In Memory

Richard Ehrenkranz

Richard Ehrenkranz (July 28, 1946 - August 8, 2018)

Richard Ehrenkranz passed away peacefully this morning at the hospice with, Jeff, Peter and his wife Susan at his side.  

There will be a memorial service for him on Sunday Aug 19 in New Haven.

Richard was diagnosed with colon cancer more than 8 years ago and has been inspirational in his fight against it. He has spent more hours than anyone would like to count at Yale's cancer center-- with occasional frustration, but always putting one foot in front of the other without fail. In February he made the difficult decision to stop treatment as the benefit was no longer outweighing the harm. This didn't slow him down, though, as he and his wife Susan took the opportunity to visit Peter, Callista and the kids in Seattle in March and Jeff, Bri, and kids in England in April. The last  few weeks have been difficult.

May he be blessed by all who knew him.


From Merle Applebaum Waxman

Dear Class,

I was waiting to write until I received the notice from Yale with the notice going out to the community.  We are all very sad about this passing.  I saw Richard and Susan just a few weeks ago, they were visiting a mutual friend who was in the hospital.  Richard and I met in 2nd grade.  He was always dear and caring and kind.  We both had the good fortune to attend college in the same city and then again to reconnect when we moved to New Haven 32 years ago.  To say he was beloved and well respected by the Yale community is an understatement. 

I am also including below the obituary from today’s New Haven Register

Please, take good care of yourselves and your loved ones


NOTE: Scroll down below the obituary notice for messages of condolence.

To the Yale School of Medicine Community,

We write to inform you of the sad passing of Professor Richard Ehrenkranz, MD, a long-time faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics, a visionary leader and gracious mentor to many.

We have included below a brief biography, prepared by Mark Mercurio, MD, professor of pediatrics and chief of Neonatal Perinatal Medicine, honoring the life of Rich and the many contributions he made to Yale and to the field of neonatal perinatal medicine.

Please join us in extending deepest sympathy to his family on behalf of the school.


Robert J. Alpern, MD
Dean and Ensign Professor of Medicine

Clifford W. Bogue, MD
Chair and Professor, Department of Pediatrics

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Richard A. Ehrenkranz, MD
July 28, 1946 – August 8, 2018

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of our colleague and friend Richard Ehrenkranz, MD, professor of pediatrics, obstetrics & gynecology. Rich died from cancer on August 8, 2018. He was an integral part of the Yale pediatric community for four decades. Rich was originally from New Jersey and came to Yale as an intern in 1972, after completing his undergraduate work at MIT and receiving his medical degree from SUNY-Downstate. He completed pediatrics residency at Yale, and his postdoctoral fellowship at Yale and NIH. He joined the Pediatrics faculty in 1979, and remained here until the time of his death, contributing to the operation and leadership of the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine until shortly before his passing. He was the clinical director of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit from 1982-2012, interim chief of the Division of Neonatology from 2012 to 2015, and director of research for the Division of Neonatology until July of this year.

Dr. Ehrenkranz was best known at Yale as an extraordinary mentor to students, residents, and fellows for four decades, and as the leader of the clinical operation of one of the nation’s premier Newborn Intensive Care Units. Generations of pediatricians, neonatologists, nurses, physician associates, nurse practitioners, and others learned their craft by having the great fortune to work alongside Dr Ehrenkranz. Thousands of newborns from throughout Connecticut and beyond benefited from his extraordinary clinical skills, and thousands more parents will remember his gentle way of helping them though times of crisis. He is also known and respected internationally as a clinical investigator, with over 300 publications, whose contributions to the field of infant nutrition and other aspects of neonatology had, and continue to have, significant impact on medical practice. He was a generous mentor and collaborator for many colleagues in academic neonatology.

Rich will be remembered for his excellent clinical skills as a pediatrician, his kindness to the families of his patients, his leadership of the Newborn ICU, his impressive contributions to medical science, and for the countless physicians who were lucky enough to learn from him over the years and carried his teaching around the country and beyond. Perhaps most of all, he will be remembered as someone who made his living in a very intense setting, and yet throughout it all always managed to convey a gentle kindness and generosity of spirit. He leaves behind his beloved wife Susan, 2 sons, and 3 stepsons. We extend our sincere sympathy to them, and our gratitude for having had the honor and pleasure of working with him.

