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Published: Wednesday, 6/23/2010

Physician held a deep concern for his patients


Dr. Antonio C. Yap, 77, a pediatrician whose concern for his patients was not bound by office hours, died Sunday in his Perrysburg Township home.

He died from complications of a brain injury suffered seven years ago in a fall outside his Maumee office, daughter Antoinette said. He emerged from a coma after a year and used a wheelchair.

"He was not able to walk, but he was able to enjoy his grandkids and family," his daughter said.

Dr. Yap began a private practice in the early 1970s. He was chief of pediatrics at the former Mercy Hospital and at Flower Hospital. His office was adjacent to St. Luke's Hospital.

About 20,000 children had been his patients, and some were children or grandchildren of those in his care early on. One continuing patient was 32 when the practice closed.

"He just had charisma with people. He could talk to you," said his wife, Nilza, a registered nurse who was his office business manager. "The patients were not just his patients. They were his friends."

He attended graduations and weddings - and baby showers. A teenage patient whose parents were unemployed wanted to go to the prom. "Dr. Yap went out and got him a sport coat and shoes so he could go. That's how he was," his wife said.

One of 13 children, he was born in the Philippines. His parents were killed during a Japanese bombing of their village, and he was raised by his eldest sister.

He received his medical degree from Manila Central University. He settled in Toledo and had an internship at the former Mercy Hospital and at Children's Hospital in Detroit.

He became a U.S. citizen in 1971. As a Democratic candidate for state representative in 1996, his slogan was "People Not Politics." He was defeated by the incumbent, Randy Gardner.

He was a founding member of the Special Commission on Relief and Education, a program of the Filipino Association of Toledo, of which he was a former president.

Surviving are his wife, Nilza, whom he married in February, 1965; daughters, Antoinette Wilson and Yvonne Donaldson; sons, Gil and Eric; sisters, Felicitas and Leticia; brother, Dominidor, and three grandsons.

There will be no visitation. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Rose Church, Perrysburg, where he was a member. Arrangements are by the Sujkowski Funeral Home of Rossford. The family suggests tributes to the Father Solanus Guild in Detroit.

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