[Marin County Obit Board]

Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 05:05:40 :

San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday, September 28, 2002

Martin A. Shearn -- physician, educator
by Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Martin A. Shearn, a prominent rheumatologist with a devotion to educating other physicians, died of a heart attack Monday at his home in Greenbrae. He was 78.

Dr. Shearn was born and raised in Manhattan. He graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor's in science and received his medical degree from New York Medical College in 1949.

He worked for Kaiser Permanente in Oakland for 31 years, retiring in 1987. During his tenure, he served as staff internist and rheumatologist, director of media education and program director of the internal medicine residency program.

In 1972, Dr. Shearn and his wife, Lori, traveled to Brazil with Project Hope, a hospital ship that brought health care to remote areas. In Brazil, they trained local doctors and nurses for a year aboard the S.S. Hope.

"We had studied Spanish so we would be ready to go and provide service. But it turned out we were sent to Brazil so we had to start all over again. We did, and learned Portuguese," Lori Shearn said.

Dr. Shearn was chief of staff on the ship and made an honorary citizen of the nearby town before they left.

Sharing knowledge was a big part of Dr. Shearn's life. He wrote for various medical textbooks and published one of the first major articles on lupus. He and his wife also published an article detailing ailments of such figures as Abraham Lincoln, Sherlock Holmes and Louis XIV.

Away from the medical world, Dr. Shearn enjoyed reading poetry, was a self- taught cellist and a competitive tennis player. His home is filled with his paintings and photographs.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, daughters Wendy Shearn of Tiburon and Bobbi Nikles of El Cerrito; a son, David Shearn of San Francisco; and five grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Wednesday and the family suggests memorial donations be made to the North Bay Area Alzheimer's Association, 4340 Redwood Highway, San Rafael, CA 94903.

copyright © 2006 Pamela Storm and Ron Filion. All rights reserved.
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