John H. Kersey, M.D., age 74, died March 10. John was a graduate of Washburn High School in Minneapolis in 1956, Dartmouth College in 1960 and the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1964. He was a longtime faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School, a pioneer in pediatric leukemia care and research, and the founding director of the University of Minnesota Cancer Center.

In 1975, he led the team that completed the world’s first successful bone marrow transplant for malignant lymphoma. That patient is alive and well today, and bone marrow transplantation has become the standard of care for many types of blood cancers and other illnesses.

John loved his family, his work, world travel, his cabin on the North Shore and his more than 50 canoe trips to the Quetico. He lived a happy life on Doswell Avenue for 43 years. He loved his neighbors and loved living in St. Anthony Park. John was a scoutmaster in the 1980s for St. Anthony Park Boy Scout Troop 17. He loved walking both his children and later his grandchildren to school at St. Anthony Park Elementary School, watching Tim play hockey for many years at Langford and attending countless school programs, recitals and science fairs at both SAP and Murray for both generations. He also loved buying books at Micawber’s (he was a voracious reader), Anne’s Christmas presents at the Bibelot and the Sunday New York Times at Speedy when they weren’t up at the cabin for the weekend.

He is survived by his wife, Anne; son Charlie (Tzeitel) Kersey of Bruno, Minn.; daughter Meg Kersey Isaacson (Brian), St. Anthony Park; son Tim Kersey of Roseville; four grandchildren; and brother Gene Kersey of Corvalis, Ore. His memorial service was held March 21 at McNamara Center at the University of Minnesota.

1 Response

  1. Jacki Farmer

    My best memories working with Dr Kersey were at Jackson Hall minneapolis mn, 4th floor with Dr Gajl, – Penalska. I remember his generosity in sharing his home in st paul and the Lake house at whitebear lake. My most dramatic memory was being out on the and walking back toward shore when I looked into the water and saw CHARLIE dog paddleing soundlessly below me. I pulled him up and brought him up to his mom. L will never forget that day and, I infact named my son Charlie – he is now 37 . God bless you Charlie, and you will always be in my prayers.

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