On Saturday, March 10, 2012, cardiology sadly lost one of its brightest stars. Geoffrey O. Hartzler died suddenly at his home at the Lake of the Ozarks; he was 65 years old. Geoff was a very special individual, intellectually brilliant, intense, energetic, and controversial. He was born in 1946 in Goshen, IN, the second of 3 brothers, the youngest of whom died tragically of a berry aneurysm as a teenager. His father was a Mennonite minister who in a later career was instrumental in establishing the first outpatient community mental health center in the United States. His mother contracted polio when Geoff was 4 years old and survived in an iron lung. She remained the focus of the family's energy for nearly 4 decades. Pictured from left to right, Dr Andreas Gruentzig (AG), Dr Geoffrey O. Hartzler (GOH), and Dr Barry D. Rutherford (BDR) at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute catheterization laboratory in 1984. He entered medical school at Indiana University. While a freshman, he worked 10-hour shifts watching a telemetry monitor and responding to cardiac arrests. At that time, he developed a keen interest in acute care medicine. He won an essay contest sponsored by the Mayo Clinic and spent a 3-month summer externship at Mayo. During that externship, he met and worked with another student clerk, David R. Holmes, Jr. Both went on to complete internal medicine and cardiology training at the Mayo Clinic and became Mayo faculty members in 1977. I (B.D.R.) first encountered Geoff Hartzler in the early 1970s when he was a cardiology fellow at the Mayo Clinic. At that time, I was a young consultant working in the Coronary Care Unit at St. Mary's Hospital. We were floating polyethylene catheters at the bedside to the pulmonary artery in patients with acute myocardial infarction. …

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