Harold J. DeBlanc Jr., MD | ParkRecord.com

Harold J. DeBlanc Jr., MD

Harold J. DeBlanc Jr., MD, 71, "Big Daddy," was director and founder of the Division of Nuclear Medicine and director of the Intermountain Radiopharmacy Program at the University of Utah in 1972. A five-year resident of Park City and founder of the Park City Chess Club, he died peacefully of natural causes on June 26, 2010, with his family at his side.

Harold was born in New Orleans, La., on June 16, 1939, to Harold and Naomi DeBlanc. Surviving are his loving and devoted wife Georgie, his three children, and five grandchildren. Harold and Georgie celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary in June of this year.

Harold led a full and memorable life. Harold met Georgie, the love of his life, at 16. He graduated from high school in 1956 and then went on to pursue a career in medicine, graduating from LSU Medical School in 1963. From 1964 through 1966 Harold served as Medical Officer in Charge for the U.S. Public Health Service while stationed in Munich, Germany, and traveling throughout Europe with his wife and growing family, in addition to work-related travel behind the Iron Curtain. Harold enjoyed his family, grandchildren, the outdoors, sports, travel, food and wine, and the active lifestyle of Park City. He was a gourmet cook and pursued that passion with membership in the Chaine des Rotisseurs.

His medical career was distinguished. After completing a residency at National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University in nuclear medicine, he was recruited by Dr. Henry Wagner, the world’s principal founder of nuclear medicine, to join his staff as an assistant professor of radiology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. While chair of the Nuclear Medicine Division at the University of Utah, Harold co-authored a critically acclaimed book, "Non-invasive Brain Imaging: Computed Tomography and Radionuclides." Several years later, in his transition from academic medicine to private practice, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where, as an entrepreneur, he founded Medical Imaging Associates. In the process, he earned his private pilot’s license to serve hospitals in the Tennessee countryside.

Harold lived an active life. He was an avid tennis and chess player and overall sports enthusiast, but his true outdoor passions were skiing and fly-fishing. When not fishing the Provo River, among his favorite haunts were the rivers of Montana and Yellowstone Park, allowing him to satisfy dual passions of fly-fishing and a lifetime love of wildlife. He had a keen, infectious sense of adventure and passed that onto his family. He was a scuba diver and enjoyed deep-sea fishing as well. One particularly memorable adventure involved a ten-day float of Alaska’s Talachulitna River during the peak of the salmon run. His interest in the wild outdoors had been laid earlier during his Utah years when he and his family packed in on horseback to float the South Fork of the Flat Head River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana.

Funeral services were held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on July 8, 2010. Memorial contributions may be made to National Geographic Society at https://donate.nationalgeographic.org .

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