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Deceased Information

Dr. Kenneth Leeper

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sunday, April 12, 2015

11:00 AM

Fischer Funeral Care



  • Emory Division of Pulmonology (404-712-2970)  

  • Please contact Fischer's at (678) 514-1000 to send a message to the family.

    Kenneth V. Leeper, Jr., M.D., 63, of Altanta, died peacefully at home on April 7. Dr. Leeper was born in White Pine, Tennessee on January 21, 1952, to the late Kenneth V. Leeper, a Baptist minister, and the late Doris “Dot” Frazier Leeper. He was married to Denise M. Cardo, M.D. They were true soulmates and everyone who ever saw them together knew they shared a love that transcended the ages. Dr. Leeper was an outstanding scholar-athlete as an undergraduate at Case Western Reserve University, where he stayed for post-graduate education in biochemistry and medical school, receiving his Doctorate of Medicine in 1979. After a year of medical internship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he transferred to the prestigious Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, for his remaining two years of Internal Medicine Residency. He then served two years in the National Health Service Corps as a commissioned officer before returning to Henry Ford for his subspecialty training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine from 1982 to 1985. During this time he began a lifelong career in clinical investigation. After completing his training he joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. During his 10 years at that institution, he directed an active clinical research program that focused on novel treatment strategies in critically ill patients and rapidly gained a reputation as a superb clinician, educator and administrator. In 1998 he was recruited to Emory University and dedicated the past 17 years of his career to patient care, teaching, and clinical research here in Atlanta. Dr. Leeper was widely admired by his peers and in 2009 received the award for the Outstanding Senior Clinician at Emory University Hospital Midtown (formerly known as Crawford Long Hospital). In 2010 he was promoted to Professor of Medicine. Although he had a national and international reputation for his clinical research activity and contributions to the medical literature, he was most renowned and beloved for his incredible dedication to patient care and his tireless devotion to teaching medical students, nurses, medical residents and fellows with the goal of creating the next generation of clinicians. His devotion to teaching and mentoring was widely recognized by medical trainees at the University of Tennessee and at Emory University, and he was that rare individual who was awarded Golden Apple Teaching Awards at two institutions. It would be difficult to overstate the contributions that Dr. Leeper made to the academic missions at Emory University. More importantly, he was as humble as he was inspirational, and his career was marked by selfless service and scholarship. He cared for patients with compassion and inspired others to perform scientific investigation and to teach the next generation of scientists and caregivers. Ken loved time spent with family and close friends. He had a magnetic personality that lit up a room and a heart large enough to encompass all he encountered. His hearty laugh and storytelling ability made him a popular figure wherever he went, and he was instantly recognized and treated as royalty at all his favorite haunts. Ken was an avid reader and enjoyed history. During his global travels he sought out interesting places and could recite the history and culture of each location. Recent trips to Japan, Spain, Portugal and the many trips to Brazil were filled with scenery, museums, religious sites, dancing and gourmet food. Elaborate practical jokes were also one of his great pleasures and every one of us became a victim at one time or another. He will be greatly missed. His survivors include his beloved wife Denise; daughters Georgia Anna Leeper (Beloit, Wisconsin) and Doris Marie Leeper (Lancaster, Pennsylvania); brothers Michael (Westchester, Ohio), Quincy (Dayton, Ohio), and Mark Leeper (Cleveland, Ohio); sisters Elaine Haney (San Antonio, Texas) and Kathleen Leeper (Dayton, Ohio); and aunt Jamesena Williams (Chicago). A memorial service will be held for Dr. Leeper on Sunday, April 12, at 11 a.m. at Fischer Funeral Care, 3742 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta. A reception will follow the service. Donations to a fund in Dr. Leeper’s memory may be sent to Emory Division of Pulmonology by calling 404 712 2970 for information.