The family has informed us that a memorial service is being held on Sunday, August 19 at 1:30 pm at Battell Chapel at Yale University.

NEW HAVEN REGISTER - Obituary Notice
     Richard A. Ehrenkranz, MD, 72, of Hamden, CT, died peacefully at Connecticut Hospice on August 8, 2018 from complications related to metastatic rectal cancer. He was surrounded by his family and close friends throughout the final stages of his illness. Dr. Ehrenkranz was a neonatologist and an international leader in the field of infant nutrition and clinical research. He spent his 42-year academic and clinical career at Yale University School of Medicine. He is remembered as a generous colleague who had a remarkable ability to present complex topics in a clear and memorable way. As news of his advancing illness spread, he received countless emails from mentees, students and peers thanking him for being an inspirational leader who was always willing to share his time and knowledge. 
     Dr Ehrenkranz also shone clinically. His patients and their families benefitted from holistic and compassionate care that led many of them to stay in contact with him year after year. In the week before his death, he received an email from a patient thanking him for saving his life in 1979. Despite having seen more than 20,000 patients over the course of his career, Dr. Ehrenkranz remembered both the patient's name and diagnosis without hesitation. "My patients have given so much to me," he said.
     Dr. Ehrenkranz was born July 28, 1946 in Newark, NJ, to Robert and Miriam Ehrenkranz. He grew up in West Orange, NJ and, after graduating West Orange Mountain High School in 1964, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1964-1968). He then received his MD from Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York (1968-1972). Following medical school, he trained in pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Medical Center, New Haven, CT (1972-1974) and then spent 2 years at the Pregnancy Research Center, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD.
     Dr. Ehrenkranz returned to New Haven, CT in July 1976 and performed a Neonatology Fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine from 1976-1978. He joined the faculty of Yale Medical School in July 1978, was promoted to Professor of Pediatrics in 1988, and remained an active member of the Department until June 2018. He directed Yale's School of Medicine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit's (NICU) Clinical Research Program and was the NICU's Clinical Director (1982-2004) and Medical Director (2004-2012). He was the Interim Director of the NICU, Yale-New Haven Hospital from 2012-2015.
     Dr. Ehrenkranz continued to live his life fully after his diagnosis in 2010, inspiring others with his courage and dignity until the end. He is preceded in his death by his parents, Robert and Miriam. He is survived by his beloved wife Susan, whom he married in 2000 and with whom he built a wonderful life full of family, friends, gardening, travel, and dinner parties. He is also survived by his sister Cheryl and her partner Stuart Motew; his sons and their families: Jeff and Brianne and their children Seamus and Rory; Peter and Callista and their children Aviva and Franklin; and his step-sons and their wives: Thomas Cohn III, Nicholas Cohn and Benvy Caldwell, and Andrew Cohn and Jennifer Tierney.
     To celebrate Richard's life, a memorial service will be held at Yale University's Battell Chapel, 400 College St, New Haven, CT at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, 2018. 
     In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to: Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, 333 Cedar Street/PO Box 208064, New Haven, CT 06520-8064, or Connecticut Hospice, Inc, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405. To sign the online guestbook please visit

Published in The New Haven Register from Aug. 10 to Aug. 15, 2018

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08/09/18 09:17 AM #1    

Eydie Urbaitel (Adams)

RIP, Richard.

08/09/18 10:34 AM #2    

Ron Farber

Sad news.  Once again, we've lost one of our great classmates.  Condolences to his family.

08/10/18 04:05 PM #3    

Sandra Bowers (Linton)

May God bless Richard’s loved ones, family, and friends and comfort them.     Sandy




08/10/18 05:51 PM #4    

Bernice Suffel (Seigel)

It is always heartbreaking to hear of the loss of a classmate.  But I truly believe when that time arrives, it is a Mitzvah when that time comes for that person to pass.  My sincere sympathy goes out to his family.  Bernice (Beesy) Suffel Seigel

08/12/18 02:53 PM #5    

Myles Schlank

This posting begins with an email Richard wrote to his classmates advising them of his prognosis. Following are their responses to Richard.


