We are sad to announce the passing of Richard Bakemeier, MD, a well-respected University of Colorado Cancer Center member and long time faculty member of the University of Colorado School of Medicine
Dr. Bakemeier, an Indiana native, joined the CU Cancer Center in 1985 after moving to Denver with his wife Alice. During his impressive career Dr. Bakemeier held many titles including Dean of Continuing Medical Education, Chair of the CU Faculty Council, and recipient of CU’s Joseph Addison Sewell Award for Exceptional Leadership and Vision, among other honors. Additionally, he was an editor for an oncology textbook published by the American Cancer Society for many years titled Clinical Oncology for Medical Students and Physicians: a Multi-disciplinary Approach. The book is sometimes referred to as the “orange book”. In 1987, Dr. Bakemeier started the Cancer Research Summer Fellowship Program which has provided a cancer research experience to more than 3,000 students. Dr. Bakemeier was also a big supporter of educational experiences for minority students.
CU Cancer Center member Mike Glode, MD, recalls the impact that Dr. Bakemeier’s writing had on his early days in the medical field.
“As a medical student and later oncology fellow, I distinctly remember starting to grasp the breadth of oncology through the ‘orange book’ that Dick edited,” he says. “It made one realize how complex this disease is long before the appearance of The Emperor of All Maladies of the genomic revolution of the last two decades.”
Glode remembers when Dr. Bakemeier first came to Colorado.
“When Dick moved to Denver he came to meet with us, and in his very understated manner, asked if we might find a spot for him on our faculty,” Glode says. “Dr. Bunn was thrilled to welcome him to our team.”
Paul A Bunn, Jr, MD, was the Division Head for Medical Oncology when Dr. Bakemeier started at CU.
“Dick was known nationally and internationally for his efforts in cancer education,’ he says. “At the university, he was the Associate Director for Cancer Education for many years and lead a summer intern program that provided summer fellowships for many Colorado residents. He was also heavily involved in national issues regarding cancer education and in the cancer curriculum at the University.”
When Dr. Bakemeier wasn’t changing the face of cancer education he enjoyed canoeing, hiking and traveling with his family.
“I am sorry to hear of Dr. Bakemeier’s passing and I pass my condolences to his family,” says Bunn. “Dick was a kind and gentle man, a giant in Clinical Oncology and we will all miss him.”