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Dr. Oscar A. Iseri, pathologist

He had worked at the VA in downtown Baltimore

By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

3:27 PM EDT, May 4, 2014

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Dr. Oscar A. Iseri, a retired Veterans Administration pathologist, died April 25 of complications from Alzheimer's disease at Lorien Harmony Hall Assisted Living in Columbia. He was 86.

The son of Matahichi Iseri and Kisa Iseri, immigrant Japanese farmers, Oscar Akio Iseri was born in Thomas, Wash.

During World War II, Dr. Iseri and other members of his family were sent in 1942 to the Pinedale Assembly Center, which was an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, near Fresno, Calif., and later to the Tule Lake Relocation Center in Modoc County, Calif.

In 1943, his parents were given the opportunity to sharecrop and they left the internment camp and moved to a farm in Ontario, Ore., with their 12 children.

During the war, Dr. Iseri's brother, Mike Iseri, fought and died with the Army's 442nd Regiment that was a highly decorated Japanese-American unit.

After graduating in 1946 from Ontario High School, Dr. Iseri enlisted in the Army and served for two years with occupation forces in Japan.

After being discharged, he enrolled at Antioch College where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1952. He earned his medical degree in 1956 from Harvard Medical School.

After completing an internship at King County Hospital in Seattle, he completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center, also in Seattle.

In 1961, he married the former Anna Mae Ashton and moved to Boston when he joined the staff of Boston City Hospital. He also was on the faculties of Tufts University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Iseri moved to Baltimore in 1974 when he went to work for the Veterans Administration Hospital in downtown Baltimore. He retired in 1994.

The longtime Columbia resident enjoyed fishing and was an inveterate gardener. He also made handmade sandals, said a daughter, Lori Lilly of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Dr. Iseri, a Unitarian, was a member of Channing Memorial Church, 3230 Bethany Lane, Ellicott City, where services will be held at 11 a.m. May 17.

In addition to his wife of 52 years and his daughter, Dr. Iseri is survived by a son, David Iseri of Bristow, Va.; another daughter, Kimi Harrison of Columbia; four grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com