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Dr. Karni W. Frank

Dr. Karni W. Frank, 83, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, died on 27 February 2020.

Services will be held in the Davidson/Hermelin Chapel at Clover Hill Park Cemetery, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Following interment, the family welcomes friends back to the residence, 89 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Hills MI 48304 until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Karni W. Frank, M.D. (née Spitz) died on Feb. 27 at Union Memorial Hospital following emergency cardiovascular surgery. She was 83 years old. She and her husband, Dr. Robert N. Frank, had been visiting Baltimore from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where they lived, to visit their daughter.

Dr. Frank was an accomplished physician, and the daughter of a remarkable family. Her parents, Drs. Siegfried and Anna Spitz, fled Germany in the early days of Nazi rule with their son, Werner, and joined other Jewish settlers in what was then Palestine, where her father rebuilt his medical practice, treating Jews and Arabs alike. Karni, who was born in 1936, often found the children of Palestinian patients playing on her bed while her father treated their parents. In the 1950s, after the re-establishment of a democratic West Germany, the family returned, settling in Frankfurt am Main.

There, Dr. Frank attended medical school alongside her mother at the Johannes Gutenberg School of Medicine, and later received a research degree from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. She trained in pathology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and then in ophthalmic pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. It was there that she met Dr. Robert Frank, who was completing a residency in ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. (It was, ironically, a blind date.) They were wed shortly thereafter.

Dr. Frank practiced as an ophthalmic pathologist at the Kresge Eye Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, where she moved with her family in 1976. She later completed a second residency in family medicine, and practiced at the Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State and then at the John D. Dingell U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital.

Her greatest love was her family, whom she encouraged to high educational and professional accomplishment as well as loving parenthood. Had she lived, Dr. Frank would have had 12 grandchildren, with the twelfth born less than 24 hours after her death. She is survived by her loving husband, Dr. Robert N. Frank; children, Dale Frank (Elizabeth Hexner), Ariel (Andrew) Green, Stephen Frank (Adam Berger) and Gitta "Sissy" Frank (Paul Mitchell); brother, Dr. Werner (Anne) Spitz; and grandchildren, Leah, Anna and Noah Mitchell, Max, Daphne, Ethan, Benjamin, Hannah and Abigail Frank, Isabel, Zoey and Aaron Green.

It is suggested that those who wish to further honor the memory of Dr. Karni W. Frank may do so by making a contribution to:

Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
130 W 30th St
New York, NY 10001
212-929-9498 x 815
Click to Visit Charity Website

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Office of Development
4201 St Antoine
Detroit, MI 48201
Click to Visit Charity Website