Dr. Robert Emmett Gulde

, a cardiologist who pioneered freestanding cardiac catheterization facilities, died peacefully late Tuesday, June 6, 2017. He was 83.


A vigil will be held Friday, June 9, at 6:00 p.m. at Griggs-Schooler-Gordon Funeral Home, 5400 S. Bell. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, June 10, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1200 S. Washington with Father Scott Raef officiating. Burial will follow at Llano Cemetery.

Robert was born May 10, 1934 in Amarillo, Texas at St. Anthony’s Hospital to John Fidelis Gulde and Philippina Marie Lutz Gulde. He graduated from Price College in 1952, and went on to receive his B.S. from Notre Dame University and his M.D. from St. Louis University School of Medicine in June of 1960. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado, before serving as Chief Resident in Cardiopulmonary Disease during his residency at Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. From 1964 to 1966 he was a Special Fellow in Cardiovascular Disease at the highly esteemed Cleveland Clinic. Furthermore, he was board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease. From 1966 to 1968 he served as Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve at Bethesda, Maryland, with a teaching appointment in the Department of Cardiology at the Naval Medical School. He was also Director of the CPR Program and Advisor to Capitol Physicians on CPR at the National Naval Medical Center, where he worked with Dr. Ken Sell and Charles Augustus Lindbergh on measuring the electrical and physiologic function of in vitro perfused mammalian hearts, and was Naval Representative for the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. He also oversaw the creation of the Catheterization Lab at Bethesda Naval Hospital. In 1968, after the death of his firstborn son, John Robert, he moved back to Amarillo.

He was a practicing cardiologist in Amarillo from 1968 until he retired in 2003. In 1974, after becoming frustrated with the “Standard of Care” at St. Anthony’s Hospital, where he had practiced since 1968 and served as Chief of Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Committee from 1972 to 1974, he opened the Heart Institute for C.A.R.E. (Cardiovascular Advancements Research Education) as the first freestanding cardiac catheterization laboratory west of the Mississippi, the third in the nation, but the only one with a viewing room for the patient’s family where they could watch the heart caths. He performed over 10,000 heart caths in his facility alone, and always provided his patients with an intensive, detailed report, including pictures of their heart, carotid arteries, and arteries to the legs. He believed in educating patients and their families to become “Captains of Their Health Care Team”. He brought many other advancements to the Texas Panhandle, including high-level stress testing, stress echo testing, 2-D color-flow echocardiography, carotid pulse tracing, Holter Monitoring, and automated 3-channel regional computer satellite ECG service where he transmitted ECGs digitally from all over the Panhandle. He had a passion for medicine, and was always thankful for the exceptional network of doctors who referred patients to him, helped him with others, and who believed in his cause.

Besides being a staff cardiologist at the local hospitals, including the VA Hospital and Palo Duro Hospital in Canyon, he was also an Associate Clinical Professor at Texas Tech Medical School from 1972 to 1990, where he was honored to be recognized as Outstanding Faculty Member in 1974. He was a member of American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, Potter/Randall County Medical Society, American Heart Association, American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, Texas Society of Internal Medicine, Amarillo Society for Internal Medicine, and served on the Credentials Committee for the Society for Cardiac Angiography &Interventions from 1990 to 2002. He was on the Board of Directors 1970 to 1974 for the American Heart Association Texas Affiliate. He was on the Board of Directors 1969 to 1976 for the Amarillo Potter County Heart Association, Vice-President in 1974 and President in 1975. He was Area Coordinator of CPR and Advisor to Executive Council as CPR Coordinator for Region I Program of AHA Texas Affiliate Corporate Member 1974 to 1976. He was on the International Medical Advisory Board for CroMed Bionics of New York from 1973 to 1974. He had numerous Publications published and presented, including movies and videos of CVP monitoring and Hyperventilation Syndrome. He was also a member of the International Platform Association and the Amarillo Executive Association.

In the last few years that he was able, Bob worked extensively on his book, S.O.C.G.A – Standard of Care Gone Awry.

Bob married his first love, Doris Jeanne Smith (1935-1978), in 1960 and had seven children – Jeanne (1961-1978), Lauri, Marjorie, John Robert (1965-1967), Robert John, Michele and Michael. In 1980, he married his long-time nurse Janis Fowler and had a son, Jonathan. His third wife, Rebecca (Becky) Harris, he married in 1986 and had child number nine, Christian.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Doris, daughter Jeanne and son John Robert, as well as his parents, John and Philippina Gulde, brothers Joe Gulde and Jim Gulde, Jim’s wife Dorothy Gulde, brother- in-law Leonard Nussbaum, grandsons Larry and Bobby Cox, and Uncle Carl Lutz and Aunt Eunice Lutz of Amarillo.

He is survived by his wife, Becky; sister Elizabeth Nussbaum; sister Margaret Rettenmaier and husband Don, sister-in-law Joan Gulde, brother Larry Gulde and wife Libby of Chapel Hill, NC, daughter Lauri Allen and husband Russ of Manhattan Beach, CA, and their children, Madison, Jeanne, Adeline and Tessa; daughter Marjorie LaRochelle and husband Joe of Houston, TX, and their children Alexander, Erica, Gabrielle, Sophia and Olivia; son Robert Gulde and wife Cindy of Highlands Ranch, CO, and their children Noah and Emma; daughter Michele Cox and husband Cody of Amarillo, and their children Branch, Miles, Grady, Elizabeth and Karis; son Michael Gulde of Mission Viejo, CA; son Jonathan Gulde and wife Brandi of League City, TX, and their children Lesley, Taylor and Abigail; son Christian Gulde and wife Whitney; along with Becky’s parents, Doris and Robert Harris, Becky’s sister Cheryl Woodard and husband Mitch, and Becky’s brother Dale Harris and wife Charmaine; and many, many wonderful nieces and nephews, cousins, and their families.

The family wishes to thank the multitude of friends, family, employees and caregivers over the years that have believed in and supported and loved Bob. He definitely made an impact on all of our lives.

The family suggests any memorials be to Boys Ranch, Downtown Women’s Center, Salvation Army, or any favorite charity.

Send online condolences to: www.griggsschoolergordon .com

Amarillo Globe-News, June 9, 2017