On July 19, 2018, Richard sent all of us this email in reply to the second announcement of our 55-year reunion


I decided to use Myles’ email to send you an update of current medical status.  As some of you know, I have been treated for metastatic rectal cancer since November 2013.  During the past 6 months my condition has worsened (primarily lung issues) and several weeks ago I transitioned to home Hospice care.  My wife and I are doing well.  The transition has been smooth and we are well supported by family and friends.  I am in no pain. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks for coordinating all of the reunion activities during the past several years.  I truly enjoyed our 50th HS reunion.

With warm regards,



RESPONSES (consolidated from email)


I was not aware of the illness.  

I understand the struggle and effort it takes to fight. I saw it with my father and others.  My family is hoping you are still fighting and wishes you love, hope and kindness.

Jeff Wagner

Dear Richard.

So sorry to see your response to the Reunion notice.

Life certainly doesn’t go according to the script we would have written.

Your name always unleashes a flood of fond memories of Buckingham Road (does memory serve me correctly?), I can picture your center hall house (right?) and your sweet yellow Bonneville.  Not to mention your sweet smile, beautiful nature and wonderful friendship.

Speaking of your Bonneville, I remember driving with you and some other fellows to play miniature golf, either in your car or my Dad’s baby blue 1958 Plymouth Savoy convertible……while it was raining.  We refused to put the top up preferring to hold our summer jackets up to create a roof when we slowed down for traffic lights.  Stubborn, playful, contrary and joyous times.

Love to you and yours and be well.

Praying to see you next year.


Jeff Simon


   So sorry to hear about what you’re going through.  To me, you’ll always be that really nice guy in our class who was incredibly bright and competent, who everybody liked, and who never had a bad thing to say about anyone.  I know I’m not alone in feeling extremely proud to be your high school classmate, thinking of your career in medicine, and the outstanding contributions you have obviously made to the lives of so many people – and many, right from the time they came into this world!  I take some comfort in knowing that, if there was anyone well-equipped to deal with both the good and the bad that life threw his way, that person would be you…

   Warmest personal regards,

   Gary Meyers

Richard:  I am so sorry to hear of your illness, and I am praying for you and your family during this difficult time.  Cancer has visited my family more than once and I know all too well how nasty and unfair it is.  Please know that a fellow Buckingham Roader is thinking about you and praying for you.

Stu Goldfaden


Saddened & shocked to hear what you're going through.  You truly were always one of the class guys of our grade.

And I remember summers we spent at Cabana Club as kids -- our dads taking the two us to our very first Yankee game over 60 years ago!

I survived a nasty bout with a cancer and have given council and advice to many patients via support groups over the years.

Please reach out to me if I can be of any assistance.  Perhaps I can give you an idea or suggestion to help ease your situation.

I wish you the best as you are now deep in my thoughts and hope that we do get to see you next year.

Ron Farber


We never shared many experiences, but you and your achievements were very connected to my whole sense of mountain HS years.

My sense of you has always been that of a really good guy, a mensch, who was also really smart.  Your note to us was consistent. 

Being in hospice and courageously sharing your news with the class makes me feel that you have come to a sense of peace with the end of the part of life that we know. That is comforting, good luck with your passing on.

Art Rubin

Hi Richard,

So sorry to hear about what you are going through and thanks for letting us know.  I remember you fondly in math class. I remember so many times when Mr. Johnson would put a problem on the board and wait, somewhat impatiently, until someone had the answer.  You would raise your hand, go to the board and then write out the successful solution to the complex Algebra or Geometry problem.  I was in awe.    Through it all you were humble, direct and brilliant.

Warm Regards,

Robin Alter

Richard --

I was so saddened to hear about what you are going through. Thank you for sharing this with all of us from class of '64.  I will always remember you fondly, especially in our German classes with Frau Bender. There were only seven of us in the class, so we were a pretty tight group. 

My prayers and blessings are with you and your family. 

//Bonni (Gilbert) Yaeger


It was with a sad and heavy heart that I read your recent email. I was not aware of your battle. God bless my friend. You and your family are in my prayers 

Tom Everett


Shocked and saddened, thank you for sharing this with all of us.

Some of my most vivid memories of you were in concert band: when, for example, many of us struggled through a score with an uncommon time signature and complex syncopation (and I, particularly, became frustrated after falling a measure or two behind), I always admired your calm and ability to get it right, even when sight reading. I imagine that as a metaphor for your life.

