Dr. Lawrence Scott Linder, a former director of emergency medicine at the University of Maryland Baltimore-Washington Medical Center, died of a brain hemorrhage May 1 while on a hiking trip in the Everest region of Nepal. The Edgewater resident was 56.
His wife, Dr. Jeanette Adelle Friedman Linder, said her husband was a seasoned hiker and was stricken at an altitude of 16,000 feet at a camp several miles from Mount Everest.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Bucks County, he was the son of Irwin Linder and his wife, Rita, who were both Philadelphia school teachers.
He was a 1980 graduate of Central Bucks East High School.
He obtained a bachelor’s degree at Franklin & Marshall College, then received a medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania. He conducted his internship and residency at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. As a medical student he sang in the university choir and once performed at Carnegie Hall.
He met his future wife, a radiation oncologist, while studying at a University of Pennsylvania library.
“It was the only day he studied in” the library, she said. “He felt that studying in Key West with his friends was more efficient.”
He proposed marriage while in an underwater cave as he and his wife-to-be were on a scuba dive in the Cayman Islands. In a news story he was quoted as saying: “Being underwater made the diamond look bigger.” The stone actually was a fake — he later presented a real diamond.
His wife said their prenuptial agreement included requirements that she learn to ski and that he would be free to travel two months a year. He forgave the skiing requirement after his wife suffered a leg injury.
Dr. Linder moved to Maryland in 1991 and joined the staff of then-North Arundel General Hospital. He planned to stay only a short time, but soon changed his mind.
“I never in tended to stay, but after being here two years I told my wife I was not going anywhere,” he said in a 1991 article in the Capital Gazette. “`People in the area will do anything for you. They genuinely care for one another.”
He said that as a student, he had been attracted to emergency medicine care: “You were able to practice all of the things you do in other disciplines, in a more challenging environment.”
In the article, he said he enjoyed providing care when a patient arrived, often without benefit of a thorough medical history.
“We have to deal with a lot of problems quickly. It is quite a challenge,” he said. “We get a lot of patients who cannot get an appointment with their primary physician for two weeks. Managed care has controlled costs, but they have done it by limiting access.”
Dr. Linder said his idea of a vacation would be to attend a wilderness medicine conference and hiking in the Khumbu Valley in Nepal, or boning up on high-altitude sickness while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. He climbed that peak twice. The Grand Canyon was also a favorite destination. He called it “the most beautiful place in the world.”
“I just hate being bored,” he said in the article. “To me, sitting on the beach somewhere would be the anti-vacation.”
He had served as chief of medicine at the hospital, and his final post was chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Community Medical Group.
He retired 10 months ago.
“He was an extraordinary leader, a trusted colleague and a generous and thoughtful friend,” said Karen Olscamp, current president and CEO of the Baltimore-Washington Medical Center. “He had a broad range of interests and an intellectual curiosity about the world. He could discuss anything — travel, food or theater.”
His daughter, Kaylie Jenna Linder, said her father “liked to make people feel special. He would buy crazy gag gifts that were hysterical and very personal. He also bought beautiful, thoughtful gifts.”
“Larry had a passion for life and boundless enthusiasm for anything that got his attention,” said Beth Peters, an Annapolis resident who had been a medical colleague. “I recall his acceptance of all people without judgment. He had a sense of humor, boyish enthusiasm and limitless curiosity about the world.”
His family said Dr. Linder enjoyed eating at fine restaurants, including Per Se at Columbus Circle in New York City. He also liked cheese steaks, hot dogs and Angus burgers at the Honey-Do Grill on Defense Highway in Annapolis.
Services were held Monday at Sol Levinson and Brothers in Pikesville.
In addition to his wife of 27 years and his daughter, survivors include his parents, both of Bucks County, Pa.; and a brother, David Mark Linder of Orinda, Calif.