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Dr. Blaine Sanders Nashold, Jr.

Posted By Hall-Wynne On March 11, 2014 @ 12:00 am In Obituaries | 23 Comments

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.

Condolences for the family of “Dr. Blaine Sanders Nashold, Jr.”

Condolence from Robbie Cox on March 17th, 2014 12:00 am

Dr. Nashold’s passing and subsequent obituary brought back a flood of memories for me personally. He successfully performed brain tumor surgery on my dad Brinson Coxat Duke in 1961 at a time when techniques were far different from today.I was eight years old at the time. It saved my Dad’s life. When the tumor reappeared some 30 years later Dr. Nashold and Duke again performed a necessary and successful second surgery, again giving my Dad more time with us. Your husband and father was a remarkable man and we thank him and you for all he did for us. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Robbie Cox

Condolence from John & Sue Shepherd on March 12th, 2014 12:00 am

Blessings on all the Nashold family at this time of grieving. We will all miss Dr Nashold.
John & Sue Shepherd.

Condolence from John & Sue Shepherd on March 12th, 2014 12:00 am

Blessings on all the Nashold family at this time of grieving. We will all miss Dr Nashold.
John & Sue Shepherd.

Condolence from harold on March 13th, 2014 12:00 am

Bless the Nashold family. Their father was a gentleman’s gentleman. He was a great role model for the world. He meant a lot to me and others he touched.

Condolence from Paul Lockwood on March 14th, 2014 12:00 am

My great friend and Sailing buddy
Our Stormy Petrel sailing adventures fill my memories.
I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky,and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
by john Masefield

Condolence from Carl and Joan Kammire on March 14th, 2014 12:00 am

Dear Susan and Michael,
We are sorry to hear of your loss of Susan’s father. What an incredible and accomplished man. He touched so many lives in such a positive way. God bless you all, Carl and Joan

Condolence from John F Terry on March 14th, 2014 12:00 am

I will always treasure the many memories I have of working closely with him on his many projects at Duke Medical Center. I always looked forward to our conversations on antique cars.

Condolence from Phyllis Thomas Immanuel on March 14th, 2014 12:00 am

As a member of the support staff of Drs. William P. Wilson and Robert Green, I often had the pleasure of interacting with Dr. Nashold. He was always friendly to me. One day he stopped me in the hall, and asked me, “Miss Thomas I was single in those days, why are you always so happy? You always tell me that you feel just wonderful. How is that?” I smiled at him and said, “Well, Dr. Nashold, the Lord gives me joy each day, and all I can do is share it.” He replied, “Oh,” and meandered down the hall. In later years, he, too, experienced that joy. May God comfort all his family as they say goodbye to this kind man who provided help to many, many patients.

Condolence from Jo-C Gaston on March 15th, 2014 12:00 am

He was a great painting buddy. I was always inspired by his joy at finding new ways of expression. I will miss him and his red socks. I am blessed for knowing him. Love you Blaine and family. Jo-C Gaston

Condolence from Patricia Andrews on March 15th, 2014 12:00 am

I met Dr. Nashold when I was a week old. He was my surgeon. And a great surgeon he was. He kept tabs on me over the years through my mother, who worked in the Medical School. When I graduated from college, he requested that I stop by to see him. I did. I had not seen him in over 15 years. It was nice to have a chance to talk with him. Years later, I met his son. I was the patient; his son was the Chief Resident on rounds that day. What a surprise that was for me. First the father, then the son. I wouldn’t have celebrated my 53rd birthday in December if not for Dr. Nashold’s good work.

With Deepest Sympathy,


Condolence from Dot Taylor-Senter on March 16th, 2014 12:00 am

When I began working in the Duke Neuro ICU I was impressed with Dr. Nashold’s compassion for patients and respect for Nursing staff. Over time I realized Dr. Nashold had a deep love for his work and a desire to share his knowledge with anyone caring for Neurosurgery patients. It was a great honor and pleasure to work with Dr. Nashold. May his family find comfort in their good memories.

