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Burk, Genevieve S. Genny Speelman, Dr. – Obituary

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Dr. Genevieve “Genny” S. Burk, 79, a former Baker City resident, died Sept. 22, 2002.

There will be a dinner in celebration of her life on Nov. 8 at the Oregon Medical Association headquarters in Portland.

The former Genny Speelman was born and raised in Baker City. Her father died when she was 16 and she helped her mother in caring for a family of frontier physicians. She was the valedictorian of the Baker High School Class of 1940.

During World War II, she worked as a cartographer at Camp Abbot. After graduation from the University of Oregon at Eugene, she attended the University of Oregon Medical School. She received her medical degree in1951.

She then entered a residency in anesthesiology with Dr. Haugen. After residency, she entered private practice for a short period.

She then returned to the Oregon Medical School on the staff of the Veterans Administration Hospital where she remained for 12 years. In 1968, she returned to private practice as the first full-time anesthesiologist in Clackamas County.

She served as chief of staff of Willamette Falls Community Hospital in 1976. She was elected president of the Clackamas County Medical Society in 1980 and president of the Oregon Medical Association in 1982. She twice ran for the Oregon Legislature.

Macular degeneration forced her retirement in 1986, but she maintained a keen interest in world and local events and a warm friendship with her extended family.

Genny was intelligent (she received only one grade less than A, a B, during her entire scholastic career). She was tough, but also gentle. She was a counselor and benefactor to uncounted interns, residents, practicing physicians, nurses, patients and friends, all of whom will miss her greatly.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and a former husband, Gilbert “Uncle Gil” Burk.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Medical Education John R. Hazel Memorial Fund or to the Willamette Falls Community Hospital Hospice.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 4, 2002
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor

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