Dr. Robert Hertzog, pathologist and teacher, dies

Dr. Robert Hertzog taught pathology a a number of medical schools.

Dr. Robert W. Hertzog, a retired forensic pathologist, died Monday at Hospice of Buffalo in Cheektowaga, N.Y. The former Middle River and Bel Air resident was 79.

Born in Danville, Pa., he was the son of Robert Lee Hertzog, a tool and dye maker, and his wife, Thelma Isabell McKean, a homemaker. He grew up in Middle River and was a 1957 graduate of Kenwood High School. He earned a chemistry degree at Morgan State University and attended medical school at the University of Maryland. He joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1967 and was stationed at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C.


According to a family biography, he completed his residencies in anatomical and clinical pathology and forensic pathology at Walter Reed.

Dr. Hertzog became a specialist in pathology related to accidents and in missile trauma pathology. He was an assistant professor of pathology at Howard University, Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University. In 1975 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and went on to become the chief of forensic pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.


Dr. Hertzog and his family moved to East Aurora, N.Y., in 1976. He joined the staff at Millard Fillmore Hospital as an associate pathologist, working there until his retirement in 2011.

He was also a program director for the Millard Fillmore Hospital School of Medical Technology. He additionally was an assistant clinical professor of pathology at the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine.

“He was a conscientious physician, a giving teacher, a lover of science and history, and an avid book collector,” said his son, Brian Hertzog of Arlington, Va.

Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Gardens of Faith Cemetery, 5598 Trumps Mill Road.

In addition to his son, survivors include another son, Brent Hertzog of Kingston, N.Y.; a daughter, Sheryl Smith of West Seneca, N.Y.; and five grandchildren. His wife of 50 years, Becky Smoot, a homemaker, died in 2012.