Prof. Donald Uden, a driving force in the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy and a gifted “brother in song” in the Metropolitan Men’s Choir, died March 21.
Uden, 67, of Minneapolis, died of natural causes, his family said.
“As a double alumnus, Dr. Uden’s connection to the College of Pharmacy began in the early 1970s,” the College of Pharmacy said in a statement. “As both an educator and a clinician, he was a pioneer who led the profession and advanced our curriculum.”
Uden, a professor in the U’s Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems who often focused on pediatric therapeutics, was also a frequent winner of the college’s Teacher of the Year award.
He was born to Rudolph Uden and Jean Snare in 1952 in Minneapolis. He grew up in Coon Rapids and graduated from Coon Rapids High School.
Uden earned both a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate from the university.
In 1977, he served a fellowship at St. Paul-Ramsey Hospital. He began working at the university as an instructor that same year. He became an assistant professor in 1981, associate professor in 1985 and full professor in 2002.
From 1979 to 1985, Uden worked at Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center in pharmacy services and again from 1987 to 1992 as a director of research administration. He returned to St. Paul-Ramsey Hospital from 1985 to 1987 as a director of clinical pharmacy.
In 1995, Uden and pharmacist Craig Schilling developed a new anesthetic for use when children needed stitches in their face or scalp. The anesthetic, called L.E.T., was just as effective and less costly than one being used.
From 2000 to 2007, Uden served as the College of Pharmacy’s associate dean for student services. In 2003, he was the recipient of the university’s Graduate and Professional Teaching award.
“Dr. Uden was an inspirational mentor who had a profound impact on the lives of so many within our College of Pharmacy community. He will be greatly missed,” the college’s statement said.
In 2017, he was awarded the College of Pharmacy’s Weaver Medal, which is given in recognition of sustained and distinguished support of the college and its students.
Last year a ceremony was held for Uden and colleague Ron Hadsall, professor emeritus, to unveil the Hadsall-Uden Fund for Pharmacy Advancement scholarship.
At both the 2017 and 2019 ceremonies, the Metropolitan Men’s Choir performed. Uden sang with the choir at both events.
“He joined [the choir in 2002] as a strong first tenor and left us much too soon as a dear friend and brother in song,” said choir director Tim Bauernfeind.
Uden was a founding member of the choir’s board, where he used his skills in organizational leadership to shape the choir’s future, Bauernfeind said.
“Don always brought to the choir a sense of honor, humor and fellowship that will be deeply missed by us all,” Bauernfeind said.
According to his daughter, Jamie Vargo, Uden was an avid fisherman, skier, biker and hiker. He loved spending time at his property on the Brule River in Wisconsin.
In its statement, the College of Pharmacy added that Uden had a talent “for finding just the right colorful bow tie for any occasion.”
In addition to his daughter, Uden is survived by his mother, Jean Snare; his partner, Brenda Trebesch; several half-sisters and half-brothers, and three granddaughters.
A memorial gathering will be held at a later date.