Ernest Louis Mazzaferri, Sr., M.D., MACP, of Henderson, Nevada was born September 27, 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio, the only child to Nanetta "Nettie" and Joe Mazzaferri. Ernie passed away peacefully at home on May 14, 2013 after a short illness, surrounded by his family.
After a romance that began in the ninth grade, Ernie married his best friend, lover and lifelong partner, Florence Marolt, on November 23, 1957. Their fifty-five year marriage produced four beautiful children, Patricia Atchison (Jim, DO) of OakPark, Illinois; Mike Mazzaferri (Denise) of Reno, Nevada; Sharon Brown (Ray) of Las Vegas, Nevada; and Ernest Mazzaferri, Jr., M.D. (Laura) of Columbus, Ohio.
He is also survived by fourteen grandchildren, Carolyn Knopfle (Ryan), TJ, and Julianne Atchison; Ally and John Mazzaferri; Crystal Aichele-Fauls and Justine Aichele; Taylor Quienalty; Ray III, Joseph and Olivia Brown; Amanda, Ryan and Christopher Mazzaferri; and six great-grandchildren, Emily Knopfle; Adley Uranga; Jayden and Aunika Fauls; and Josuha and Jakob Aichele. He also leaves behind his adored sister-in-law, Joanne Nagy, and her family.
In 1958 he graduated from John Carroll University, cum laude, with a B.S. in Biology, and continued on to earn his M.D. at The Ohio State University in 1962.
After a year of internship at The Ohio State University, he proudly served as a Captain in the United States Air Force from 1964-66, and as a Lieutenant Colonel from 1970-72. He continued to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves, and again dutifully served his country, on active duty status, during Desert Storm as a Colonel at Madigan Army Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. His military career concluded with the Meritorious Service Medal in 1991.
Professor Mazzaferri spent most of his medical career at The Ohio State University, serving as Division Director of Endocrinology from 1974-78, then Chairman of Internal Medicine from 1984-1999, during which time the Department of Medicine grew five-fold. From 1978-1984, he was Chairman of Internal Medicine at the University of Nevada-Reno, serving as acting Dean from 1979-81.
During his distinguished medical career, he was recognized as a dedicated researcher, educator and scholar. With an uncompromised drive to provide excellent care for patients, he led by example training and educating generations of physicians and faculty to do the same. Dr. Mazzaferri demanded excellence and taught how medicine was meant to be practiced.
He published more than 160 peer reviewed articles, wrote more than 150 medical editorials, case studies, and abstracts, and edited or co-authored 53 medical text books. At the peak of his academic career, he was generally regarded as one of the world's experts on thyroid cancer, and was an active participant in writing the American and European Guidelines for this disease. He won the prestigious Paul Starr Award from the American Thyroid Association in 2009 for his fundamental contributions to improving the care of patients with this form of cancer. Ohio State became a world-class center for the study of thyroid disease under his leadership.
He was elected as a Master in the American College of Physicians in 1996, served as Chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine Endocrinology & Diabetes section, and was a Member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Board of Directors from 1999-2003. In 1990 he was appointed membership in the prestigious American Clinical and Climatological Association, served as President of the American Thyroid Association in 2005-06, and was a Committee or Panel Member on several occasions for the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine.
His awards from the medical community are too numerous to list; however, he felt great pride from his awards for teaching and patient care, as well as The Ohio State University Distinguished Service Award in 2009. Above all of his accomplishments in medicine, Dr. Mazzaferri was most proud of the thousands of students, interns, residents, and fellows that he mentored throughout his illustrious career.
The family would like to express it's gratitude for the many forms of condolence it has received during this difficult time. A private family memorial service for Dr. Mazzaferri will be held at a later date.
As a special request, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to:
1.The Ohio State University, Division of Endocrinology, Ernest L. Mazzaferri, Sr., M.D. Thyroid Fund, 1581 Dodd Drive, McCampbell Hall 5th Floor, Columbus, OH, 43210;
- OR -
2."Keep Memory Alive" Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, 888 West Bonneville Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89106.