Karl F. Rugart, 90, physician

Karl F. Rugart Jr.
Karl F. Rugart Jr.
Posted: May 09, 2014

Karl F. Rugart Jr., 90, of Haverford, a physician whose career stretched over a half-century, died Wednesday, April 30, of cancer at Waverly Heights, Gladwyne.

Before retiring in 1998, Dr. Rugart, an obstetrician and gynecologist affiliated with Pennsylvania Hospital, claimed to have delivered nearly 7,000 babies during 50 years on the job.

He also worked at Booth Maternity Center in Overbrook until it closed in 1989; as an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; and at the former Pennsylvania Hospital Institute, the Philadelphia Women's Penitentiary, Graduate Hospital, and Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Rugart, who was rarely seen in public without his trademark bow tie, was an only child. His daughter, Cynthia, said she thought he picked obstetrics because he saw it as a "happy" specialty.

Born in Penn Valley, he graduated from Episcopal Academy in 1941, Princeton University in 1945, and the Penn School of Medicine in 1948.

Dr. Rugart was a Navy doctor at Fort Knox, Ky., and the Philadelphia Naval Hospital before being assigned to Lakehurst Naval Hospital in 1949. In 1954, he was decommissioned and joined Pennsylvania Hospital's medical staff.

Dr. Rugart's Christian faith was a key component of his life; he was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and in the last 11 years, a member of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Rugart was a member of the Union League of Philadelphia, Merion Cricket Club, Nassau Club of Princeton, and the Philadelphia Country Club.

He was a longtime supporter of Camp Tecumseh in Moultonboro, N.H., the Savoy Company, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Baker Industries, the Franklin Institute, and Wistar Institute.

Every charity group that sent Dr. Rugart a solicitation in the mail hit pay dirt.

"He was famous for carefully opening and reading funding literature and then slipping a $20 bill into every return envelope," his daughter said. "It was part of his joy."

In leisure time, Dr. Rugart enjoyed golf, tennis, squash, cross-country skiing, competitive bridge and snow sledding, the latter often at night after he finished work. He also loved following the Phillies.

He was married for 59 years to the former Patricia "Patsy" Rea. She died in 2013.

Surviving beside his daughter, are three sons, Karl "Trip" III, Conrad, and Eric; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at noon Tuesday, May 27, in the chapel of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, 625 Montgomery Ave.

Contributions may be made to the Wellbody Alliance, 2 Atlantic Ave., Fourth Floor, Boston, Mass. 02110, to benefit the Rugart Family Health Center in Kono, Sierra Leone.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|