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Carl George Silverman, M.D., died peacefully in Madison, Wisconsin on April 24, 2022. He was 87.
Born, April 7, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York, Carl was the youngest of five siblings. His parents, Anna and Susman Silverman, had emigrated from Eastern Europe about 20 years prior. After a childhood focused on schoolwork and stickball, Carl went to Williams College where he graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1956. When complimented on his valedictory speech, his mother said, “yes, and he was at the top of his Hebrew school class too!”
After college, Carl attended Harvard Medical School where he met Elizabeth (Lizzy) Bernhard. Graduating in 1960, Carl continued his training at Boston City Hospital in internal medicine and then married Lizzy in 1962.
After completing his training in Cleveland, Ohio, Carl moved to Madison in 1967 and joined the Jackson Clinic, now UW Health, where he spent 33 years as a general internist while supervising students as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.
Carl was an old-fashioned doctor. He worked seven days-a-week and gave his patients as much time as they needed. He was a world-class listener, taking countless calls at home from patients whose most acute medical need was often just his sympathetic ear. He was proudly dedicated to providing exceptional patient care while quietly undercutting the healthcare bureaucracy.
In retirement, Carl volunteered as an elementary school tutor, worked enthusiastically on voter registration, and wrote (and indeed published!) dozens of letters to the editor sharing his thoughts mostly on politics.
Carl will be remembered, in his work and elsewhere, for his extraordinary sense of humor and keen mind. He loved laughter, words, (Jewish) jokes, and puns, and he served as the family’s poet laureate, writing hilarious poems for big birthdays, anniversaries, and bar mitzvahs. Most extraordinary, Carl’s prodigious intellect was combined with a rare modesty and profound kindness. If he ever raised his voice, it was almost always to support someone else.
A rabid Democrat, with particular interests in public school policy, voter rights, and the foibles of Republican political leaders, Carl read the New York Times every day, cover to cover. Not just a book worm, Carl participated in a lot of sports (poorly), including tennis, swimming, snow skiing, water skiing, and snorkeling. All the while, he remained rooted to his Brooklyn beginnings, the characters of his youth, and to his family’s origins in Latvia and Lithuania where he traveled late in life to discover his roots.
Carl will always be loved as the husband of 60 years to his wife Lizzy, father to his children Eva (Charles Kite), Dinah, and Daniel (Jennet Kirkpatrick), the grand-pop-pops to grandsons Eli and Asa, and uncle to many cherished nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
A private service was held; the family would love to hear any recollections you may wish to share. Please share your memories at www.cressfuneralservice.com or send a note to: Elizabeth Silverman at home.
Donations in memory of Carl may be made to Wisconsin Public Television: https://bit.ly/37UX1FK
Many thanks to Meriter Hospital Tower 8 medical staff and Agrace hospice nursing for their compassionate care [MB1] .
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