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    The Fischer Family
    The Fischer Family would like to extend their sincere condolences and sympathies during this difficult time.
    Sharon HollingsworthMay 30 2015 08:30 am
    I am blessed to have been a patient of Dr. Leeper. His effervescent personality won me over immediately! I was impressed with his warmth and concern. We talked a lot about dancing. He shared that he wanted to take dance lessons with his wife. My husband and I are dancers and he had many questions. Iloved his laugh! Yes, I have been blessed to know this incredible man.
    LisaMay 22 2015 08:21 am
    Wow, so deeply greived at the loss of this great man...Someone just referred me to him, so I'm glad we aren't meeting, and I hope not to for a REALLY long time...but he would be tough to replace: one of a kind. Deepest condolences to his family and friends.
    Judith JohnsonMay 19 2015 11:28 am
    I just learned of Dr. Leeper's passing. I am deeply sadden. He was a kind and joyful person, often speaking fondly of his wife and family. You have my prayers and condolences.
    William CoachmanMay 1 2015 01:10 pm
    I was shocked, saddened and angry when my wife asked me why I had not informed her that Doctor Leeper has passed. I was shocked because I could not believe that he had been taken from us so suddenly. I was saddened because we lost a wonderful doctor and a better person. I was angry by the way that Emory informed me of his passing; sending me a generic and impersonal ("Dear Patient")letter. I realize that Doctor Leeper had many patients, but he made me feel special; like a friend, not just a patient. He would never have permitted his patients to be treated so impersonal. Literally, Doctor Leeper saved my life. He came to my aid while I was in a coma at Midtown between Mid October to late December 2008. Afterwards, he cared for me another six weeks while I recovered at Specialty Hospital. While I was in my comatose state, my wife said that Doctor Leeper assured her he would take of me and I would be alright when other doctors were telling her that I probably would not survive. During my recovery at Speciality Hospital, he kept reassuring me that I would bounce back. He continued to encourage me through my last appointment with him in December 2014. He was one of the ten best people that I have encountered during my life which spans 66 years. I will miss him dearly. I thank his family for allowing him the time to treat me physically and spirtually. THANKS, DOCTOR LEEPER.
    Solomon Caviness 111Apr 29 2015 07:45 pm
    I was in the hospital with pneumonia for 8 days last April and he came to see me everyday,...everyday.I met him at emory in june of 2014 for treatment of a blood clot.I could not believe that a man this academically heralded was this humble.I could not believe it. My next scheduled appointment with him was to be May 12th for a follow up for my blood clot. I just received word via mail of his passing on the 27th. I am mad at Emory for not notifying me earlier. I know I am just a patient but you could feel his spirit beyond Doctor-patient relationship. I would have loved to have attended his funeral. Lastly, I am mad at Divine Providence for taking him. I never met any of you guys but I want to say that you guys helped shape an unbelievable person.
    Vincent NealyApr 29 2015 09:17 am
    I just learned of the Dr.'s passing two days ago. I am in disbelief and saddened by your loss. I met the Dr. only once for the first time back in 11/2014 but he made me feel completely at ease about my visit and had the most pleasant demeanor I've ever experienced by a professional of his stature. He managed to call me back in March, while on his medical leave, to discuss my test results. I was impressed then and even more so now. A truly remarkable man indeed. My deepest sympathies and condolences to you, his family, and even though I didn't know know him personally, I did have the privilege of being in his care. He will not be forgotten. God rest his soul and God bless all in his family during this very difficult time. Sincerely yours, Vincent Nealy
    Charles A. HooksApr 28 2015 05:59 pm
    I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Dr. Leeper and the Emory family. I became a patient of Dr. Leeper just over 1 year ago after suffering bilateral pulmonary embolisms but it seem that we had known each other for many years. We found that our backgound and interests were so similar. We both grew up in small towns and became scholar-athletes in college. We even talked about the possiblity of running into each other on an upcoming visit to Italy. May God bring comfort to the family and I will certainly miss you my friend.
    Rhonda Allenson & Morris MoedApr 27 2015 07:44 pm
    Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Leeper's family, friends, co-workers, and all of the patient's he so unselfishly served. He will be missed! We are deeply saddened. He saved my father's life.
    Iyesata ContehApr 21 2015 11:13 am
