Obituary: Milton Bosse / Retired chair of West Penn's pathology department
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Milton Bosse, a doctor who served as chairman of West Penn Hospital's pathology department, researched polio and mustard gas poisoning during World War II and served patients in Pitcairn for 55 years, died Sunday of a recurrence of hemorrhagic stroke. He was 97.
Dr. Bosse was born on Feb. 11, 1915, in Kansas, where his father was a grain elevator owner. After attending the University of Kansas for undergraduate studies and medical school, he came to Pittsburgh for a residency in pathology in 1938. He never stopped practicing in Pennsylvania until retiring in 1995 at age 80.
Known for regularly putting in 80-hour work weeks, he frequently made house calls while conducting a family practice in Pitcairn. He also helped establish the polio research laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, which was later headed by Jonas Salk.
While working on research to treat mustard gas poisoning, he met Barbara Cramer Flinn, whom he married in 1946 and with whom he had three children. The couple lived in Monroeville and Churchill until 2004, when they moved to Centre County. Mrs. Bosse died in May.
In an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1995 announcing Dr. Bosse's retirement, he said, "I knew this was right for me," gesturing to his examining room.
He ran his father's grain company from afar until his mother's death. He enjoyed cycling in his spare time.
His civic life included elderships at Bethel United Presbyterian Church and State College Presbyterian Church and a 49-year perfect attendance record at the Monroeville Rotary Club.
Frank Johnson, a doctor who helped Dr. Bosse with extra calls at his practice and worked with him at Bethel United, had known him since 1953.
"After he retired and I retired, we became workers at our church on Tuesdays doing minor repairs. Our pay was a Dunkin' Donut with our fellow workers," he said. "No matter where Uncle Milton goes, he is there helping the people and so forth."
"I can't say enough good about him. He was well liked and well respected. He was just an all-around gentleman," said Ed Culbertson of Monroeville, who had known Dr. Bosse from Bethel United since 1957.
Mr. Culbertson said Dr. Bosse was also a reliable member of the church.
"He was such a solid character. You could always depend on him being there and being involved and being such a gentleman about it," he said.
Dr. Bosse is survived by three children, Diana and Timothy, of Pittsburgh, and Jonathan, of Maine; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Services will be held Saturday morning at Wolfe Memorial, Forest Hills Chapel, 3604 Greensburg Pike, Forest Hills. Friends will be received at 10 a.m., followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m.
First Published July 12, 2012 12:00 am