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Monday, May 11, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Dr. Jerome P. Pendras, Doctor Who Loved To Scale Mountains

Dr. Jerome Paul Pendras, a Bellevue physician who died April 23 of a brain tumor, loved the mountains. He loved to climb them. He loved to hike and ski on them.

"He was the kind of a person by which everyone else measured himself," said Dr. Ken Meyer, an anesthesiologist who climbed and hiked with Dr. Pendras for 18 years.

Longtime friends Rosalee and Fremont "Bud" Gault want the U.S. Forest Service to name a Washington trail after Dr. Pendras. Their request is being handled by the Washington Trails Association.

"It just seemed appropriate," said Rosalee Gault.

A nephrologist and active member of the Seattle medical community, Dr. Pendras was medical director of the Northwest Kidney Center from 1964 to 1970, and chief of staff at Swedish Hospital, the state's largest hospital, in 1987-88.

A lifetime lover of nature and the outdoors, Dr. Pendras climbed more than 150 peaks in the Cascades. He climbed Mount Rainier six times, making his last ascent in the summer of 1990.

Ken Meyer remembers Dr. Pendras' big smile and adventuresome spirit. Although 12 years younger than Dr. Pendras, who was 61, he said he had a hard time keeping up with him.

"He could outlast and outdo me and I'm no wimp," he said.

Meyer's wife, Jane, said Dr. Pendras' passion for the mountains was apparent to all who knew him. On Wednesday, his day off, he usually took off for the mountains, doing in one day what took others an entire weekend to do. He refused to be slowed by a back injury, rigging his backpack on a bicycle wheel that he pushed across trails and slippery rocks.

Dr. Pendras and his wife, Barbara Aimee Welch, enjoyed tennis, running and boating, among other sports. They made boating trips in the Canadian San Juans and Desolation Sound, and numerous ski trips to Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and British Columbia.

Always in search of steep slopes and powder snow, Dr. Pendras also made a number of helicopter ski trips in Canada.

Dr. Pendras was born in Bremerton, where he attended elementary school and high school. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. He earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago Medical School in 1957, and took his internship and residency in internal medicine between 1957 and 1960 at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

Between 1960 and 1962, he completed a renal fellowship at the University of Washington with Dr. Belding Schribner. He also completed an additional medical chief residency at the Veterans Medical Center in Seattle in 1963.

During his tenure at Swedish Hospital he instituted a peer review program. In 1989, he was elected to a three-year term on the board of trustees at Swedish Hospital.

He joined Summit Madison Medical Group in 1970, and had a practice in nephrology and internal medicine until he became ill last spring.

In addition to his wife and two children, he is survived by his mother, Leonora L. Pendras of Bremerton; sisters Josie Ann Zeldenrust, Sally J. Pendras and Kathy M. Pendras, all of Seattle; and his brother, Peter Richard Pendras of San Diego, Calif.

The family suggests memorials to the Northwest Kidney Center and Evergreen Hospice.

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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