Dr. Marvin Bacaner
Bacaner, Dr. Marvin On August 16, 2019, Dr. Marvin "Bucky" Bernard Bacaner, loving husband and father, scientist and hero, passed away at the age of 96. It was one week before his 71st wedding anniversary with his beloved wife, Hadassah. Bucky was born on March 18, 1923 in Chicago, IL as the only child of Jacob and Minnie Bacaner. He left behind 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. He volunteered for service at the beginning of World War II and served as an officer in the U.S. Maritime Service Merchant Marines throughout the war, eventually obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander and position as Chief Engineer. When his ship was torpedoed and sunk, he survived for 14 days on a life raft in the Indian Ocean. He continued to go to sea after the war, volunteering in the Aliyah Bet movement, which secretly brought Jewish refugees from Europe on ships to the soon-to-be-declared state of Israel through the British blockade. In 1969, during a terrorist attack by four armed militants on an El Al plane on the runway at the Zurich Airport, he heroically went outside to get to the cockpit to treat the injured pilots. After the war, he pursued a medical degree at Boston University and a career of research at the University of Minnesota where he was a professor in the Department of Physiology, where he published the results of his original research in numerous scientific journal articles, and developed the live-saving cardiac drug Bretylium, which received widespread use in the treatment of ventricular fibrillation. He once gave a handful of ampules to a pilot heading to Walter Reed Hospital which was used to save president Eisenhower's life. He was enthusiastic and passionate about his interests. Some of his many interests, which live on in his children and grandchildren are boxing, sailing, skiing, tennis, basketball, wind-surfing, cooking, healthy living, and gardening. He was an avid skier, on ski patrol, and served as a doctor in the 1960 winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. He was also an accomplished clarinet player and an excellent poker player. He was known for his indomitable spirit, strong views, vibrant personality, independent thinking, unconventional ways, and commitment to his Jewish heritage and the State of Israel. He was preceded in death by his father, Jacob, and his mother, Minnie. He is survived by his wife Hadassah, his four children, Vivien, Nina, Daniel, and Toby, his grandchildren, Nathaniel, Ariel, Lily, Tali, Sophie, Jacob, Rachel, Samuel, Seth, and Tate, and great-grandchildren Serena, Henry, Benjamin, and Judah. A funeral service was held on Sunday, Sept. 18 at The Minneapolis Jewish Cemetery. Donations may be sent to The Jewish National Fund or Friends of the Hebrew University.
Published on September 22, 2019
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