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St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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Dr. Alan Weiss

United States Military Veteran

Dr. Alan Weiss, a renowned cardiologist who provided 50 years of service to his patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, passed away on February 5, 2024. Dr. Weiss grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He was the son of Florence and Edward Weiss and the eldest of four brothers. He is survived by his wife Marcia, three children Mark (Baila-Sara), Rachel (Ephraim), and Sarah (Todd), 16 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and his three brothers – Bob, Steve (Lisa), and Mike (Robyn).

Alan was inspired to be a physician from a young age, as he witnessed his father struggling with Crohn’s Disease. Dr. Weiss was married to his wife, Marcia (Burstein), for 57 years. He graduated with honors in 1966 from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. After an internship at Ohio State, Alan was selected for a coveted clinical research position at the National Institute of Health: National Heart Institute. Dr. Weiss then completed his residency at Washington University in St. Louis under the tutelage of the renowned Dr. Carl Moore. Alan was then chosen for a prestigious fellowship in Cardiology at University California San Francisco.  In 1972, at the personal request of Dr. Moore, Dr. Weiss returned to Washington University to serve as Chief Resident in the Department of Internal Medicine. He then joined the faculty at Washington University for 4 years before deciding to develop a flourishing private practice in 1976. In the early 1980s, Dr. Weiss also served as the attending physician for the St. Louis Symphony on European tours. In 1993, Dr. Weiss decided to return to Washington University where he was appointed as a Professor of Medicine, a position he held for almost 30 years.

In 1987, with the encouragement of his wife, Dr. Weiss began his journey to become an observant Jew. During this process, Dr. Weiss was recognized amongst many leading rabbinical figures throughout the world. He was gifted with the ability to connect with patients from all walks of life, using a holistic approach that considered not only their physical health, but their spiritual well-being as well. Dr. Weiss did not leave work without thanking his team for their support. When Dr. Weiss announced his retirement, he emphasized his gratitude to his patients for their insights while trusting him with their health. In return, he was flooded with hundreds of personal handwritten letters thanking him for the manner in which he provided care. He ultimately retired during COVID because he felt that he could no longer provide the in-person, patient-centered quality of care so critical to his practice.

As his partner in Medicine for more than 40 years, Dr. Scott Nordlicht wrote:

Forever selfless, always seeking to help anyone in any shape or form, whether as a doctor or friend, was Alan’s pleasure and trademark. Few in St Louis, Illinois or Jerusalem have not been graced by Dr. Weiss’ efforts in one way or another. As a physician, Alan was the greatness of medicine playing out in real time. He was everyone’s safety net: patients, doctors, colleagues, family, friends. With his passing, so passes an era where the clinician was everything to everyone. In our home we always debated who was a true bona fide hero, which we defined as a person who by their very presence and actions inspires us to become a better version of ourselves. Very few people met this criterion. Alan was one, and as such, this striving to be better shall be one of his many enduring legacies. For over forty years, Dr. Weiss was the greatest partner, friend and religious mentor anyone could wish for. When I met him the first day I came to St. Louis, little did I know I had won the lottery of life. Nonjudgmental, fiercely loyal, always positive and soft spoken, Alan’s deeds will continue to influence us the rest of our days.’  

As children of Dr. Weiss, our father truly exemplified the concept of leading by example. He modeled how to make each person he interacted with feel as if they were the only person in the room. He showed us what it meant to live a life of commitment, caring, charity and Judaism. Our father would drop anything to prioritize us. Although the three of us are very different, he truly embraced each of us for who we are. He made it crystal clear that we were the center of his world.

As the wife of Dr. Weiss, my husband and I always worked as a team. From the very start of his practice, we worked side-by-side when I ran his office. I traveled with him as he developed his career and learned early on the need to be flexible. Starting from almost nothing, his practice flourished until it became one of the largest in the country, admitting more patients to Barnes Hospital than any other provider. Despite the hectic schedule, we had loads of fun together as well as with our children. My husband was an incredible physician, and a Torah-observant Jew with a kind and caring soul. There really are no words to describe the impact he had on so many people.

On his deathbed, my husband and our children’s beloved father was completely at peace, knowing that the day of his death was precisely 36 years from the first Sabbath he ever kept, ending on precisely the same Torah Portion where he began his journey. He was intensely spiritual, but pragmatic and loved us all deeply. We feel so privileged to have been his family and can only hope to continue to make him proud in the years to come.

There will be a memorial service on the evening of March 7th at 7:30 PM, at Torah Prep Girls School, 8136 Groby Road University City, MO 63130.

If you would like to make a donation to honor Dr. Weiss’ memory, please send all donations to The St. Louis Kollel online at stlkollel.com/donate

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