As a physician and hospital administrator of 43 years, Dr. Lawrence Scherr worked long hours tending to patients and growing a small hospital group into one of the region's largest health care organizations.
At work, he guided generations of young doctors while setting national standards for medical academic training programs.
But at heart, he was a teacher, said his family. And at home, he put education first -- schooling his children in current events, using newspapers and maps and meticulously checking homework.
Scherr, who retired in 2010 as the Betsey Cushing Whitney Academic Dean Emeritus and Historian at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in Great Neck, died from pneumonia Sept. 6 at Glen Cove Hospital. He was 83 years old, a longtime Manhasset resident and former senior vice president of academic affairs for the medical system.
"He really enjoyed the teaching aspect -- seeing the doctors he would bring on into his residencies really flourish and become successful doctors," said his son, Robert, of Germantown, Md. "My dad was really big about education. He was the one that was always making sure I was studying and doing my homework. He was always big with maps. If there was ever something happening around the world, he'd pull out the maps."
During high school and college, he was a member of the Naval JROTC, and when the Korean War broke out just after he graduated from college, he deferred his admission to Cornell's medical school and served in Korea for three years.
"He didn't talk about the details," said his daughter, Cynthia Rosen of Locust Valley. "Of everything else he did, he was most proud of that. He was proud of being a veteran."
He met his wife, Peggy, also a Cornell graduate, on a blind date before he started medical school. They married nine months later. The family lived for many years in Haworth, N.J., before moving to Manhasset in 1993.
From 1967 to 2001, Scherr was the David J. Greene chair of the North Shore University Hospital Department of Medicine. While at the hospital, he also served as director of academic affairs and as medical board chairman.
In a statement announcing his death, the hospital system described Scherr as a "beloved leader . . . pre-eminent physician and nationally known authority" on a variety of medical issues.
He is survived by his wife, two children and four grandchildren. His three older sisters preceded him in death.