St. Louis, MO — Dr. Sumner Holtz, former chairman of the radiology department at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., died Sunday morning, June 1.
After graduating from Tufts College in 1944 and St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1948, Dr. Holtz completed an internship at Kings County Hospital and residencies at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City and at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine. In St. Louis, he practiced with the Scott Radiological Group; in private partnership with Drs. Mark Eagleton and Richard Harding; as Chief of Radiology at St. Luke’s Hospital; and as Assistant Professor at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. At St. Luke’s he was beloved throughout the hospital and respected for his great clinical acumen. Dr. Holtz authored scientific papers and was involved with innovative diagnostics and treatments. He was the first to create a documentary of the moving vocal cords, a technique used at Washington University in vocal cord-sparing surgery for laryngeal cancer. He also was associated with other important St. Louis physicians and scientists, including Dr. William Powers, Dr. Noah Sussman and Dr. Michel Ter-Pegosian.
Dr. Holtz belonged to a family of fine radiologists – his father-in-law, Dr. Samuel Kamberg; his own son, Dr. Peter Holtz; and his brother-in-law, Dr. Bernard Loitman. He was passionate about his profession and delighted in reading X-rays and discussing cases with them as well as with other colleagues. He often said radiology was not only his vocation, but also his avocation. He stressed a holistic approach to radiology, and was as often found in the operating and pathology rooms as in his own radiology department.
After retiring from St. Luke’s, he spent gratifying years working with radiology residents at St. Louis University. More recently he enjoyed quizzing his grandson, Max Holtz, currently a medical student at St. Louis University.