Dr. Jose R. DeJesus, Jr., M.D., 69, a highly respected Marshall County cardiologist and internist, has died. “Dr. DeJesus was a wonderful doctor; he knew the human heart like the back of his hand, ”a medical colleague said when learning of his death.
Dedicated to his profession and his family, Dr. DeJesus died unexpectedly, due to medical complications, at his residence, 11190 Manor Drive, at 6:25 a.m. on Tuesday, November 28, 2000.
He had retired from the practice of medicine in January of 1998 after forty-five years of service, thirty-two of them in Plymouth. He missed his personal relationship with his patients and many, whose lives he had saved, missed him.
While in Plymouth, in addition to his thriving private practice, he served as Chief of Section, Department of Medicine, Director of the Coronary Care Unit, Physician-in-Charge on Electrocardiography and chairman of the Infectious Disease Committee at Parkview Hospital, now St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.
Jose was born, a middle child of 15 children, on Dec. 14, 1930, in Antipolo Rizal, a city in the Philippine Islands. He was the son of Jose R., Sr., and Consolacion Altamaria de Jesus.
He overcame tremendous adversity in order to achieve his goal of becoming a physician, rising from poverty and conquering economic circumstances as well as social barriers.
During World War II, he survived the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, where his hometown suffered many cruelties.
In order to finance his medical training, he worked as a bus conductor.
Dr. DeJesus graduated as a Doctor of Medicine, class of 1956, from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines. He came to the United States for an internship in Saint Vincent Hospital, Worcester, Mass. At Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Mich., he completed residency programs in Internal Medicine, Clinical Cardiology and Cardiovascular Physiology. He then passed state medical exams in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, moving to Plymouth in 1968 to come to the two-bed cardiology unit at the urging of prominent local physicians.
Prior to establishing his own private practice, Dr. DeJesus was assistant physician, Division of Cardiovascular Disease, Henry Ford Hospital. In the Philippines, he was the acting head of the Department of Medicine, Quirino Memorial Hospital, consultant in Cardiology, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and maintained a private practice in Manila for 5 years from 1962 to 1967. From August of 1967 to June of 1968, he was Chief Resident Physician in Medicine and Coronary Care at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.
Dr. DeJesus always strived to stay on the cutting edge of technology. He was one of the first in northern Indiana to use echocardiography and the first to utilize temporary pacemakers. In 1981 at the twenty-fifth reunion of his medical school graduation class, Dr. DeJesus was honored as the most successful doctor of his class.
On January 16, 1959, in Detroit, Mich., Jose and Teofila A. Braganza were married. The couple had met at Henry Ford Hospital where he was in training and Teofila was teaching nursing. In 1974, he became an American citizen.
He loved music and was a classical singer. He fostered a love for music and enjoyed singing. A fan of spectator sports, he particularly followed the games of Notre Dame University.
Dr. DeJesus is survived by Teofila, his wife of nearly 42 years and their four daughters. They are: Susana B. DeJesus, Plymouth, Consolacion B. DeJesus, Los Angeles, Mary Jane B. and Gerard Russell, Chicago and Liza B. DeJesus, also of Chicago.
Two granddaughters, Kathleen C. and Isabella D. Russell, Chicago, survive as well, together with two brothers and four sisters in the Philippines and a special niece, Dr. Librada M. Manaligod of Chicago.
Dr. DeJesus is preceded in death by his parents, five brothers and three sisters.
Visitation with the family will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, 2000, in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth. A Rosary service will be held at 8 p.m.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be in St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, of which he was a member, on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2000, at 1 p.m. Father Anthony Gillespie will officiate.
Burial will be in New Oakhill Cemetery.
Dr. DeJesus’ passion was his love of medicine. His credo in life was to stay close to God and close to family. Memorial gifts in Dr. DeJesus’ memory may be made to St. Michael’s Mission 2000 fund.