|Remembering Donald Barcome|
Donald Francis Barcome, retired medical director of the former UND Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital, died May 18 at home. He was 80.
Barcome, the son of Earl and Eleanor (Neumann) Barcome, was born March 13, 1928, in Oconto Falls, Wis. He attended school in Green Bay, Wis., and St. John's Prep in Collegeville, Minn. He graduated with honors from St. Norbert's College in DePeere, Wis. in 1949 and received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., in 1954.
Following his internship at St. John's Hospital in Marshfield, Wis., he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he was stationed in San Diego, Calif., as a medical officer at Balboa Navy Hospital. While on shore leave, he met a Navy physical therapist named Shirley Shepard. They married April 26, 1957 and together began a general practice in Gillett, Wis., near his family lake home at Star Lake.
Noting that over 70 percent of the patients he was seeing had chronic diseases with problems secondary to long term illness, he and his wife made the decision to continue his education in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Upon receiving his certification in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Dr. Barcome's search for a medical practice brought him to North Dakota, where he took a position as medical director of the UND Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Forks.
Barcome initiated plans for a new rehab facility and after years of planning, the new Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital opened in 1974, becoming one of the finest and most-highly acclaimed rehab institutions in the United States. For the next 33 years, he made his patients and the Rehab Hospital his mission in life.
Following the death of his wife in 2000, Dr. Barcome returned to the practice of medicine, joining Dr. Brian Briggs at Valley Bone & Joint Clinic, seeing patients until January 2008.
He enjoyed hunting, walking the shelter belts and watching the dogs run. Another passion was curling. He played with passion and coached with equal passion as he helped lead his sons to three United States National Junior titles, as well as Bronze and Gold medals in the World Junior Championships. He also enjoyed the successes of his grandchildren. Through all of the passions of his life, his constant companion, his wife Shirley, was beside him.
His involvements and memberships included: The Third District Medical Society; professor and chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation; medical director of the Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital from 1965 to 1998; Board of Governor's American Hospital Association Section on Rehabilitation; served on the board of directors for the Grand Forks Curling Club, Grand Forks Country Club, North Dakota State Curling Association, United States Curling Association, and the World Curling Federation.
He served as president of the Grand Forks Curling Club, United States Curling Association, United States Curling Foundation, World Curling Federation, North Dakota State Medical Association; vice president of the North Dakota State Medical Association; and member of many other organizations.
Dr. Barcome received the Greater Grand Forks Sertoma Service to Mankind Award in 1982; the Evergreen Award in 1981; the North Dakota Physician of the Year Award in 1975; was a member of the United States Curling Association Hall of Fame; and he was the honorary president at the World Men's Curling Championships in 2008.
He is survived by his children: Don Jr. (Lori) of Grand Forks; Shirley Jo (James Pagel) of Galesville, Wis., and Earl (Brenda) of Colorado Springs, Colo; three grandchildren; one brother, three sisters, sister-in-law; as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Shirley, his parents, one brother, and two brothers-in-law.
A memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 22, in St. Michael's Catholic Church, Grand Forks. A family greeting will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, with a 7:30 p.m. prayer service in the gregory J. Norman Funeral Chapel, 2950 S. Washington St., Grand Forks. Military honors will be given by members of the American Legion Post 157 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3817, East Grand Forks, Minn. The online memorial registry may be signed at www.norman-funeral.com .