Dr. Raymundo S. Magno, a longtime Dundalk family physician who cared for generations of families and was also known for his charitable work in his native Philippines, died Thursday at a daughter’s home at Rehoboth Beach, Del., from kidney disease. The Towson resident was 83.
“I was devastated when I heard that Raymundo had died,” said longtime friend and medical colleague Dr. Ruben Ballesteros, a retired surgeon who lives in the Phoenix area of Baltimore County. “When I think of him, I think of the play, ‘A Man for All Seasons.’ He was a man for all seasons.”
“He will be missed by those he touched in his life,” said Dr. Claro PioRoda, a medical school classmate and retired Baltimore surgeon who lives in Lutherville. “He took care of grandparents, their children and grandchildren.”
Clarita DeJesus first met Dr. Magno when she and her husband immigrated to Baltimore from the Philippines in 1970. The doctor and his family made the young couple feel welcome.
“He was a pillar of the Filipino community, a great doctor,” said Ms. DeJesus, a Cockeysville resident. “He was the most caring doctor; if his office was closed and a patient called, he’d open it. He took the time and interest in getting to know his patients and their families.”
Raymundo Solomon Magno was born and raised in Munoz, the Philippines. One of 10 children, he was the son of Paulino Magno, a school teacher, and Cayetana Magno, a homemaker.
After graduating from high school in Munoz, he entered the University of the Philippines School of Medicine, and obtained a medical degree in 1960.
Dr. Magno came to Baltimore that year and completed his residency in internal medicine. He was initially at the old Church Home and Hospital on Caroline Street in East Baltimore; then completed a fellowship in internal medicine with a sub-specialty in nephrology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
While at Church hospital he met and fell in love with Maria Belen Burce, a Filipina student nurse. They married in 1964.
In 1971, Dr. Magno established a general medical practice in the 7800 block of Wise Ave. in Dundalk, with his wife serving as nurse. He eventually expanded the practice to include satellite offices in Rosedale and Bel Air.
Dr. Romina Magno Thomas, a daughter, joined her father and mother in the practice after receiving her medical degree.
“As a kid, I’d walk his patients home down the alley and I would go on house calls with him. Those are some of my happiest memories,” Dr. Thomas said. “I got to see what a great doctor he was. He was always compassionate with his patients and never lost that mission as a doctor.”
Dr. Magno was more like the country doctor than an urban physician.
“He was the old type of physician and served generations of Dundalk families. Patients had our home phone number and they became like family,” his daughter said. “It really was an old-fashioned relationship.”
“I have known Ray for more than 40 years and I’ve always been so impressed by his accomplishments,” said Dr. Ballesteros. “He always gave [patients] competent care and took care of them regardless of their ability to pay. Wealth didn’t mean a thing to him.”
“He was dearly loved by his patients,” Dr. PioRoda said. “He went out of his way to make them comfortable and made sure they had access to good care. His patients became friends and golfing buddies.”
“Sharing a profession and working side-by-side with my father was the most gratifying experience I could ever ask for,” said Dr. Thomas, who lives in Rehoboth Beach and is on the staff of the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Georgetown, Del. “I learned from my father that medicine is all about service and helping people.”
Dr. Magno had been president of the Association of Philippine Physicians in Maryland and “provided a voice for international medical graduates within MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society,” his daughter said.
Proud of this Filipino-American identity, he was one of the founders and was the first president of Katipunan, the Towson-based Filipino-American Association of Maryland Inc. Its mission is to develop social and educational programs that promote Filipino culture and support charitable causes not only in Maryland, but also the Philippines.
“I can’t tell you how many fundraisers he held, and made sure that money was sent to the poor in the Philippines,” said Ms. DeJesus. “At his own expense he sent money for school supplies for poor children and clothing. Helping the less fortunate was a very big deal with him.”
Dr. Magno was also a co-founder of the Foundation for Aid to the Philippines, which organized medical missions and created developmental projects to benefit needy Filipinos.
“He was always trying to help his fellow man back home,” Dr. Ballesteros said. “His efforts and medical missions helped bring fee care to the needy.”
“Ray worried about the plight of our fellow countryman after disasters happened. He spent a great deal of time fundraising and returned to the Philippines many times,” Dr. PioRoda said.
Dr. Magno was an inveterate golfer and member of the Towson Golf and Country Club. He was a lifelong New York Yankees fan, and despite experiencing some confusion in the last days of his life, “could still name the starting Yankees lineup,” his daughter said.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 13305 Long Green Pike, Hydes.
In addition to his daughter and his wife of 54 years, Dr. Magno is survived by a son, Raymar Magno of Elkridge; another daughter, Rebecca Chider of Towson; four sisters, Florian Ward of Abingdon, Carlota Sumbilla of Windsor Mill, Marcelina Miguel of Quezon City, Philippines, and Bernadina Undan of Munoz, Philippines; and six grandchildren.
Written by Frederick N. Rasmussen