Vail Valley resident Werner Flacke, M.D., 1924-2008 |

Vail Valley resident Werner Flacke, M.D., 1924-2008

Vail, CO Colorado
Werner Flacke

Werner Ernst Flacke, M.D., died last Thursday of complications following a stroke. Born July 14, 1924, in Recke, Westfalia, Germany, the son of Joseph Flacke and Alwine Bremm, he was 83.

Werner Flacke received his Abitur degree in 1942 from the Gymnasium Carolinum in Osnabruck, then served in the German armed forces during World War II, during which he was wounded three times and decorated for bravery. Shot in the head, he was evacuated by hospital ship as Soviet troops advanced westward.

He studied at the Universities of Munster and Marburg, and completed his doctor of medicine at the University of Dusseldorf. After Werner had worked in the research lab of Bayer in Koblenz, his mentor, Professor Weese, arranged a visiting instructorship in his field, pharmacology, at Harvard Medical School for 1954-55.

At the end of this year Werner joined the junior faculty of Harvard’s Department of Pharmacology ” perhaps because he had already met Joan Wareham of Iowa City, who attended his pharmacology lectures along with the rest of the second-year medical school class.

He remained on the Harvard Medical School faculty until 1970. That year he was invited to become professor and chairman of the Pharmacology Department at the University of Arkansas, and the family moved to Little Rock.

In 1976 Werner and Joan both accepted appointments in the Department of Anesthesiology at UCLA, and moved to Los Angeles. Werner retired there as professor of anesthesia and pharmacology in 1991.

In addition to his research, he was remembered fondly by many generations of doctors who learned pharmacology from him and applauded his teaching skills.

The family had been skiing in Vail since 1971, and upon Joan’s retirement from UCLA the two moved permanently to the valley, first to Vail and later to a house they built in Wolcott. Werner enjoyed more than a decade of the beauty and serenity there, although Alzheimer’s disease and other physical ailments began to claim some of his vitality.

Visitors and friends always noticed how considerate and engaging he was and remained.

Werner is survived by his wife, Joan W. Flacke M.D., of Wolcott; sisters Margret Flacke M.D., Ruth Hobein and Ursula Cyzchowski, and their families, all in Germany; sons Christopher Flacke, Gary Flacke M.D., of Tucson, and Timothy Flacke of Boston; and three grandchildren.

His brothers Helmut Flacke M.D. and Robert Flacke preceded him in death.

A funeral Mass conducted by Father George Fitzgerald, O.S.P., will be held in the Vail Chapel at 1 p.m. on May 10 with a gathering after.

The family kindly asks that, rather than flowers, any contributions in memory of Werner be made to Catholic Charities of the Western Slope, 1004 Grand Avenue, Glenwood Springs 81601.

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