Dr. Edward Barczak

Dr. Edward Barczak (July 20, 2011)

Dr. Edward Michael Barczak, a retired Baltimore obstetrician-gynecologist who delivered thousands of babies during his 40-year career, died Tuesday of cancer at his Timonium home. He was 85.

The son of a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. worker and a housewife, he was born in Baltimore and raised on South Glover Street.

After graduating from City College in 1943, he earned a scholarship through World War II's B12 Program to attend the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., from which he graduated in 1945.

Dr. Barczak was a 1949 graduate of Georgetown Medical School and enlisted in the Navy as a medical officer. He completed an internship at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda.

"When Ed joined the Navy, he was a good-looking guy and looked so good in a uniform that they kept him downtown for a while working as a recruiter," said Dr. Robert J. Mahon, a retired Baltimore internist and friend of 50 years.

He remained in the Naval Reserve, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander.

Dr. Barczak left active naval duty in 1952, when he entered the old Mercy Hospital and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology.

He went into private practice in 1955 in a now-demolished 19th-century brick rowhouse in the 300 block of St. Paul St., near what is now Mercy Medical Center.

"Ed was a good, solid OB-GYN physician and had a good practice that was centered at Mercy Hospital. He was very conscientious and caring," said Dr. Mahon. "He was just a good guy who was always very honest in his dealings."

During his four-decade career, Dr. Barczak delivered more than 6,000 babies and also had privileges at St. Joseph Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Barczak was extremely popular with his patients, Dr. Mahon said.

"I think he had all of the waitresses at Haussner's, and they loved him," he said. "I always wanted to go with Ed to Haussner's because they really took good care of him."

Sister Helen Amos, former president and chief executive at Mercy Medical Center, is now executive chairwoman of the medical center's board of trustees.

"Ed practiced here for 40 years and … continued to come to our tri-annual meetings of the medical staff and our Christmas parties," she said. "He had a wonderful sense of humor and an endless supply of jokes. He was beloved by the staff … and was very friendly and outgoing."

After Dr. Barczak retired in 1994, Mercy Medical Center continued to be the center of his life.

"When he came here for the meetings or parties, he loved hanging out with the other docs reminiscing," Sister Helen said.

Dr. Barczak was a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and member of the local and state medical societies. He served as president of the medical faculty at Mercy from 1987 to 1988, and had been a member of its board of trustees.

A resident of Stoneleigh for more than 40 years, in recent years Dr. Barczak lived in St. Steven's Green in Timonium.

He was an avid golfer and a member of the Country Club of Maryland.

"We took up golf after we retired, and to really be a good golfer, you have to start when you're young," said Dr. Mahon. "Ed was a hacker, but we had lots of fun until he couldn't play anymore because of illness."

He was a season ticket holder to the Baltimore Colts and the Ravens.

Dr. Barczak was a longtime communicant of St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Rodgers Forge and was a lay reader at the weekly Radio Mass broadcast from the Mercy Medical Center Chapel.

"His booming baritone voice was said to remind listeners of the voice of an avenging angel," said Dan McCarthy, a son-in-law who lives in Perry Hall.

His wife of 45 years, the former Bernadette "Betty" Jarosinski, died in 1995.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at his church, 6428 York Road.

Also surviving are three sons, Edward Barczak, Robert Barczak and Thomas Barczak, all of Timonium; two daughters, Barbara Grill of Carroll Manor and Jeanne McCarthy of Perry Hall; a sister, Loretta Hoffman of Timonium; and 10 grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com