Leon O. Andersen MD, 91, USAF vet, cardiologist, defibrillator program advocate, skier

By on February 21, 2018

Leon O. Andersen MD, 91, of Lititz, passed away surrounded by family at his home on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.

Born in Oslo, Norway, he was the son of the late Fridtjhof and Birgit Bendiksen Andersen. Leon was married to Edith Knudsen Andersen on July 5, 1956, celebrating 61 years of marriage this past July.

Leon arrived in New York at Ellis Island after escaping from Nazi occupied Bergen, Norway, on the mercy ship American Legion at the age of 13. He graduated from Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Harvard College; and Columbia College of Physician & Surgeons, receiving his medical doctor degree. He did his post medical training at Bellevue Hospital. He served as a medical doctor and Captain in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Chateauroux, France, from 1959 to 1962.

He worked for 30 years as a cardiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y., where he founded and directed the coronary care unit. Upon retirement and moving to Lancaster, he devoted his time to the Lancaster Heart and Stroke Foundation. He initiated an innovative defibrillator program that placed these life saving devices in every Lancaster county police car. These devices have saved more than 100 lives in the past 20 years. For his volunteer work, he received awards from the Police Chiefs of Lancaster, the American Heart Association, and Lancaster Rotary distinguished service award. He enjoyed skiing, golfing, history, traveling and was fluent in many languages.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons: Rolf L. (Kimberly) Andersen MD; and William K. (Ofelia) Andersen MD, both of Lititz; five grandchildren: Sarah, Lars, Liam, Kristen, and Karl Andersen.

Services were held Feb. 17 at The Groffs Family Funeral & Cremation Services, Lancaster. Private family interment was in Machpelah Cemetery in Lititz.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Leon’s memory may be made to Doctors Without Borders, 40 Rector St., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10006.

Visit Leon’s memorial page at TheGroffs.com. Groff Funeral & Cremation Services, Lancaster, handled the arrangements.

About mhunnefield

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *