Harold Fromm obituary (1930 – 2021) – Rapid City, SD

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Dr Harold Edward Fromm

FAIRBURN, SD | We have all been taught that actions speak louder than words. I can think of no better example than our father, Dr Harold Edward Fromm. Not only was he known as an excellent and articulate surgeon, but his real gift was his compassion and commitment to his profession, his patients and his family. It seems like not a day goes by without someone telling one of us how our dad has covered the spectrum from saving a life to helping someone with a little need. He loved his job and loved taking care of people. Our father touched countless lives and families. There are five children in our family and all five children are honored and blessed to be doctors. This blessing of becoming a doctor extends to parents-in-law, children, nieces and nephews – everyone who has been associated with our father and has seen his care. Our father never convinced any of us to pursue a career in medicine; on the contrary, we all chose medicine through our father’s example. The fact that we all chose the path of medicine speaks volumes because our father’s actions were infinitely stronger than any word. As a result, we have all chosen the path of medicine for the right reason: to take care of people and to try to improve their lives. Our father taught us through actions what it really means to care for patients, no matter what specialty we choose. He taught us that every patient has a story, a feeling, a family, a problem, a pain – a life.

Having said that, the same behaviors our father had with patients was a gift to this family as well. Family was extremely important to our father. We are all grateful for his guidance which taught us compassion, humility and generosity. Our father liked to get together as a family – especially over a meal. Our father always gave; never selfish. He was always there for us, whether it was a phone call or a visit and we all knew it. Our lives will now change forever.

Our father’s love outside of medicine was agriculture and animal husbandry. It was there that he spent much of his free time. As a result, we were fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time outdoors at the ranch learning to drive, ride horses, tag cattle, hike or ice skate on ponds, and warm up near the ranch. ‘a fire. We all have many great memories and laughs growing up on the “southern ranch”. For example, there is a common joke in our family where we all thought our father systematically blocked the truck on purpose (snow or mud – it didn’t matter) so we had to “go get the chain and the tractor” to get the truck out. . In his later years, he always said that his favorite part of the day was getting up in the morning and feeding his cattle. He liked to see animals in the open like elk and buffalo or his own cattle and horses. It didn’t matter how busy we were. Our father showed us the importance and the tranquility of stopping our lives to simply observe animals in their normal environment. I still remember many times I had closed the truck to listen to a breeze through the trees as we just sat and watched a herd of elk. Peaceful.

Our father’s faith was strong. Faith can be defined as “the confident belief or reliance on the truth or reliability of a person, idea or thing”. Our father’s faith in our God was predominant, but he also had faith in our family as well as in humanity in general. In other words, our father always saw the good in everyone. As doctors, we are trained to save lives. However, our father also taught us compassion for a dying patient (and his family). He taught us – a family of physicians trained to save lives – “that when God puts our hands on someone, it’s time for us to take our hands off. He even reiterated these words on himself in his final days – he told us to take our hands off and let God take over.

Harold Edward Fromm was born December 24, 1930 in Corsica, South Dakota, but soon moved to Clear Lake, SD, where he was raised. He always said he loved celebrating his birthday on Christmas Eve because no one forgot his birthday. After high school, he attended medical school at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He then completed his residency and fellowship in General and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. Harold married Sandra Lynn Grimmer on June 18, 1957 in Appleton, WI. Sandra’s rock and foundation were our God, her family and her husband. Sandra was literally by Harold’s side for 52 years before she passed away in 2009. Harold breathed his last on December 13, 2021. Harold was the youngest of 7 children. He is predeceased by his parents, siblings and his wife. Harold is survived by his children Deborah Fromm (Karl Jones), Stuart (Joanna) Fromm, Christopher (Kimberly) Fromm, David (Eli) Fromm and Theodore (Linda) Fromm. Grandchildren include Nicholas Fromm, Jennifer (JT) Carroll, Chase, Jacob, Nicholas, Drew, Addison, Sophie, Osten, Bode, Elsa Freya, Max, Oliver and Ruby Fromm. Great-grandchildren include Lucas and Margaret Carroll.

Even though our father breathed his last here on earth, his legacy will live on among our families as well as countless patients, families and colleagues. A celebration of life service will be held. The time and date will be announced.

Published by Rapid City Journal on December 18, 2021.


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