atop Mauna Loa, Hawaii. They visited all 50
states and the majority of our majestic National Parks. As amateur
entomologists and geologists, their collections, photographs and
lectures on their travels have been used by museums for demonstrations.
After his release from the Navy, he practiced Internal Medicine as well
as received his Masters Degree in Science from the University of
Pennsylvania. It was after this when he established a private practice
in internal medicine in Media, where he and Marion would live out their
lives and raise their two children, son William Laskey Hallahan and
Marjorie Hallahan Crawford.
During his lifetime, Dr. Hallahan received many accolades, awards,
positions, and publications, as well as being involved with many
organizations. He was a learned man who enjoyed sharing his knowledge
with others and learning new things. He was totally engaged in life and
enjoyed nature to its core.
In 1959, Dr. Hallahan began his long association with what would become
Riddle Memorial Hospital. He first served on the Planning Advisory
Committee and two years later was appointed Director of the Division of
Medicine. Riddle Memorial opened in 1963 with Dr. Hallahan continuing
his Director role - a position he would hold for fourteen years until
his resignation in 1977. In 1978 he was appointed to the Courtesy Staff
of the hospital.
It was in retirement in 1994 when he decided to, in his words, "...write
an account of my life since it has been an especially interesting and
somewhat charmed one with many hazards in the way that I was determined
to overcome..." His book, A Life to Remember, utilized the yearly
records he had been recording since 1936. Meant as a gift to his family,
it highlights his time working on a cruise ship, his escapades as a
camp counselor, bee keeping, his family roots, his adventures all over
the world, as well as astonishing successes in the medical world.
While one can read the above and see what an accomplished man of science
and medicine he was, Dr. Hallahan was a wonderful husband and father.
He had a great sense of humor and a gift for making friends and keeping
He will be painfully missed by his children, their spouses, his five
grandchildren and his great-grandson.
He was most fortunate to be cared
for not only by a wonderful aide Jasmin Allen, but also by his grandson
Sterling Crawford, III and his wife Kim. This allowed Dr. Hallahan to
fulfill his wish to stay in his home and also offered him the chance to
spend almost every day with his great-grandson, Sterling Crawford, IV.
He was a remarkable man who gave so much throughout his life and all of
us are better off having known him.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his memory may be made to:
The Riddle HealthCare Foundation, 1068 west Baltimore Pike, Media, PA
Memorial Services will be at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at the
Chapel of Peace at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 225 Belmont Ave., Bala
Cynwyd, PA under the direction of BRINGHURST FUNERAL HOME AT WEST LAUREL
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