OBITUARY PAUL T. PEEBLES, M.D.
Paul Thomas Peebles, MD, of Bethesda, Maryland, passed away on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, in Washington, D.C., with family by his side. He is survived by his wife, Inger; his daughter, Rebecka, and her husband, Todd Ridky; his son, Gustav, and his wife, Amanda Pollak; his grandchildren, Annika, Rex, Agnes, Magnus, and Soren; his sister, Mary Jo; his brothers, Jim and David; and many precious nieces and nephews and their expanding families in various corners of the world.
Paul Peebles was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on December 7, 1941, to Violet and David Peebles. He attended John Carroll University for his undergraduate education. He then withdrew his bid to become a Jesuit priest and instead pursued a calling to become a doctor, graduating from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1966, he married the love of his life, Inger Jordhammar, a.k.a. the Swedish girl with the great nose, whom he was lucky enough to meet at Cleveland’s then-famous music venue, The Euc. Dr. Peebles trained in pediatrics at University Hospitals in Cleveland and Harvard Children’s Hospital and completed subspecialty training in pediatric hematology-oncology at the National Institutes of Health. Between 1970 and 1977 he served in the military as part of the Epidemiology Intelligence Service and the U.S. Public Health Service, and he authored over 30 original research publications before going into private practice.
In 1985, he founded the Pediatric Care Center in Bethesda, which became a leading pediatric practice in the D.C. metro area, delivering exceptional primary and multidisciplinary care to infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. His patients and colleagues at the PCC meant the world to him, as did the many pediatricians he mentored throughout his career. He built on his cherished experiences with children and their parents by writing two books, OMG, We’re Pregnant and Vortex of Feelings: The Early Years.
Paul loved spending time in Sweden with his wife and their extended family, playing tennis, constantly augmenting his formidable moose-souvenir collection, and watching The Godfather on an endless loop. He treasured cooking, Christmas, Morning Joe, friends, and family. His favorite sayings, “Wherever you go, your backside is behind you” and “Don’t let the turkeys get you down,” best encompass the wisdom that permeated all of his teachings.
Paul was a much-adored, devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and physician. He will be greatly missed. The family will hold a small private service in Sweden in 2021, and we welcome any and all remembrances, which can be posted at Pumphrey’s Funeral Home so that we may read and reflect on them when we celebrate him there.
Paul had long hoped to establish a need-based scholarship fund at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine for students without the means to attend, as Case Western generously waived his tuition fees at a crucial time for him many years ago. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be directed to the school by contacting Liz Kalfas at email@example.com.
We are grateful to all who touched Paul’s life, and for all the wisdom, love, and gifts you shared with him through the years. Please join us in holding him in the light.