    Denise and family, I extend my most sincere and deepest sympathy to you during this great time of loss. I worked with Dr. Leeper for 18 years and cannot express the respect and admiration everyone that came in contact with him had for him. He was a friend, a brother and father when you needed him to be, and a great confidant. I will trully miss him.May his soul RIP Iyesata Conteh, RN
    Lynda and James PorcherApr 11 2015 07:28 pm
    I met Dr. Leeper over 12 years ago in the emergency room at Emory Midtown when my husband demanded the best doctor in the hospital after I had passed out in my home. I had COPD. He told my husband I only had 6 months to live. Since that time he had taken care of me and guided me to have a double lung transplant 2 and 1/2 years ago. I am thriving and doing well to this day. I will miss him dearly.
    LeAnne FoxApr 10 2015 10:56 pm
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We send our deepest condolences. LeAnne Fox, David, Sebastian, and Theodore Elwood
    Janie Woods Alexander and Wayne AlexanderApr 10 2015 06:44 pm
    We both had the privilege of working with Dr Leeper. I am a nurse and therapeutic harpist and my husband a physician at Emory. We are grateful to have walked with him for part of his amazing life. We celebrate the love and joy and skills (yes and good humor) he shared with so many people. He touched many more than he realized, as besides his direct acts of excellent patient care, goodness and kindness, he set an example for how to be a GOOD PERSON for all of us. The ripples from that will never end. Thanks to his family for letting us have him at Emory. With gratitude from us and from all the rest who miss him. Sending support and love to his family. J & W
    Gary WestApr 10 2015 03:27 pm
    My sincere condolences to the family of my good friend "Kenny". Kenny and I met in kindergarten at East Lincoln Elementary School in Xenia Ohio in 1957. Kenny and I remained best friends all the way through high school. We always walked to and from school together. He was a great guy back then and as I read other condolences he remained a great guy, we kind of lost track after he went to Case Western and we never lived in the same city or even nearby. I know every time he came home to Xenia he visited my parents to check on them and ask about me. He excelled in gymnastics on the "Horse" and "Rings". I could ramble on for hours about our friendship and it will always be my regret that we were not able to meet up as adults. As I said Kenny was a great friend and a great guy.
    Dr. Thomas DeMariniApr 10 2015 02:10 pm
    My deepest sympathy upon Ken's unanticipated passing. He was a wonderful person and an outstanding Pulmonologist. Ken and I got to know each other well spending time in the Delta Crown Room waiting for flights and time at conferences. He was always willing to share PowerPoint slides about Pulmonary Emboli. He was both erudite and humble, a rare combination. He will be missed by all of us who worked with him and relied upon him for guidance.
    MaureenApr 10 2015 11:10 am
    Dr. Leeper - freely gave of himself and was compassonate and kind. He was loved and will be truly missed.
    Pamela FalkApr 10 2015 09:45 am
    I was so saddened by the news of Ken's passing. I have such great memories of Ken at the "MED" and the ICU. We performed epidmiological studies together about ventilator assocatied pneumonia. I was so excited when Ken met Denise and they began thier life together. What a great guy. Smart, and kind and funny. Yeah FUNNY. He left his mark on the earth and in the hearts of so many. He was so loved. He will be missed
    Dan and Keli McNamaraApr 9 2015 10:18 pm
    Keli and I are so sorry for your family's loss. Ken was always so warm and friendly whenever we had the privilege of seeing him. He and Denise were so clearly bonded. We remember chatting on the home from one of Chance's functions, about Ken's presence and Denise's grace and strength. I will honored to attend the funeral on Sunday. Please let me know if there is anything we can do, now or in the future to be of assistance in any way whatsoever. God Bless. Dan and Keli McNamara
    Paula Davis RTApr 9 2015 06:29 pm
    My condolences to Dr.Leeper family. He will truly be missed by the Respiratory Dept. God bless all of you. Paula RT.
    Nicole BrownApr 9 2015 10:08 am
    I am saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Leeper. My deepest condolences to his family. May God comfort you.
    Monica MaherApr 9 2015 09:47 am
    Denise-I am so terribly saddened for your loss. I had the absolute privilege of working with Ken on multiple projects over the years. He was a true gentleman and a scholar and I will miss him.
    kanika vaughnApr 8 2015 02:54 pm
    Words can't explain the way I'm feeling. We have truly lost a wonderful ANGEL! My condolences and prayers are with the family...
    Rachel Collins / MJ GoodmanApr 8 2015 02:22 pm
    My deepest condolences for the family.
    Adelisa PanlilioApr 8 2015 11:09 am
    You are in our thoughts at this most difficult time. My family and I send our deepest condolences on your loss. Take care. Lisa, Andy, and Emily
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