Robert H. Bickford, M.D., 82, 5910 Highway 10 East, a longtime Stevens Point physician, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Ariz., following cardiac surgery.
A memorial service will be scheduled at a future date.
Dr. Bickford was born Jan. 10, 1918, in North English, Iowa, a son of the late Leigh and Hannah Bickford.
He attended public schools in Davenport, Iowa, and graduated from Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry.
He was employed by the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Ill.
After graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J., he became pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, Conn.
He entered both the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the graduate school at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, then attended Harvard Divinity School before being appointed by the U.S. Army to the Medical School at the University of Iowa, where he graduated with honors. While in medical school, he also served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbus Junction, Iowa.
He was married to Jane Thoensen of Davenport, Iowa, in 1944.
He received a dean’s appointment for a medical internship at Highland Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., also serving as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Livonia, N.Y.
He returned to the University of Iowa for a residency in internal medicine.
During the Korean War, he served as a major in the Medical Corps, including stints as chief of medicine to the 395th Station Hospital in Nagoya, Japan, and in charge of the peripheral vascular section at the Tokyo Army Hospital.
He returned to the University of Iowa to complete his residency and was assigned as professor of military science and tactics to the medical school, also serving as pastor of the Community Christian Church in West Liberty, Iowa.
He was assigned to the Armed Services Graduate School at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., in 1953, as director of plethysmographic studies in the evaluation of frostbite injury. He also served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in McLean, Va.
He joined Rice Clinic in Stevens Point in 1955, practicing internal medicine until retiring in 1980. With the clinic, he served on the hospital board, held various staff positions and initiated programs in intensive care. After training at the Mayo Clinic, he established a kidney dialysis program in Stevens Point and Wausau.
After retiring, he was associated with the medical department at Sentry Insurance where he assisted in the formation of Portage County Health Guard, a local health maintenance organization. He served as its first president.
Survivors include his wife; two sons, Dennis (Kathy), Iola, and Thomas, El Paso, Texas; and two daughters, Nancy Bickford, Sierra Vista, Ariz., and Dr. Janice (Gary) Heikenen, Marshfield.