When uploading the reunion photos to our class website, I sifted through more than 1,000 submitted, trying to select a representative sample of attendees. It was somewhat difficult when it came to photos of you as there were many more of you than of anyone else, especially among the candid shots. In them you were frequently in rapt one-on-one conversation, listening or talking, with friends, teachers. It prompted me to look again through our yearbook where I rediscovered our class had voted you "Most Liked." Still true.

Hospice sounds like a good choice. I watched how my wife's younger sister and my mother were comforted under that care. Glad you are not in pain.

Peace and love to you and your family.

Myles Schlank

08/12/18 03:03 PM #6    

Myles Schlank

This posting contains a series of messages of condolence sent via email by  Richard's classmates


Richard was a shining light in our class. Given his wonderful & compassionate accomplishments in life, I would say the brightest light. 

Though we were not close in high school or after, his illness & death have hit me in a very deep place. I wonder if he represented our best hopes to make a difference in the world. And his leaving this world represents a significant step in the ending of our generation’s hopes. 

My deepest condolences to his family, friends & colleagues, as well as to the families of his many patients   

Susan Goff

Richard and I shared some alone time at our last reunion.

He told me of his illness, ending the conversation with a big, reassuring smile.

He had been my math tutor in 7th grade after my bout with the asian flu.

I will never forget his steadfast patience at our sessions or his polite acceptance of my mother’s sugar free snacks.

The latter becoming a bit of shared humor.

Richard, I will miss you!

Lainey Drucker Zwibel



It was so sad to hear of Richard's passing. Thanks to the email from Richard, I wrote to share the admiration and respect i had for him. Algebra and geometry were a struggle for me, and Richard made it all seem so simple . He truly was smart, kind and filled with grace.

Mara Goldstein Reuben


Rich was a wonderful classmate willing to help all.

He became a wonderful Doctor helping 1,000s of others

May he rest in peace and condolences to his family

Ed Czekaj


So sad to hear of his passing. He made a difference in this world to many in his career and life. May he rest in peace for ever more.

Dawn Lomelo Summer


There are no words to express the absolutely heartbreaking news that one of our classmates and his family had to endure such suffering. May he R.I.P.  I will always remember him as a sweet friendly person to everyone in school and I am so very sorry to hear of his passing. 

If only they could find a cure for cancer in the remainder of all our lifetimes or release it now if it exists.  The treatments and side effects one must endure are truly a thing to fear.  Many people believe the cure exists but the multi billion dollar cancer industry will not let it be released.  I pray that is not true and a cure is either found or released to the public before we lose another loved one.

Ron Lipton


I'm SO very sorry to hear of Richard Ehrenkranz passing! He was a good, kind soul who will be missed by many. Condolences to his family. May God give them comfort.


Nancy Arvay Parks



Richard was a good friend, a kind man and I hope he is in a wonderful place now. My sincere condolences to his entire family.

Jeffrey Wagner


What a terrible loss! What a beautiful person.  My condolences to his wife and family.  I have such fond memories of his brilliance in math class and his humility.  



dear friends and classmates

    my deepest thoughts and prayers to all of richard's family and extended  friends.

richard was one of the good ones.   always a class act.  a true gentleman.  always

with a smile and a heart of gold.  i may not have seen richard much, but, i always 

heard about him from his father who volunteered at st. barnabas, in livingston.


                      rest in peace, my old friend...your life, legacy and memory will live on


                                                your friend    franklin bell

RIP, Richard. God bless.

Tom Everett


I was so sad to hear of Richard’s passing. He was such a special person and brilliant physician. He will be missed. Condolences to his family. 

Margaret Wolf Kohn


OMG, what an amazing photograph.

Brings tears to my eyes…..because of his passing, the loss felt by his friends and family…..and my sadness at not really knowing him for all these years. 

I wrote to him a few weeks ago when he shared his illness with us and reminded him of some of my memories, but it would have been nice to know the loving, caring, brilliant man in this photo better. 

Thanks for sharing the photo.

Perhaps we can share our photos with each other so we can update the mental picture we each have for our classmates.  The reunions are a great place to do this and Facebook is (although I don’t use Facebook).

So, farewell Richard. 




Sincere condolences to Richard's family and friends.  I  remember what a truly nice person he was.

Shelley Lobe Vogel 


08/13/18 08:19 AM #7    

Arthur Rubin

A totally impressive tribute from Yale, A Life well led. Well done Richard!

Artie Rubin

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