Bogdan Nedelkoff, obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Bogdan Nedelkoff,

August 9, 1921 - November 23, 2016

Obituary


Bogdan Nedelkoff, M.D. passed away at age 95 on November 23, 2016, at the Baptist Health Floyd Hospital (formerly Floyd Memorial) in New Albany, Indiana, where he had served as the Director of Pathology for 52 years.

Bogdan Nedelkoff was born on August 9, 1921, in Moschino, Bulgaria, the son of Mladen and Nedelka Nedelkoff. His young life and early education were in Moschino and in Sofia, Bulgaria. After Bogdan studied law in Sofia for a year, his father encouraged him to move abroad to continue his education. Bogdan set off on his own...

Bogdan Nedelkoff, M.D. passed away at age 95 on November 23, 2016, at the Baptist Health Floyd Hospital (formerly Floyd Memorial) in New Albany, Indiana, where he had served as the Director of Pathology for 52 years.

Bogdan Nedelkoff was born on August 9, 1921, in Moschino, Bulgaria, the son of Mladen and Nedelka Nedelkoff. His young life and early education were in Moschino and in Sofia, Bulgaria. After Bogdan studied law in Sofia for a year, his father encouraged him to move abroad to continue his education. Bogdan set off on his own to Germany to learn the language and then to matriculate into the University of Würzburg Medical School. After World War II ravaged the country, he was forced to move from city to city to continue his education. He was joined in 1947 by his two younger brothers who were also encouraged by their father to pursue their educations outside of Bulgaria. Ultimately, Bogdan completed his doctoral dissertation in 1948 and began working at the U.S. Army Hospital in Schweinfurt, Germany. In 1951, he immigrated to the United States aboard the ship the U.S.S. General A.W. Greely, which participated in the rescue at sea of the S.S. Flying Enterprise during that journey.

After practicing for four years at several hospitals in northern New Jersey, Dr. Nedelkoff moved to Louisville in July 1956 to work in the Pathology Department of General Hospital (now University of Louisville Hospital). His thirst for knowledge led him to enroll in the University to continue his studies in physics and mathematics while practicing medicine full time.

Dr. Nedelkoff expanded his practice first to Harrison County Hospital, then to Floyd County Memorial Hospital which included coverage of the Orange County and Washington County hospitals. As a prior civilian employee of the U.S. Army, Dr. Nedelkoff was honored to also serve as a pathologist at the Veterans Administration Hospital. Innumerable patients, their families, and his colleagues in the medical community were touched by Dr. Nedelkoff's six decades of service, wisdom, skill, and compassion.

Throughout his lengthy career, Dr. Nedelkoff took on many other professional challenges and opportunities including a three decade professorship at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, eight years as Chairman of the University's Department of Pathology, and co-founder of the Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories in Louisville which fulfilled his keen interest in the development of technological applications to medicine.

For his tireless efforts, his deep commitment to his patients, colleagues, and the community, and his insatiable quest for knowledge and continuing education, Dr. Nedelkoff enjoyed dozens of professional affiliations, awards, and accolades from both his peers and professional community including: Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honors Society, American Physical Society, College of American Pathologists, New York Academy of Sciences, American Medical Association, American Association of University Professors, American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Academy of Pathology, and the medical societies and associations of Indiana, Kentucky, Floyd and Jefferson counties.

While he had a passionate commitment to his profession, he was equally committed to giving back to his community and to those in need throughout the world. Dr. Nedelkoff contributed his time and resources to numerous charities, as well as national and international political causes. He was a benefactor of the classical arts with a particular love for the Louisville Bach Society which he supported with great dedication for decades. One of his proudest accomplishments was the restoration of the St. Ilia Cathedral in the small Bulgarian town where he was born. Through the years of communist rule, the church had closed and fallen into a state of extreme disrepair. In 1998 after years of financial support and eager anticipation, he returned with his children to Bulgaria for the consecration of the church. Surrounded by thousands from the community, he and his dear cousin, Bistra Gyuderova, dedicated the church to their parents and offered it as a gift to the community.

Beyond all of Dr. Nedelkoff's professional and charitable contributions and achievements, his family was the epicenter of his life. Since 1961, Dr. Nedelkoff and his family lived on a farm in the Grandview neighborhood of Floyds Knobs. Here in this bucolic setting on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River Valley, he raised his children and, when not practicing medicine, farmed hay, raised cattle, and enjoyed the company of his many pets. His overriding priority in his personal life was to raise his children to be responsible stewards of their communities and conscientious citizens who would lead their lives with empathy, humility, and charity.

He and his family traveled throughout the world from the time his children were very young, focusing on learning, appreciating, and promoting other cultures, customs, perspectives, and history. In 2013 upon his retirement at age 92, he decided to celebrate this milestone in a place he had always longed to go - Patagonia. On this journey, the family ventured from Argentina to Antarctica and back up to Chile. Then, just three months before his death, Dr. Nedelkoff made one last trip to Germany with his four year old granddaughter to share with her his history and stories of the war, just as he had done with each of his own children in years past. There, he celebrated his 95th birthday in the shadow of the Schloss Heidelberg castle where he had spent many days as a student looking out over the town and praying for an end to the war.

Dr. Nedelkoff was predeceased by his first wife, Anne Marie (Kavanaugh) Nedelkoff; his parents; his sister, Svilena Milkova; and his brother Desi Nedelkoff. He is survived by his beloved wife of 40 years, Geraldine Waters Nedelkoff; his son Robert Wendell Nedelkoff; his daughters Dr. Gabriele Bucerius, Elizabeth Nedelkoff Akers, Patricia Nedelkoff Lenihan, Margret Louise Nedelkoff, and Katherine Scott Nedelkoff; his brother Dr. Jeko M. Nedelkoff; his daughter-in-law René Porter Nedelkoff; his sons-in-law T. Clark Akers, Richard Lenihan and James Neuhauser; and the true joys of his life - his six grandchildren (Katharina, Alexandra, Ferdinand, Sterling, Clark, and Patricia Anne) and his three great-grandchildren (Franziska, Mila, Lara - and, as he learned to his great pleasure in his last days, a great-grandson on the way).

Dr. Nedelkoff was respected and loved by his co-workers, friends, neighbors, and above all by his family who relied on his wisdom, good sense, and devotion. He was a man of great learning who possessed a profound sense of responsibility, justice, and global citizenship. In honor of his boundless compassion and deep desire to help those in need, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy be made through contributions to organizations whose missions are to help the needy, the persecuted and the disenfranchised.

A visitation for Dr. Bogdan Nedelkoff will be Sunday, December 18, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at his home.