Dr. Blaine S. Nashold, Jr. was born on November 21, 1923 in Lenox, South Dakota.
He was raised in Denver, Colorado, and Mt. Vernon, Indiana, on his family farm and attended Indiana University where he met his wife Irene Halverson . At Ohio State University he awarded a Masters of Science Degree in Microbiology. After attaining his M.D. from the University of Louisville, he did his neurosurgical residency at the Montreal Neurologic Institute and McGill University. Between 1951-53 he was seconded to the Office of Naval Intelligence, U.S. Navy, Atlantic Fleet and Pacific Fleet where he served two distinguished tours of duty in the Mediterranean and Korea.
After a fellowship in neurosurgery at the Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, he was appointed an Associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine and Chief of Neurosurgery at the Veterans
Administration Hospital in Durham, N.C. Between 1961-63 he was the personal Neurosurgeon to President John F. Kennedy. Dr. Nashold was a pioneer in stereotactic neurosurgery, pediatric neurosurgery and the treatment of chronic pain syndromes. He rose to international acclaim for his treatment of pain and brain tumors operating on foreign leaders, soldiers, and the poor from Sri Lanka to Japan and Europe. His academic work included forty years of research and over 300 publications in books and surgical journals. He was particularly proud of winning the Speigel/Wycis Award for his work in stereotactic Neurosurgery. During his forty years as a professor of neurosurgery at Duke School of Medicine he trained dozens of Neurosurgeons who carried on his spirit of dedication to patient care, the pursuit of knowledge and surgical excellence. Dr. Nashold loved sailing which brought his family together on many memorable adventures. Irene was always by his side and took the helm many times. He won the Miami-Montego Yacht Race against all odds. He also had a passion for collecting antique cars, which he raced all over the country.
Our personal memories of our father are several among many. He loved music since his days playing the trombone with Glen Miller when he was fifteen. We went to bed every night with Mozart and Beethoven wafting through the house. He loved books, medical, fiction and nonfiction.
Our mother, Irene, was the first cook who made all the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She threw famous dinner parties and opened our home to many travelers who came to work with our father with the greatest food and constant grace. She and dad were great partners.
We will miss dad deeply. As his many patients and friends from Duke will. But he passed away in peace and is in God’s Hands.
Blaine Nashold is survived by his loving wife Irene Nashold, his children Susan Clark, Jim Nashold, Ann Nashold, and Sara Shepherd, his grandchildren Emily Hege, Jessica Shepherd, James Shepherd, Jackie Blankenship, and Jonah Binstock and his great-grandchild Henry Hege.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Urban Ministries Soup Kitchen and Homeless Shelter at St. Phillips Episcopal Church, Durham, N.C.
A memorial service will be held 10:30 am Thursday, March 20, 2014 at St. Phillips, 403 E. Main Street, Durham, NC.
Online condolences at www.hallwynne.com. See Obituaries.