Philip Z. Israel, beloved Surgical Oncologist and source of strength and comfort to the tens of thousands of breast cancer patients he cared for, passed away Friday, July 26, 2019 at the age of 83. Born in 1936 in the tiny southern town of Edison, Georgia, he graduated from high school with a class of 12 students. From childhood, Dr. Israel knew with certainty that he wanted to be a doctor. A graduate of Emory University Medical School, Dr. Israel also did his surgical residency there. He served as a Captain in the US Air Force in Fort Worth, Texas in 1966-68. A pioneer in the development of oncologic breast surgery as a specialty, Dr. Israel trained thousands of surgeons to develop skill in ultrasound and stereotactic imagining so that they could more comprehensively care for their patients. As a skilled surgeon, his aim was always to treat his patients kindly, gently and appropriately - never unnecessarily over treating them. He authored a number of scholarly research studies on breast cancer published in prominent medical journals. He was proud to have been one of the founding members and the first Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Breast Surgeons in 1990. Dr. Israel had a great love of Colorado and the landscape of the American west. He was a firm believer that a gentleman's word and handshake meant everything. To those who knew him, he was a true southern gentleman and the salt of the earth. To his patients, who cared deeply for him, his impact on their lives will continue to ripple on through time. He will be remembered fondly by all whose lives he touched as a great and exceptional man. Dr. Israel was preceded in death by his beloved son, David Israel; parents, William and Dorothy Baer Israel and nephew, Jared Zane Israel. He is survived by his wife, Cyndi; brother, Jack (Diane) of Sandy Springs, former wife, Faye; daughter, Terri Israel of Marietta; son, Scott Israel (Laura); and cherished grandchildren, Zach and Maddie Israel of Chattanooga; step grandchildren, Madison and Toby Thurwanger; step children, Kimberly and Kenny Thurwanger. A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, August 1st at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home, Historic Marietta Chapel. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Breezy Meadow Horse Rescue, 390 Narrow Way Church Circle, Dallas, GA 30132 or the animal rescue organization of your choice. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Thursday.
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