Hiroshi "Hip" Kuida 1925 ~ 2011Comment on this story
Hiroshi "Hip" Kuida, a wise and humble family man of strong intellect, integrity, and character, passed away on August 2, 2011. Born in Ogden, Utah in 1925, he moved with his family to live in Gardena, California during his early years. When his mother was wrongly arrested as part of the World War II interment of West Coast Japanese descendents, his family moved to Tremonton, Utah to avoid detention. He graduated from Bear River High School. Hip served during World War II in Europe in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Japanese-American unit and the most decorated of the war. He returned to attend the University of Utah on the GI Bill, where he received his B.A. in 1949 and his M.D. in 1951, the same year he married Lili Mori. His sister Fukiko's untimely death of a heart infection at age 19 inspired Hip to become a cardiologist. Hip served his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Salt Lake County General Hospital (1951-53). He received further training as a Cardiology and Research Fellow at Harvard University Medical School and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (1953-56), and as a Physiology Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota (1956-57). At the University of Utah School of Medicine, Hip - always with his trademark bow tie and crew cut - was Chief Medical Resident (1957-58), Instructor (1958-61), Assistant Research Professor (1961-64), Associate Professor (1964-69), Associate Professor of Physiology (1965-69), and Professor of Internal Medicine and Physiology (1969 until retirement in 1991). Hip served as Chair of the Division of Cardiology from 1965 to 1982. He taught generations of medical students and developed a premier cardiology fellowship program. He considered his cardiology fellows to be his family and admired them greatly. He authored or co-authored more than 75 journal articles or book chapters and wrote a leading physiology text. His administrative and leadership positions included Associate Dean for Admissions, Associate Dean for Medical Student Programs, and President of the Utah Heart Association. Hip the cardiologist ironically suffered two major heart attacks, and survived them thanks to outstanding surgeons and perseverance. He lived a robust life of parenting, teaching, research, reading, golfing, and service. Hip loved golf, Alfa Romeos, swimming meets, the Kyoto and Pagoda Restaurants, the Rachel Maddow Show, Utah peaches and corn, classical music, working on cars with Mr. Kats, and reading about the Civil War. He could drive solo across the country in three days. Hip taught his children - Robyn (Scott) Matheson, Lisa (Mark) Fischer-Colbrie, Elliot (Shannon) Kuida, and Sarah (Steve) Bagdoian - and grandchildren - Heather, Matt, Briggs, Tyler, and Megan - how to drive and many important life lessons. He loved them deeply and was fiercely loyal to and proud of all of them. Predeceased by his parents, Kameichi and Fumi, and his siblings, Fukiko and Paul, Hip is survived by his wife, Lili, brother, Frank, and his children and grandchildren. In lieu of flowers and koden, the family suggests contributions to a charity of your choice. A memorial open house will be held in September, details to be announced.