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Dr. Theodore Kardash, obstetrician-gynecologist

Dr. Theodore Kardash, an obstetrician-gynecologist who had been head of gynecologic services at Maryland General Hospital and whose accomplishments as a physician were the pride of his Russian immigrant parents, died April 9 at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in St. Mary's County after complications from leg surgery. He was 96.

"He said he would make it to his 96th birthday, and he did," said his daughter, Linda Armiger of Solomons. "It was Easter weekend and we had all the family. He saw all the family and that's what it wanted to do. That was Dad."

Dr. Kardash was born in Baltimore to Camilla and Frank Kardash, who came from the Russian cities of Minsk and Kiev and owned a number of taverns in the city. The last one, Kardash's Cafe at Pratt and Collington streets, was where the family celebrated many holidays.

He graduated from City College, the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland Medical School and lived and practiced in Baltimore for his entire career.

While collecting her father's belongings, Mrs. Armiger found letters written by her grandparents to relatives in Russia, praising their oldest son for his accomplishments.

"When he finished college and medical school, it was overwhelming for his parents," she said. "They were very proud and sent everything back home to the family."

Dr. Kardash and his late wife, the former Margaret Miller, were married for 70 years, but they eloped and kept their marriage secret for two years while he finished college, Mrs. Armiger said.

He served as a Navy physician during World War II with the Marine Corps' 1st Division in Guam. He also served with the 3rd Marine Division in China. He never spoke to the family about his war experiences, but after his death Mrs. Armiger found a number of black and white photos from that time, each with careful notations on the back recording the date and location.

"It was like he compartmentalized it," his daughter said. "It was over and behind him and he wanted to go on to the rest of his career."

He was honorably discharged in 1946, having been awarded the Victory Ribbon and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon.

After the war, gynecology, in which Dr. Kardash was trained, was combined with obstetrics and he had to return to school to be certified.

During his career, he taught at the University of Maryland Medical School and also volunteered at the Women's Correction Center in Jessup, Bendix Corp., and the United States Marine Hospital.

He was head of gynecologic services at Maryland General Hospital when he retired in the mid-1980s. He referred to that time as "the golden age of medicine."

He loved playing golf and was a member of the Baltimore County Country Club and the Country Club of Maryland. And when the U.S. Women's Open came to Five Farms in Baltimore County in 1988, he set up a wellness trailer for the women golfers and volunteered his time there.

He and his family enjoyed Preakness, too, and Mrs. Armiger said he was very proud of having attended the event for 50 consecutive years.

"We would go to the races both Friday and Saturday and my father arranged for us kids to get on the track and show off our equestrian skills," she remembered. "There were always 10 to 12 of us and we would picnic in the grandstands all day and then go back to someone's house for a sit-down dinner.

"My daughter picked up the tradition and has kept it going for the last 10 or 15 years. Still the same tickets."

Services and interment were private.

In addition to his daughter, Dr. Kardash is survived by a son, Daniel Kardash of Fallston; a brother, Michael Kardash of Rehoboth, Del.; three granddaughters; and six great-grandchildren. Dr. Kardash's wife died in 2008.


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