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Classnotes - 1940s

Ralph T. Behling MD ’43  

—Dermatologist and generous benefactor

Ralph T. Behling MD ’43, a dermatologist and generous benefactor of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the UB School of Nursing, died on December 17, 2016 in Burlingame, Calif. He was 98.

The only child of parents who owned a drugstore in Buffalo and a summer resort in Hamburg, NY, Behling grew up attending schools in both his hometown and West Palm Beach, Fla.

In 1940, he earned a BS in pharmacy at UB, and 1943 he earned an MD, after which he trained in dermatology. He was the first physician in the Buffalo area to use injected penicillin to fight infection. Following residency, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Public Health Service (PHS) for four years, during which time he was awarded a $1 million grant to help introduce the Pap smear test to medical schools and hospitals west of the Mississippi. He also started trauma clinics in hospitals in five western states. His work for the PHS took him to San Francisco, Calif., where he established a private dermatology practice in San Mateo in 1947. He also taught dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

Behling was a generous benefactor of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the UB School of Nursing. He endowed the Rita M. and Ralph T. Behling, M.D., Chair in Dermatology at the medical school in memory of his first wife, who died in 1998, and supported the establishment of the Behling Simulation Center.

Behling had a tenacious work ethic, a keen interest in learning and a positive attitude, all of which enabled him to accomplish much and serve as a role model.

He is survived by his second wife, Eileen King Murray Behling; his children: James Behling, David Behling, Linda Behling Russell, Marshall Behling, Jenifer Behling; and ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife of 55 years and the mother of his children, Rita Marie Clancy Behling.


Stanley J. Cyran Jr., MD ’46, passed away peacefully at home with his family in Denver, CO, on September 19, 2014.

A graduate of the UB Medical School, Cyran held a certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine and was a Fellow in the American Association of Occupational Medicine. He served in the armed forces as a 1st Lieutenant Battalion Surgeon for the 26th Infantry Regimental Combat Team, and then as a captain, 98th General Hospital, infectious diseases and pediatrics.

Following his military service, Cyran practiced occupational medicine first as medical director of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Philadelphia, PA, and then as medical director of the Major Appliance Business Group, General Electric Company, Louisville, KY. He was also president of the Philadelphia Occupational Medical Association and, later, the Kentucky Occupational Medical Association.

Cyran loved to play the game of tennis, enjoyed photography, travel, choral music and cooking, and was a consummate handyman. He will be remembered for his beautiful tenor voice, a deep religious commitment, and a profound and abiding interest in people, their lives, and the world around him.

He is survived by wife Mary Ellen (nee Frank), three daughters Elizabeth Cyran MD, Carol Cyran-Samson and Katherine Cyran-Pesavento MD; and three sons, Stanley J. Cyran III, MD, John Cyran and Thomas Cyran.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Frederick Whiting, MD ’47

Frederick “Ted” Whiting MD ’47, died July 25, 2013 in Bradenton, Fla., surrounded by his family. Whiting was born September 21, 1923 in Olean, NY. He earned his undergraduate degree at Hamilton College and received a VJ scholarship to St. Lawrence University prior to earning his medical degree from the University of Buffalo. He was a retired lieutenant commander in the naval reserve. His medical practice in Binghamton, NY, spanned 37 years.

He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years Elizabeth (Berry) Whiting; sons Mark (Betty Jane) Whiting, Endicott, NY, Dr. James (Cecily) Whiting, Portland, ME, Maria (Jerry) Jensen, Santa Ynez, CA; Grandchildren, Anne (Whiting) Kennon, Alexander Whiting, Christopher Whiting, Meghan Whiting, Graham Whiting; Great Grandchildren William Kennon & E. Scout Kennon; “adopted” grandchildren Wendy and Winton Liu, and numerous nephews and nieces.

Clare Shumway, MD ’48: "A favorite memory is stopping Roger Hubbard (the absent-minded professor) in the hallway one day to ask him a question. He answered me, and then asked: 'Which direction was I headed? If it’s this way, I’ve had lunch. If it’s the other way, I haven’t eaten yet.'"

In Memoriam