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|Blacker, Gerry Jon||BA 1957|
D.O.D 03/29/2005 - Gerry J. Blacker, M.D., a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, passed away at his favorite vacation spot in County Kerry, Ireland, on March 29, 2005.
Dr. Blacker was born Sept. 6, 1935, in St. Francis, Kan., where much of his family still lives. He graduated from Tulane University with a medical degree and entered military service in the Air Force Medical Corps as a flight surgeon in 1962. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the U.S. naval hospital in Portsmouth, Va., and Orthopaedic Hospital in Los Angeles. He was department chief of surgery and orthopaedic surgery at the U.S. Air Force Hospital, U-Tapao, Thailand, and the U.S. Air Force Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. He was a colonel in the Air Force and received numerous military decorations, including the Bronze Star.
Dr. Blacker completed fellowships in hand surgery with Dr. Dan Riordan and Dr. Harold Kleinert. He also completed a fellowship in total joint replacement with Sir John Charnley in England. He went into private practice in 1975, first in Louisiana and then Fort Collins, Colo. He was a team physician for Colorado State University and the Denver Broncos. In 1979, Dr. Blacker moved to Ventura and opened Coastal Orthopaedics with his friend T.R. Lammot III, M.D. Over the years, his vast knowledge and technical skills greatly enriched the quality of medical care in Ventura County.
He was active on the Community Memorial Hospital staff and was a qualified medical evaluator for the state of California. Dr. Blacker was an examination committee member for the orthopaedic and hand surgery boards over the years. He was a member of Riordan Hand Society, Kleinert Hand Society and Charnley Low Friction Society.
Dr. Blacker will be greatly missed by his mother, Iva; Erin and Tom Raftican; and his family, many friends, staff, associates, colleagues and acquaintances. Gerry never met a dog he didn't love and he especially enjoyed walks on the beach with his corgis, Rosie and Kerry. He was happiest when surrounded by a house full of friends and family. He was a fantastic host, whether the group was small or large. His annual St. Patrick's Day parties were legendary in Ventura, with performances by the Claddagh Dancers and Mike Reynolds and his Pipe Band. He loved to travel and did frequently. He enjoyed fine food, prepared at home or eaten out, fine wines, making his world-famous 'Blacker martini,' and playing golf. He was always updating his list of '50 things to do.'
He was a great mentor, whether in the operating room, the office or at home. A few minutes spent with him would increase your knowledge and understanding of a variety of topics. He was a great diagnostician and had an outstanding bedside manner. Dr. Blacker treated everyone the same, with respect and professionalism. He was a kind, generous, gentle man. He worked hard and totally enjoyed the fruits of his labor. Dr. Blacker loved the Irish people and had a passion for their music and dance. He loved to play the bodhran and entertained audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific. He was even able to find an Irish pub on Maui to play at. Several days after the successes of the Claddagh School of Irish Dance at the 2005 World Championships in Ennis, Ireland, where he served as team physician, Gerry was relaxing at his family home in Killorglin, County Kerry, at the time of his death.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Armed Forces Radio Network or The Center for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis.