Dr. Frederick Andermann, one of Canada's most distinguished neurologists, passed away quietly on June 16, 2019 in Montreal at the age of 88. Loving husband and scientific collaborator of Dr. Eva Andermann (née Deutsch) for 54 years, devoted father and father-in-law of Lisa Andermann and Michael Prokaziuk, Anne Andermann and Carlos Fraenkel, Mark Andermann and Maria Lehtinen, and cherished Opapa of his grandchildren Hannah and James Prokaziuk, Lara and Ben Fraenkel, and Leila and Kaija Andermann.
For over 60 years, Dr. Andermann showed a remarkable ability to identify rare neurological syndromes and assemble multidisciplinary teams of researchers to conduct further clinical investigations to better understand these unusual presentations and to provide patients and families with hope for treatment. The results of his inquiries in such areas as cortical dysplasias, progressive myoclonic epilepsies, epilepsy surgery, and genetically determined neurological disorders have been published in nine books and over 500 scientific papers. His monographs on alternating hemiplegia, Rasmussen's syndrome, and migraine and epilepsy have contributed significantly to the understanding and treatment of these disorders. The Andermanns were also credited with having described a rare genetically-inherited autosomal recessive neurological condition associated with agenesis of the corpus callosum and peripheral neuropathy that is now known as Andermann Syndrome. Dr. Andermann was a generous and enthusiastic teacher, providing training and inspiration to generations of future epilepsy experts from all over the world.
Dr. Andermann has been recognized for his outstanding achievements, and is the winner of numerous awards and prizes, including the 1995 Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award from the American Epilepsy Society and Milken Foundation, the 1999 Penfield Award for Contribution in Outstanding Canadian Epileptology from the Canadian League Against Epilepsy, the 2003 Prix Wilder Penfield from the Province of Quebec and a 2006 Neuro Lifetime Achievement Award from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. In 2006 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2013 he received the Order of Québec. In 2011 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, for his distinguished work in science. He retired from clinical work and training of fellows in 2014, but continued to travel to medical conferences and publish scientific articles. A survivor of the Holocaust, Dr. Andermann was a devoted son to his mother Anny (née Hubner) and his father Adolf Andermann, and a caring nephew to his aunt Julia. He was born and raised in Czernowitz, in the Bukovina, belonging at that time to Romania, and formerly an Eastern outpost of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When this area was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, his family had 24 hours to collect all their belongings and flee to Bucharest, where his mother volunteered for an organization dedicated to rescuing war orphans. After the war, the family moved to Vienna and Paris before immigrating to Canada in 1950. He met his wife Eva in 1958 when she was an undergraduate student at McGill and they married in 1965.
Dr. Andermann trained in medicine at the Université de Montreal while also working for the family business, Anderco Import, travelling across Canada selling imported combs, scissors and musical instruments. He trained in neurology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (the Neuro) where he spent his entire career. He rose through the ranks to Professor and Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery and Pediatrics of McGill University. Dr. Andermann was the Director of the Epilepsy Unit and Seizure Clinic at the Neuro for thirty-five years. He was a founding member, president and past president of the Canadian League Against Epilepsy (CLAE), president of the Canadian Neurological Society, the Canadian Society for Clinical Electrophysiology, the Canadian Association of Child Neurologists and the Eastern EEG Society. In the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) he was chairman of the Task Force on Classification and of the Commission on Classification and Terminology from 1993 to 1997, first vice president from 2001 to 2005, and second vice president from 2005 to 2009.
Dr. Andermann was well-known as a lover of birds, cows, horses and other animals. He relished his time with family, neighbours, and colleagues on his farm near Mansonville, Quebec. He loved travelling around the world with his wife Eva to international conferences to meet his colleagues and former students, and to gain new experiences, especially culinary. He had a great appetite for life. He spoke many languages and was a phenomenal communicator with an excellent memory, and a voracious reader. Most of all, he had a gift for listening to people and making them feel heard and important. But his greatest joy was being around his children and his six grandchildren. He will be missed by his family, friends, and colleagues around the globe. The family would like to thank the staff of the coronary care unit, dialysis unit, and intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and to his longstanding physicians and his caregivers, especially Jennifer and Bernice, who all provided outstanding and compassionate care. Funeral service from Paperman & Sons, 3888 Rue Jean-Talon W., on Wednesday, June 19 at 11:30am. Burial at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim Cemetery, 1250 chemin de la Forêt, Outremont. Shiva at his home, for details call 514-733-7101.
Source: McGill University