Dr. Robert Howard Wiedefeld Jr., 42, family physician and church musician


Dr. Robert Howard Wiedefeld Jr., a family practitioner, died Thursday after an apparent heart attack at his home in Phoenix. He was 42.

He belonged to the Hunt Manor Medical Group on Paper Mill Road in Phoenix.

A physician who consistently made house calls, he was a critic of medical plans that did not permit doctors to spend enough time with their patients.

"He was a man who really loved to be a doctor," said Monsignor Thomas J. Donellan, a retired Roman Catholic priest. "He was a person who was generous to his poor and needy patients, too."

Born in Baltimore, Dr. Wiedefeld was reared in West Friendship in Howard County. He was a graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School, Loyola College and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He served his internship at Franklin Square Hospital.

He was the great-nephew of Robert Weede, a bass baritone with the Metropolitan Opera who appeared on Broadway in the 1950s in "The Most Happy Fellow" and "Milk and Honey."

Dr. Wiedefeld had musical talent of his own. He played guitar and sang at services at Roman Catholic churches throughout his life.

"I would hear someone playing the organ and see he had wandered in," said the Rev. Michael Roach, pastor of St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church in Manchester, who was formerly pastor at St. Peter the Apostle in Southwest Baltimore. "He was a striking individual who loved music."

Dr. Wiedefeld was an amateur carpenter who built most of a barn adjacent to his home. He also was a pilot, boater, scuba diver, tennis player, golfer and horse rider.

In 1992, he married Susanne Greene, a nurse at Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Oldfields School, who survives him.

A Mass of Christian burial for Dr. Wiedefeld will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at the Roman Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier, 13717 Cuba Road, Hunt Valley, where he was a founding member, played guitar and sang in the choir.

He also is survived by two daughters, Marie Catherine Wiedefeld and Susanna Elizabeth Wiedefeld, both of Phoenix; his parents, Robert Howard Wiedefeld and Marie Margaret Wiedefeld, both of West Friendship; and a sister, Patricia Marlatt of Clarksville.

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