Obituary of Jules Amer
~~Jules Amer passed away on April 29, 2017 at home in the company of his wife, Marilyn, and family on Saturday - just a week before his 93rd birthday. He was born on May 8, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York to the parents of Daniel Amer and Lillian Stern. Jules was preceded in death by his parents and only sibling Rhoda Amer Appel. For 66 years he was married to Marilyn Amer. They had three children: Lyle Brant Amer; Manette R. Amer; and Janette H. Amer; all born in Denver. Jules is survived by 8 grandchildren: Jason Barlow; Alec Barlow and Julia Barlow; Luke Amer, Tess Amer and Keenan Amer; and Serena Aimen and Maya Aimen. Jules served in the US Navy during World War 2. He received his BA in chemistry from the University of North Carolina and his MD from the University of Cincinnati. He received the Intern of the Year Award at New York City Metropolitan Hospital in 1950 and subsequently did a residency in pediatrics at Queens General Hospital in New York City. He then came to Colorado in 1952 to study an outbreak of Western Equine Encephalitis, as one of the first Epidemiologic Intelligence Officers of the Centers for Disease Control. Jules subsequently became the City Epidemiologist at Denver General Hospital. He soon joined the inner city, Children’s Medical Center pediatric practice where he practiced for almost 60 years.
Throughout his career in pediatric practice, he maintained a close relationship with Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He was at various times Chief of Medicine, President of the Medical Staff and President of the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospital Colorado, and his leadership was instrumental in the creation of many of its programs including: Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, Neonatology, Pediatric Intensive Care, and the Children’s Hospital Research Center. In recognition of his many contributions he was awarded an endowed chair in Community Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center reserved for only the most distinguished clinicians at the medical school. The prestigious Jules Amer Chair promotes the health and well being of all Colorado’s children.
As Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Jules was frequently recognized for his outstanding service and teaching. He taught literally hundreds of medical students, and training doctors. His legacy in Pediatrics in Denver is far reaching.
Most importantly, Jules Amer inspired us to emulate his commitment to care for the “sick and the poor” – the individual child in our care at any moment, as well as all children, who are often left without an advocate when economic and political decisions are made. Jules taught generations of physicians, nurses, office staff and anyone who would listen, the importance of, not just providing care, but of caring about every child, every problem, every person from the heart.
Jules Amer believed that, as we encounter parents and their children, many in difficult circumstances, as they cautiously open-up to us and we to them, we learn to see the humanity in everyone and learn something about ourselves. Fortunately, Jules shared with us a book of often humorous, frequently poignant reminiscences: Intimate Strangers – Stories from a Lifetime of Practicing Medicine. Through it, he will continue to instill in generations to come, the privilege of truly caring for “the sick and the poor”.
Besides his passion for his work, Jules loved his physical activities as well. For decades, he played competitive handball at the downtown Denver YMCA. He also spent decades commuting 16 miles from his home to work at the Children’s Medical Center and back on his bicycle. Jules also enjoyed taking long walks with his family, playing tennis with his friends, going to the opera and chamber music with his wife and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
He will be missed but never forgotten.