Obituary: Richard D. Brasington Jr., MD, professor emeritus of medicine, 71

Richard D. Brasington Jr., MD, a highly regarded professor emeritus of medicine and former director of the rheumatology fellowship training program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, drowned Sunday, April 30, 2023, while fishing in the North Fork River in Ozark, Mo. He was 71.


Brasington joined the faculty in 1996 and trained dozens of medical residents and fellows as coursemaster for the second-year rheumatology course and mentor to many third-year students who trained in his clinic. He directed the university’s rheumatology clinic and the rheumatology division’s fellowship training program for many years.

With his primary focus on education and patient care, Brasington also pioneered a trainee evaluation tool that was used at many rheumatology centers around the country. Further, he played a key role in developing a curriculum guide for the American College of Rheumatology that was used in fellowship training.

In addition to his work in rheumatology, Brasington and his family cared deeply about mental health and wellness. In 2010, he played a key role in creating the James and Philip Brasington Memorial Endowed Fund in the medical school’s Department of Psychiatry.

“Dr. Brasington was an outstanding clinician, renowned for his ability to diagnose and treat patients with complex rheumatic and autoimmune disorders,” said Victoria J. Fraser, MD, the Adolphus Busch Professor and head of the Department of Medicine. “He was warm, caring and compassionate and deeply loved by his patients. He also was an exceptional teacher with tremendous knowledge and a passion for sharing what he knew with his trainees. He had incredible energy and enthusiasm for rheumatology, medicine, teaching and life. He was witty, creative and fun to be with, and he will be sorely missed.”

He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Ferrell; children Ned Brasington, William Bashert and Liz Dueweke; stepdaughter, Melissa Haralson; siblings Evan Brasington and Becky Clark; six grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

Visitation is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at Bopp Chapel, 10610 Manchester Road, Kirkwood, Mo., with a service immediately following. Interment will be at Rose Hill Cemetery in Marion, Ill.

Memorial contributions may be made to the James and Philip Brasington Memorial Prize at Washington University School of Medicine; MSC 1082-414-2555, c/o Emily Williams; 1 Brookings Drive; St. Louis, Mo. 63130-9989. Or they may be made to the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis; 222 S. Central Ave., Suite 501; St. Louis, Mo. 63105; or the Herb Society Legacy Fund at Missouri Botanical Garden; Commemorative Giving Program; P.O. Box 17419; St. Louis, Mo. 63178-7419.

Read the full obituary on the School of Medicine website.

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