Dr. Michael Robert Hirsch
Aspen, CO Colorado
Dr. Michael Robert Hirsch, beloved husband, brother, father and grandfather, died peacefully in his sleep on June 28, 2012, in Henderson, Nev. The cause was cardiopulmonary failure, resulting from his decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 83.
Michael was born on June 18, 1928 in Highland Park, Ill., where he grew up and graduated from high school. He attended Northwestern University where he earned his undergraduate degree as well as a master of science in chemistry and a M.D. degree. He served as a captain in the U.S Air Force from 1955-1957.
Following his military duty, he and his wife, Audrey Ladany, whom he married in 1951, moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where he practiced obstetrics and gynecology for 30 years. Aside from being a greatly respected and beloved doctor, he and Audrey were actively involved and participated in the community fabric of Des Moines during that time. Most notably, they played an active role in the construction and installation process of the Des Moines Botanical Center, which was completed in 1979. Audrey died of breast cancer in 1985.
In 1988, Michael retired from medicine and moved with his wife, Mary, whom he had married in 1986, to Aspen, Colo., where he also had a home. There, Michael enjoyed the retirement of his dreams. He was an enthusiastic participant in the Aspen community and volunteered semimonthly at the University of Colorado Medical School’s Department of Gynecology in Denver. But his passion was skiing and he was proud to have skied Aspen Mountain for 50 straight years.
In 2004, due to health complications, he and Mary left their beloved mountains and moved to Henderson to enjoy a better climate and be nearer their grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Audrey. In addition to Mary, he is survived by his sister, Edith H. Silberstein; daughters Andrea Olson and Hilary Butler; step-daughters Melissa Place and Lindsay Myers; and his two grandchildren, Emma and Clara Place.
Per Michael’s wishes, his ashes are to be scattered over the Rocky Mountains. A celebration of his Colorado years will be held in Aspen in October.
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Produced by Colorado State University’s J-school, the documentary examines the economic potential of the plant.