Dr. Rebecca "Becca" Hartwig, a retired Bel Air pediatrician, died Nov. 21 of cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 55.
The daughter of Leonard Hartwig, founder of Maryland Capital Management, and Elinor Ann Hartwig, an author, she was born in Baltimore and raised in Parkton.
As a 15-year-old, she survived acute lymphocytic leukemia, family members said.
"Perhaps one of the positive outcomes from her adolescent illness was to interest her in medicine and in caring for children, which she did as long as she was able, with spirit and heart," said a cousin, Mary Linn Wolf, who lives near Charlottesville, Va.
After graduating in 1978 from Park School, she earned a bachelor's degree in 1982 from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She earned her medical degree in 1994 from Tulane University School of Medicine and completed a residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston.
She subsequently practiced in New Orleans, Texas, Pennsylvania and New Jersey before moving to Bel Air in 2007, when she joined Pediatric Partners.
"Becca's heart was with the vulnerable and the voiceless. Although loving the holiday, she declined to have a Christmas tree because she didn't want to take the life of a tree," said Ms. Wolf.
"Aside from her love of children, she loved all animals and birds. Her favorite place on earth was Sanibel Island, Fla., for its wildlife and big birds, which she enjoyed photographing," she said.
"She was also deeply loved by her extended family and friends who saluted the resolve in which Becca lived her life — and the clear-eyed courage in which she faced her illnesses," said Ms. Wolf.
Services for the Bel Air resident were private.
In addition to her parents, who live in Sykesville, and her cousin, Dr. Hartwig is survived by a brother, Eric Hartwig of Hood, Va.; and a sister, Ann Linn Hartwig of Doe Hill, Va.
— Frederick N. Rasmussen