Condolence from Susan Nashold Clark on March 16th, 2014 12:00 am

Just want to thank everyone who as expressed their condolences on Dad’s passing. It had been very hard. We miss him greatly. Your kind words help thru this so very sad time.
Gods Peace – Susan Nashold Clark

Condolence from Barbara Zelter on March 17th, 2014 12:00 am

Susan, Michael, and Emily:

I get the daily Raleigh paper and recognized your Dad’s name in the obituaries this week. It was a beautiful tribute, and I send you lots of love. I hope we might catch up one day, but meanwhile, I see you have much care and support at this distressing time. Love, Barbara

Condolence from Alan Stephenson on March 17th, 2014 12:00 am

Sara, My sincere condolences are with you and your family. I remember your tall father coming and going from your home in Forest Hills, although I do not remember if we ever met. It has been many years since I have seen you but hope that life has been good to you and that you are well. All the best to you, and again I am sorry for your loss.

Condolence from Faye Whitt Woodlief on March 17th, 2014 12:00 am

Dear Dr. Nashold Family
I am so saddened by news of Dr. Nashold’s death. He was a wonderful person. I met Dr. Nashold in 1971 when I joined the neurosurgery secretarial staff. Dr. Nashold always brightened our day. I pray your hearts will be comforted with the wonderful memories you share.

With warmest regards,
Faye Whitt Woodlief

Condolence from Ike Pipkin on March 18th, 2014 12:00 am

Please hold and care for each other as a family. You wrote a beautiful tribute. I had the honor of working with him in the Radiology Dept at Duke during the late 60’s and early 70’s as a X-ray tech where we assisted him performing stereotactic procedures. I fondly remember his homemade wooden desk built to work at standing as he was tall. It was a pleasure to have known him. …Isaac

Condolence from Ann & Horace Cupp on March 19th, 2014 12:00 am

Still have you all in our prayers. Irene, it’s been a long time, now. Still remember you folks trying to get me tied up in a slip at your place at Beaufort. Ann recalls your shared memories from the obstetrical ward at Watts.
What wonderful days

Condolence from Ann & Horace Cupp on March 19th, 2014 12:00 am

Still have you all in our prayers. Irene, it’s been a long time, now. Still remember you folks trying to get me tied up in a slip at your place at Beaufort. Ann recalls your shared memories from the obstetrical ward at Watts.
What wonderful days

Condolence from allyson gattis on March 20th, 2014 12:00 am

Sarah , Jim and Family you are in our prayers and thoughts. Your Dad was always kind whenever I was in his presence. I know he will be missed.
God’s blessings and Love to you,
Allyson Perry Gattis

Condolence from Algeria Hardy-Brown on March 20th, 2014 12:00 am

To the Nashold Family:

Our sincere condolences to the Nashold family in the passing of Dr. Nashold.

Our Mother, Mrs. Lizzie M. Hardy, worked for your family for a number of years. My brothers and I will always remember Dr. Nashold’s and your kindness and thoughtfulness toward our family as we all ‘grew up’ in Durham and are now in new ‘home places.’

Algeria Hardy Brown
Moses Hardy Jr.
Russell Hardy Deceased

Condolence from Judy Thorpe on April 4th, 2014 12:00 am

I am sorry to read about the loss of your loved one. The pain is tremendous even with the passing of time. There are scriptures, in the Bible to help provide relief of grief & distress. The hearer of prayers.Ps. 65:2 A source of comfort in times of grief & distress.

Condolence from David Jeffreys on April 7th, 2014 12:00 am

Blaine Nashold was my mentor, pure and simple! While I was in high school in 1958, he employed me to work in his neurosurgical animal lab at the VA Hospital. I worked every summer in that lab until 1962. He loved books and gave me two from his personal collection on Lord Lister and “The Torch.” Many times, I went into the OR with him for one of his stereotaxic procedures. His animal research was centered on Parkinson’s Disease, before the discovery of L-Dopa. When I left Duke and Durham, I moved to Miami to work at the National Parkinson Institute with a machine designed by Dr. Nashold and a physical therapist to measure rigidity in the muscles of the Parkinson patient.

My life as a professional in neurodiagnostics was a direct result of his influence. About 10 years ago, we had a meeting in which he proudly showed me the stereotaxic demonstration equipment display set up in the Neurology Library part of the hospital. He vividly remembered me from all those years ago!

Condolence from Susan Harrington on February 5th, 2015 11:29 am

To the family of Dr. Nashold:
I apologize for the belated contact, but I have just found out about the death of your father. He was a kind and wonderful man, and he performed brain surgery on me in 1969. I was eleven years old, and I will never forget how nice and gentle he was with me. The last time I saw him was in 1977, and I was quite surprised that he had remembered me. I always heard him called “The Jolly Green Giant” because of his jovial personality, his height and his most always being seen in his green surgical garb. Condolences to your family and all those who loved him.

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