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Published: Friday, 6/30/2006

Cardiologist was early advocate of diet, exercise

Dr. Don C. Nouse, 84, a cardiologist who led heart and vascular institutes at Toledo Hospital and who urged health awareness and exercise decades before they were fashionable, died Wednesday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township, from complications of several illnesses, including congestive heart failure.

He and his wife, Mary Dunning Nouse, were residents most recently of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and spent summers in Perrysburg Township.

He retired in about 1994 from his practice, a predecessor to Northwest Ohio Cardiology Consultants.

He was administrative director of Toledo Hospital s Ritter Heart Institute in 1989 when he was named executive director of the Jobst Vascular Institute. The institute was formed as a collaboration of Toledo Hospital and the University of Michigan through a multimillion-dollar gift from Caroline Jobst in memory of her late husband, Conrad.

Influential people were among his patients, his daughter, Stephanie Murtagh, said. They trusted his judgment with their money in helping Toledo Hospital, she said.

He thought [the city of] Toledo was important, and whatever he could do to make Toledo a better place and Toledo Hospital a better place, he was willing to do it, she said.

Dr. Nouse, when he took a lunch hour, would spend it jogging or on a treadmill. In a 1961 speech, he spoke of the health risks of sedentary modern life and urged exercise and regular check-ups.

His daughter said: He really was into exercise and diet way before other people were.

Dr. Nouse grew up in Loudonville, Ohio, and was a graduate of Wittenberg University and received his medical degree from the University of Michigan. He finished a cardiology residency at the then-New York State College at Syracuse.

He was a Navy lieutenant stateside during the Korean War and performed heart evaluations on senior flight officers.

Dr. Nouse s bow ties became his signature. But on April Fool s Day he wore a long tie. It was his sense of humor, his daughter said.

His first wife, Helen Nouse, died in April, 1993.

Surviving are his wife, Mary Dunning Nouse, whom he married in March, 1994; son, Douglas Nouse; daughter, Stephanie Murtagh; sister, Mary Nouse Russell; brother, Jack Nouse, and four grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. July 12 in St. Paul s Lutheran Church, Toledo. Arrangements are by the J. Jeffrey Fretti Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio or St. Paul s Lutheran Church.

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