James Aaron Albright, M.D.
James Aaron Albright, M.D., passed away peacefully from natural causes on June 2, 2020, in Hartford, Connecticut, at age 91. Born on a farm in Colfax, Indiana, Jim was the oldest child of Frances and Aaron Albright. He is survived by his sister Julie McEligot and brother John Albright, M.D.
Jim grew up in Aurora, Illinois. He was Senior Class President and football captain at East Aurora High School. After finishing college and medical school early at the University of Illinois, Jim entered general medical practice and joined the Air Force, serving two years in England. He met the love of his life, Merrilee Grace Prentice, and started a family.
He is survived by his three children, Dan Albright, Susie Flower, and Linda Albright, and by his eight grandchildren, Eric Albright, Carolyn Albright, Stephen Albright, Chelsie Flower, Savannah Flower, Alexandra Tomb, Emma Tomb and James Tomb. While growing up, his kids and grandkids knew him as a lighthearted jokester, a builder of tree houses and doll houses, and an avid gardener.
Early in his medical career, Jim was drawn to orthopaedics and began his surgical training at Yale University where he later joined the academic faculty. Jim is best remembered for his passion for scientific research, for his calm patient demeanor, and for teaching generations of orthopaedic residents at Yale and at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, where he served as Chairman of Orthopaedics for 28 years.
Dr. Albright was a "Renaissance surgeon" known for his broad range of skills from correcting young children's foot deformities to performing hand surgery, spine operations and a variety of other orthopaedic procedures. During his over forty year career, Jim taught hundreds of orthopaedic residents who fondly called him "Chief".
Dr. Albright invented new finger joint and hip joint replacements, wrote hundreds of scientific articles, and created the first book of its kind, "The Scientific Basis of Orthopaedics". Jim was well known in Shreveport, Louisiana, for writing many Letters to the Editor in his local newspaper, the Shreveport Times. Dr. Albright's intellectual pursuits extended far beyond medicine. His writings examined a variety of topics including the importance of the gold standard and free market economics. His passion for learning new things kept his mind active well into his eighties.
Jim will be missed by his family, friends, and all who worked with this quiet, selfless man. Dr. Albright's heart was devoted to helping his patients and helping others pursue their interests in medicine and beyond.
Obituary originally published in Shreveport Times from Jun. 28 to Jun. 29, 2020.