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Dr. Kenneth Pine Mathews

April 21, 1921­Dec. 28, 2002
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." ­Martin Luther King Jr.

The true measure of a man is not seen in the life he lives before others, but rather it is demonstrated by his hidden actions, how he navigates through life's trials and tribulations and how he treats his fellow man. Dr. Kenneth Pine Mathews was truly a man above many. His life was filled with a quiet integrity that left a lasting example for others to follow.
Matthews (Photo by U-M Photo Services)

Dr. Mathews began his long and illustrious professional career at U-M, where he was a professor of internal medicine from 1948-86 and division chief of Allergy and Clinical Immunology from 1967-83, before joining the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, Calif., in 1986. From 1968-72, Dr. Mathews served as editor of the National Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. He co-authored "A Manual of Clinical Allergy" in 1967 and contributed numerous articles to professional journals. In addition, he served as president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in 1968 and received the academy's prestigious Distinguished Service Award in 1976.

Dr. Mathews was a highly regarded physician, scholar and leader in the field of allergy and immunology, and a true inspiration to the more than 100 fellows who trained under him in the Allergy Training Program. His impressive legacy of excellence at the U-M Medical School continues to live on as an incentive to those who have followed in his footsteps.

Dr. Ian Slepian (graduate, Allergy Training Program, Class of 1982) remembers Dr. Mathews as "a very modest man." Slepian notes, "He didn't strike me as a guy who was very interested in putting on airs or (in) power; he was only interested in his science. He had an energetic gait; he walked down the hall full of energy." Slepian recalls the depth of scientific knowledge Dr. Mathews possessed. "He was always a scientist, trying to relate things to his intellectual pursuits. He thought creatively and in a scientific way. He had a lot of integrity and a good heart."

While completing his internship at U-M, Slepian developed a medical condition that required frequent hospitalizations. During the second year of his allergy fellowship, it was Dr. Mathews who also confidentially treated him. "There was a good heart behind the scientist," Slepian says. "He was a kind-hearted (but very) private person with a lot of integrity."

Dr. James McLean, former division chief of Allergy and Immunology, remembers Dr. Mathews as a full-time administrator, researcher and teacher who "did it all on his own; researcher, ran the training program, (even) made all the teaching schedules."

"Back then, we all had rotations for several months at a time in Health Services, Wayne County General Hospital and two days a week at the V.A. Ken took his rotation like everyone else," McLean says.

Slepian and McLean remember Dr. Mathews as a man of quiet integrity."To those who knew him well—a side many fellows didn't see—the was kind, sympathetic, and would listen and counsel," McLean says. "The fellows always saw him running from consult to clinic and running from clinic to lab. He was really a unique individual."

Fellows who trained under him learned research and analysis in addition to clinical skills. "He was a busy man with very little help," McLean says. "He had a clinic secretary but not a personal secretary. He was highly confidential and did not broadcast his (personal) accomplishments."

Dr. Mathews will be remembered as the silent guy behind the scenes.


Prof. Emeritus A. Benjamin Handler

Prof. Emeritus A. Benjamin Handler, who taught urban planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning from 1950-80, died Feb. 26. He was 91.

Handler's work was widely published. He focused on a systems approach to architecture, courthouse design and housing for the elderly. Born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, he attended Queens University in Kingston and the London School of Economics.

He had been living in Hilton Head Island, S.C., since 1987. He is survived by a sister, Mary Rosenblatt; two daughters, Susan Auth of Monroe Twp., N.J., and Sarah Handler of Oakland, Calif.; and a granddaughter, Rachel Auth.

A private service was held in Ann Arbor March 1. Memorial contributions may be made to Alterra Clare Bridge Cottage, 48 Main St., Hilton Head Island, S.C. 29926.

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