July 2005

  In Memoriam  

Jack Hougen Petajan, M.D., a neurologist at the University of Utah School of Medicine for 36 years, died June 22 in Salt Lake City after a three-year struggle with treatment effects secondary to gall bladder cancer. He was 75.

Recognized as a world-class clinician, diagnostician, and neuromuscular researcher, as well as an outstanding teacher and mentor, Petajan developed the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory and established the university's Multiple Sclerosis clinic.

A founding member and president of the American Academy of Electromyography and Electrodiagnosis, he was also a past president of the American Academy of Electrodiagnostic Medicine and had served on the boards of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Utah, and the Jimmie Heuga Medical Research Foundation. He was honored as a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and elected to the American Neurological Association. In 2003, the U neurology department named a laboratory after him and held a symposium in his honor.

Petajan was born April 2, 1930 in Evanston, Ill., to John and Ruth Hougen Petajan. He married Ruth Neve in 1951, and they were married 27 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Johns Hopkins University in 1953, then in 1959 graduated from the University of Wisconsin with both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in physiology. He went on to a neurology residency at the University of Wisconsin; fellowships with the Mayo Clinic and Brain Research Institute, Zurich, Switzerland; and stints as an assistant professor, Neurology and Physiology, University of Wisconsin, and chief of physiology, Section of Arctic Health Research Laboratory and U.S. Public Health Service, College, Alaska. Petajan came to Salt Lake City in 1969 to the SLC Veterans Administration Medical Center and University of Utah School of Medicine, where he continued teaching, research, and clinical activity in neuromuscular diagnosis and treatment, and performed pioneering work in Multiple Sclerosis.

The recipient of more than 20 research grants addressing a wide range of topics, including Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and the physiology of central fatigue in these illnesses, among others, Petajan published and contributed to over 100 professional articles, abstracts, papers, and book chapters. His curiosity as a physician reflected compassion stemming partially from life-threatening illnesses he himself experienced throughout his life.

In 1979, Petajan married Mary Eve Sanford. His passion for music led him to perform in string groups throughout his life, and with Eve, he sang for 15 years in the Utah Symphony Choir and five years in Pro Musica Chamber Choir. He was also an accomplished athlete, and enjoyed sailing, skiing, running, golf, fishing, and travel.

Petajan is survived by his wife Eve; four children, Eric (Cori), Anne (Dan) Chisholm, Amy (Glenn) McMinn, Bo David; and five grandchildren, Dave, Joe, Alisha, John, and Peter; numerous nieces and nephews throughout the country; and his last surviving brother, Albert (Sylvia) Petajan, of Kewaunee, Wis.

Edited from the notice published in The Salt Lake Tribune from 6/24-27/05.

Former Utah Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice I. Daniel Stewart BA’59 JD’62 died June 23 at age 72.

Isaac Daniel Stewart, Jr. was born Nov. 21, 1932 in Salt Lake City to Isaac Daniel Stewart, Sr. and Orabelle Iverson Stewart. He graduated from East High School, where he was an outstanding scholar and All State football star, then attended the University of Utah for one year on a football scholarship before serving a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission to Germany from 1953-56. Months before returning home, he contracted polio, then spent the next year and a half in a difficult rehabilitation during which he was confined to an iron lung and worked to regain basic abilities such as holding a pen. When he was strong enough, he returned to the U, where he graduated in 1959 as class valedictorian with a B.A. in Political Science, Phi Beta Kappa. That same year, he married Geraldine Elizabeth Bryan. He then entered the U’s College of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Utah Law Review, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and graduated first in his class.

From 1962 to 1965, Stewart worked with the U.S. Department of Justice Honors Antitrust Department in Washington, D.C. Upon returning to Utah, he joined the U of U law school faculty, where he spent five years teaching civil procedure, evidence, and antitrust. From 1970-79, he was a partner and managing partner at the law firm of Jones, Waldo, Holbrook & McDonough, where he practiced major business antitrust and First Amendment litigation. In 1979, then-Governor Scott Matheson appointed Stewart to the Utah Supreme Court, where he served for 21 years. Justice Stewart was known for the powerful clarity of his writing, the depth of his thought and legal analysis, and the colorful and sometimes strong language used in his opinions, particularly those dissenting. The Utah State Bar named him Appellate Court Judge of the Year in 1986.

Stewart was preceded in death by his mother, father, and some siblings. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughter Liz Stewart Whitney and her husband, John Larson, and their children, Rebecca Elizabeth Whitney, Madeline Ann Whitney, Elizabeth Larson, McCall Larson, and Jack Larson; daughter Shannon Stewart and her husband, Matthew Clark, and their children, Eliza Stewart Clark, Isaac Daniel Clark, and Amelia Stewart Clark; his sisters, Mary Louise Holbrook, Caroline Madsen, Saundra Stewart, and Geraldine Waterman; and nieces and nephews.

Edited from the Deseret Morning News article published 6/25/05 and notice 6/26-28/05.

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