Basil Albert Marryshow, 81, was born on September 16, 1929 in St. Georges, Grenada to Theophilus Albert ("T.A.") Marryshow and Edna Gittens, and died suddenly this past Tuesday, March 15, 2011 after an illness for which we all thought he was recovering from rather miraculously.
He was the fourth child of six for T.A. and Edna. Brother and sisters, Hance, Sheila and Louise, preceded him in death, and two brothers, Glyn (Atlanta, GA) and Michael (New Orleans, LA), survive him. He was also preceded in death by half siblings, Willie Marryshow, Lester Marryshow, Ivor Marryshow, Marion Marryshow and Gladys Valentine Benjamin; and is survived by half siblings,
Julian Marryshow (Christ Church, Barbados), Dora Hinkson (St. Ann, Trinidad), Jean Small (St. Thomas, Barbados), Burt Marryshow (St. Georges, Grenada), York Marryshow (St. Georges, Grenada), and Selwyn Marryshow (London, England, UK).
After attending Grenada Boys Secondary School and apprenticing to become an attorney, he left Grenada in 1955 for the United States to pursue a medical degree. He attended Howard University, both for undergrad (B.S. Chemistry and Physics completed in 3 1/2 years) and his Doctor of Medicine, 1962.
Upon graduation, he took an internship and surgical residency in Youngstown, OH. He said at the time as a black doctor, he only had a choice of interning in Youngstown, OH or Hollywood, CA, and Youngstown was giving him room and board. (Is anyone else thinking what we were thinking???). In Youngstown, he settled into orthopedics before continuing his residency at Allegheny General Hospital on the North Side of Pittsburgh. He quickly advanced to be Orthopedic Surgery Teaching Program coordinator, a position he held for the next nine years. Very recently, he was reminded by two of his former students, just how much they enjoyed and appreciated his guidance when they were young residents at AGH. You could literally see him light up with pride.
Dr. Marryshow served as a staff orthopedic surgeon at various times between 1967 and 1999 at Allegheny General, St. John's, St. Mary's and North Hills Passavant hospitals. He also maintained a private practice, which despite his attempts to close up shop in 1999, continued until his death because some of his patients refused to stop coming to him. His favorite patients were children and it was always awe-inspiring to watch him recall not only their names but broken bones on the spot after being recognized and stopped by a much older version of that patient, oh so many years later.
As if teaching, operating and mending thousands of broken bones wasn't enough, he also gave his time from 1967 until his death to the United States Department of Defense's Military Entrance Processing Command, as Chief Orthopedic Consultant, and most recently, as Chief Medical Officer. There, he screened thousands of brave young men and women for physical fitness before being admitted into one of our nation's five armed forces.
Professionally, Dr. Marryshow was a member of the American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society, Pennsylvania Orthopedic Society, Interstate Orthopedic Society, and Allegheny County Medical Society ("ACMS"), where he served on the Board of Directors, Peer Review Committee, and numerous other committee appointments and served as Associate Editor and President of the North Hills branch.
Civically, he was a longtime Executive Committee and Board member of the North Hills Community Outreach, and served on the Board of Directors of the Northern Allegheny Chamber of Commerce and as Vice President of the North Hills Performing Arts.
Dr. Marryshow truly loved being a doctor, but had many other passions and hobbies throughout his lifetime; the most important of which was spending time with his family. He is survived by his fiancé, Floy Wright, and his five children, Terence Marryshow (St. Georges, Grenada), Margaret Marryshow-Vincent (Coral Springs, FL), Karen Marryshow (Pittsburgh, PA), Wayne Marryshow (Atlanta, GA) and Kathryn Marryshow-Katawczik (Pittsburgh, PA), thirteen grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. His grandchildren say they already miss his laugh and how he would always tap them on the shoulder then look away and pretend he hadn't just tapped them. His children also miss his laugh, warm smile, charming voice, and wonderful sense of humour. He called or emailed daily with a (usually raunchy) joke.
He also loved to write. Many will remember him for his thrice annual ACMS Bulletin columns. He received so many wonderful notes and phone calls over the years from colleagues thanking him for his thought-provoking writings. Those comments inspired him to continue writing more than sixteen times for the ACMS Bulletin. Along with his numerous Bulletin articles, he had just finished his first book, Somewhere Out There, a true account of the tragic boating accident that took the lives of his three older siblings along with 70 other people in the Caribbean Sea during World War II. He was well into his second book, a high tech spy thriller, and had plans for several more.
As the much needed fuel for his writings, Dr. Marryshow had a voracious appetite for reading and current events. He couldn't wait to discuss Bill Maher (his favorite TV show) every week or the details of the latest breaking world event. Many of his articles for the ACMS dealt with current events issues and nearly every week he commented that some editorial he read or story he heard sounded a lot like an article he had already written.
Finally, he loved listening to jazz and classical music, singing (many will remember his performances from the North Hills Passavant Hospital annual Talent Show), gardening (both indoors in his green houses and outdoors in his several acres of manicured lawns, ponds and orchards), golfing (who could forget that back swing or his extremely creative stroke counting methods?), photographing flowers, acquiring the latest high tech gadgets (for which we were all sure we would find him some day buried alive in a sea of computer screens, camera bodies, stereo components and remote controls), driving sports cars really fast (to which the McCandless and Ross Police Departments can most likely attest) and watching his beloved Steelers (he even woke from a coma to watch a pre-season game last fall).
Needless to say, he was loved by everyone who knew him and admired for his dedication and gentle nature toward everything and everybody in his life. He had an undeniable style and grace. In short, he was a true class act.
Dr. Marryshow's family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made in his name to the North Hills Community Outreach, 1975 Ferguson Road, Allison Park, PA 15101.