JOHN F. KLEIN ROBBENHAAR
John F. Klein Robbenhaar, M.D., of Fairfield and Falmouth, Mass., died July 9, 2010, of lung cancer.
Born Johannes Fredericus Ignatius on Feb. 6, 1931, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Theresa De Groot and Johannes Klein Robbenhaar, he graduated from Saint Ignatius College of Amsterdam in June 1950 and from Faculty Geneeskunde University, Amsterdam, in 1956.
In Amsterdam, Robbenhaar was a first-team player for his soccer club, RKAVIC, an active and enthusiastic member of his student fraternity, Plato, which is part of the Saint Thomas Aquinas student society. There, he began a life-long friendship with Dr. August Rutten of Horn, Netherlands. Rutten had been a resident at Meriden Hospital in Connecticut and urged Robbenhaar to follow him there. As a result, he became a resident at Meriden Hospital in pathology and an instructor at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, from 1961 to 1963, and was a fellow in pathology at Danbury Hospital, in 1963 and 1964.
Robbenhaar served as an assistant pathologist from 1963 to 1967 and as an associate and senior attending pathologist at Bridgeport Hospital, with a specialty in anatomic and clinical pathology, from 1967 to 1996. He was also a member of the Fairfield and Connecticut state medical societies.
In Holland, Robbenhaar developed a love for sailing, which he brought to Connecticut. He was a member of the Black Rock Yacht Club in Bridgeport, and also enjoyed playing tennis at Black Rock Yacht Club and at the Patterson Club in Fairfield.
Coming from the Netherlands, which has the oldest existing democracy in the world, he was a fierce supporter and critic of the social policies of his adopted country, which he followed daily with enthusiasm in The New York Times.
Known for his keen intellect, depth and breadth of knowledge and unfailing sense of humor, Robbenhaar's greatest passions in life were his wife and family, and classical music. He was also a voracious reader of theology, philosophy, history, Greek, literature, science and music.
Since 1993, Robbenhaar had spent summers in Falmouth, Mass., where he was an active member and supporter of the Sippewissett Association. He found in Woods Hole, with its Oceanographic Institute and Marine Biological Laboratory, a sympathetic community where he shared with friends these interests in music and science.
He is survived by his wife of more than 30 years, Geraldine Sansone Lugert Klein Robbenhaar; and his three children by a previous marriage to Lorraine Cook, Melanie Klein Robbenhaar and her husband, Brian Loiselle of Bangor, Maine, Alison Klein Robbenhaar of Albuquerque, N.M., and John Klein Robbenhaar and his wife, Erika Harding of Alberquerque, N.M.; and by his brother, Anthony Klein Robbenhaar of Eindhoven, Netherlands. Robbenhaar is also survived by his grandchildren, Brian Jr. and Benjamin Loiselle, and Eveline and Grace Klein Robbenhaar; and his nieces and nephews, Mary Louise Klein Robbenhaar Fretz, John and Andrew Klein Robbenhaar, and Therese and Hanneke Klein Robbenhaar.
He was predeceased by his brother, Rudolph Klein Robbenhaar; his nephew, Robert Klein Robbenhaar; and his niece, Eveline Klein Robbenhaar.
Calling hours will take place on Thursday, July 15, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road, Fairfield. A memorial Mass will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 16, in St.Pius X Church, 834 Brookside Drive, Fairfield; inurnment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 372 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897.
To sign an online guest register, visit LeskoPolkeFuneralHome.com