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Redmond Lawrence D. Code

Died: March 26, 2004

Redmond Code was a talented doctor who never quite found his place in life. As one ex-wife put it, “He was restless…always looking for the perfect situation in life and never finding it.”

Born in Mobile Alabama, Redmond attended public high school in Milan, Tennessee and enrolled in what is now Rhodes College in Memphis. He took a year off and saw Europe before enrolling at Yale for his sophomore year. He was a history major, a non-resident member of Branford and a member of Zeta Psi. After graduation he worked for a year in New York and then entered the University of Tennessee Medical School (Memphis.) He married a medical school classmate, but they divorced. He graduated in 1971 and was a resident in surgery at the UCLA Medical Center.

At some point he changed his medical focus to anesthesiology from surgery. He met his future wife, Karen Nelson, in 1985 as an anesthesia resident with Texas Tech Medical School. He practiced as an anesthesiologist in Maine, New Mexico, and in Kentucky at the Pikeville Methodist Hospital (now Pikeville Medical Center.) According to Karen, he became dissatisfied with the Pikeville Hospital. Redmond was an independent contractor, but the hospital was switching to employee anesthesiologists. He resigned from the hospital in 1995 but continued to live in Pikeville, accepting a series of locum tenens (short-term) assignments from a wide variety of hospitals. He practiced in such diverse locations as New York (Lake Placid), Georgia, and California (Bakersfield.)

His marriage to Karen (now Damron) ended in divorce. Together they had a son, John, who was nine at the time they parted. Redmond continued to visit his son and Karen said that father and son shared a love of books.

Karen said that Redmond was an “extremely intelligent man. He always had a book in his hands.” He was a private man, whose circle of close friends was largely restricted to friends from Milan High School and a few co-workers in Pikeville. He loved bridge and shotguns, the latter not for hunting but for trap and skeet shooting.

He was, said Karen, “a very complicated man.” He seems to have found reasons for changing colleges (to Yale from Rhodes,) professions (to medicine from law, which he listed as his future profession in his 1966 Class Book comments), medical specialties (to anesthesiology from surgery,) jobs and domiciles. This appears to underscore his dissatisfaction with life as he found it and a continuing search for something better, or at least different.

He was dogged by ill health in the form of diabetes. He suffered a severe stroke on Christmas Eve in the year 2002; his son John found him in time to summon help. The doctors said he would not walk again, but after three months of hard work at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington he walked out on his own, albeit with a cane. Unfortunately, complications from the stroke forced him to give up his medical practice, and he continued to have medical problems. He died of a stroke in Pikeville on March 26, 2004.