Originally Published: August 3, 2012 10 p.m.
Dr. William E. Crisp Jr., an eminent gynecological surgeon-scientist, passed away at home on July 20, 2012.
Dr. Crisp was raised in Hudson, Ohio, where he attended Western Reserve Academy and then Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. He finished his educational career at George Washington University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He loved and was proud of his Naval military service, which afforded him the ability to follow his dreams and passion into the medical field. He was the founder and commander in the Medical Reserve, company 11-2. He served his internship at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia and served his residency at the Pennsylvania Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Crisp spent the majority of his career in Phoenix, Ariz., developing and directing the OB/GYN Residency Program at Maricopa County Hospital while expanding his own practice. He also held positions as an OB/GYN instructor at the University of Arizona, as an adjunct professor in both bioengineering and in the Cancer Research Institute at Arizona State University, and more recently as a researcher and wound care physician at the Arizona Heart Institute and Wound Care Clinic. His professional reputation led him to travel to nearly all continents to lecture at medical facilities and universities, to teach surgical techniques in both developed and underdeveloped areas of the world, as well as donating his own time and expertise caring for those patients in need.
Dr. Crisp was recognized for his collaborative work developing and evaluating a computer-aided colposcope for enhanced, automated imaging and analysis of the cervix and detection of pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions. He also worked on the evaluation of ultrasound energy to treat incontinence in women as well as collaborating on a radio frequency machine for the treatment of Leishmaniasis and non-invasive skin cancer. Dr. Crisp was ahead of the curve and worked at the leading edge of new technologies, many of which have resulted in patents. He is the author of more than 100 scientific publications and a member of 20 national and international scientific and professional societies. He has been involved in a variety of service activities including working on the Arizona Research Commission, which provides grants to biomedical research activities in Arizona, and serving as head of the Arizona State Medical Association.
That combination of passion for medicine and medical research, the drive to achieve, and the sense to enjoy the journey were at the core of his life. It helped him provide a healing touch to his patients, a plethora of ideas to improve healthcare in the future, and foster a new generation of practitioners with the same commitments. He embraced new technology with the excitement of a teenager. He saw the status quo as the enemy of progress, not a golden calf to be worshiped at the altar of mediocrity.
Dr. Crisp will be remembered for his devotion to family, his sense of humor and sharp wit, his love of tennis, sports, and the out of doors, and his constant quest for knowledge. He is survived by his wife Anita; sister Elizabeth (Susie) Rea and brother-in-law Dr. Ed Rea; son Bill Crisp; daughter-in-law Dale; daughters, Barbara and Anne Crisp; granddaughter Dr. Jessica Crisp-McKenzie and her husband Cameron; grandson Brian and his wife Kristen; his great grandson Hudson; step-daughters Kelley and Heidi; step-grandchildren Shawn and Justin; and step-great grandson Shawn Jr.; and his four beloved furry children, Rolo, Boo, Frieda and Trix.
Requiescat in Pacem et amor.
Services remembering and celebrating the life of Dr. William (Bill) Crisp will be 7 p.m. Aug. 31, 2012 at Arizona Historical Society Museum, Papago Park, 1300 N. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, we request that memorial contributions be made in Bill's memory to The Lewy Body Dementia Association, www.lbda.org/go/donate; Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road, S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047 or the Cancer Research Group directed by G.R Pettit, c/o Arizona State University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, P.O. Box 871604, Tempe, AZ 85287-1604, a group, that he was not only proud to be affiliated with, but also of the strides in research they have been able to make and those they'll be able to achieve in the future for the cure of cancer and of Alzheimer's disease.
Information provided by survivors.