Dr. Raymond Tenenbaum was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, doctor, sports lover, opera aficionado, generous humanitarian. Known affectionately as “Dr. T,” he passed away peacefully at his home in Cartersville, Ga., on July 11, 2018.
An Atlanta native and first generation American, Raymond was born on January 14, 1926, at the “original” Piedmont Hospital on Capitol Avenue, to emigrant Russian parents, Paul and Mary Tenenbaum. Growing up, Raymond attended Congregation Shearith Israel, and later, Ahavath Achim Synagogue.
Raymond’s life and accomplishments exemplified the fulfillment of the “American Dream” his parents hoped for their children. “From the time I was born, my parents wanted me to be a doctor – versus grocery store owners like they were. I was raised to go to medical school,” he said. “Pretty much all I experienced growing up was school and studying.”
Not surprisingly, Raymond was an excellent student. He attended Jane L. Key Elementary School, skipping a full grade, and then attended Hoke Smith Jr. High. Following that, he attended Atlanta Boys High School, graduating early at the age of 16. He then attended Emory University, finishing its undergraduate curriculum at 18.
He then entered Emory’s medical college, graduating in just three years via a program to keep medical students out of the WWII draft. He then served in the Army from 1948-1950 as a medical officer at a hospital in Michigan.
Following that, Raymond served as chief medical officer for the Red Cross blood collection program in Atlanta. He then entered a residency program in anesthesia at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, where he found his true calling as anesthesiologist.
Returning to Atlanta in 1957, Raymond joined the anesthesia practice at the “original” St. Joseph’s Hospital on Baker Street, which was the hospital’s first medical-specialty group allowed a private practice.
“Back then, we only had stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, our fingers to measure pulse rates, and our experience in reading a patient’s condition based on their color and appearance,” he said. “We didn’t have monitors, electrolyte readings or other such modern technology. In spite of that, our patients always did well. We never lost one due to anesthesia.”
Raymond eventually served as managing partner of that practice, as well as president and secretary of the Anesthesia Association of Atlanta.
In 1971, Raymond left St. Joseph’s to become chief of anesthesia at West Paces Ferry Hospital, the first of Atlanta’s many suburban hospitals. He spent his last 20 years in practice at Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, Ga. He then retired to Cartersville.
Dr. Tenenbaum is survived by his wife of 67 years, Hilda Scott Tenenbaum, of Cartersville; his children: David Tenenbaum of Sandy Springs, Elena Bennett of Savannah, Elisa Tenenbaum of Pennington, N.J., and Karen Ribot (Dr. Hugo, Jr.) of Cartersville; his grandchildren: Alix Lane (Christopher), Molly Moravec, Sydney, Max and Sarah Beth Ribot, and Jeffrey, Joseph and Joanie Tenenbaum; and great-grandchildren: Harris Lane and Scarlett Ruppert.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.