Jan Ellen Paradise

Obituary of Jan Ellen Paradise


Levine Chapels

Dr. Jan Ellen Paradise died on April 12, 2021 after a long illness. She was the cherished wife of Dr. Gary Fleisher, devoted mother of Daniel, Carl, and Madeline, loving grandmother (“Nanny”) of Isaac Fleisher, Henry McKenzie, Gabriel Fleisher, Charlotte Fleisher, Jane McKenzie, Bennett Fleisher, and Noah Fleisher, and the adoring mother-in-law of Yoko Mizumoto, Matthew McKenzie, and Rebecca Lewis. Born in Baltimore in 1950, she grew up in Bellaire, Ohio, where her father practiced as a pediatrician, and graduated from Bellaire High School, before coming to the Philadelphia area to attend Swarthmore College. Transferring from there, she received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Medical Degree from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing a residency in Pediatrics and a Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship in General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she joined the medical staff there and the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. For the next several years, she provided expert and compassionate care to children, many of whom were the victims of child abuse, and to adolescents. Simultaneously, she initiated fundamental studies concerning sexual abuse, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and then from a R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health. In 1986, she relocated to Boston and became an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a member of the medical staff at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she treated both children and adolescents, as she continued her NIH-funded research in the field of child abuse. Subsequently, she moved to join the faculty at Boston University, where she rose to the rank of Associate Professor of Pediatrics and served as Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Boston City Hospital. In 1999, she left academic medicine and joined Bridgewater Goddard Park Medical Associates in Easton and Brockton, which later became Signature Health Care. In this new role, she served as a pediatrician for thousands of children and adolescents. Upon her retirement in 2019, she received innumerable cards, letters, emails, and gifts from her patients and their families. Throughout her life, Jan enjoyed her family, the practice of pediatrics, a night out for dinner with a concert or a Broadway show, a game of bridge with good friends, and occasionally playing the piano. Jan loved to dance and had to contend with the disappointment that her husband struggled to keep up with her. Another of her hobbies was knitting, and she produced magnificent afghans for her children at the time of their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. In anticipation of the future, Jan began constructing afghans to give to her 7 grandchildren when they reached the age of 13, and she was helped by a group of friends to finish these pieces during the last two years. A devoted bird watcher, a hobby she acquired from her mother, and a member of the Audubon Society, she traveled across the United States and to Africa, Asia, South America, Europe and Israel in pursuit of new species. In addition to her husband, her children, and her grandchildren, Jan is survived by her father, Dr. Jack Paradise of Belmont, MA, her mother, Leone Paradise of Arlington, MA, and her sisters, Emily Paradise of Arlington, MA, and Julia Paradise of Washington, D.C. She was predeceased by her brother, Daniel Paradise. Memorial donations can be made to the Jan Paradise Brain Cancer Research Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital, to the Neuro-Oncology Program at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, or to the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Arrangements under the direction of Levine Chapels.

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