Obituary of Dr. Pablo Hong-Barco
July 13, 1928 - June 22, 2019
Dr. Pablo "Pabs" Hong-Barco died peacefully among family, friends, and colleagues at UPMC Shadyside hospital on Saturday, June 22, 2019. He was 90. He greatly considered the Cardiothoracic ICU as a second home, and the Shadyside staff a second family.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Margaret; his sons Paul (Jill) Hong-Barco and Phillip (Melissa) Hong-Barco; his siblings Agnita Tennant and Agatha Choi; and three beautiful grandchildren: Roger, Lucy, and Audrey.
He retired in 2012, concluding a 37 year career in Cardiothoracic surgery. Following retirement, he spent much of his time at his family residence in Squirrel Hill, continuously honing his expertise through the study of medical journals, literature, and online examinations. Personally, he loved WWII history, storytelling, and fast food.
He received his medical degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and subsequently served in the Mexican Armed Forces before immigrating to the United States. While a Cardiothoracic surgical resident at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, he met Maggie Smith, an operating room nurse who resided in the same apartment building. They moved to Pittsburgh in 1973, married, and he completed his residency at Allegheny General Hospital. Here they raised a family of two children, two parrots, and several dogs.
He spent the prime of his career as a Cardiothoracic surgeon at UPMC Shadyside, but also practiced at other hospitals in the surrounding vicinity, including Forbes Regional and Braddock Hospital. While valued and admired for his surgical proficiency, Pabs will be remembered by his colleagues and patients for his comforting demeanor, quirky and charming sense of humor, extraordinary generosity, keychains, fanny packs, and elegant simplicity. He will be most remembered for his enormous work ethic, arising at 3 A.M. daily and often returning home after sunset. He took one known sick day in nearly half of a century, including weekends and holidays, and was tortured to go on vacation.
He was adamant in forgoing a funeral ceremony. Those who knew and loved him understand completely. A memorial gathering will be held on July 9, 2019, at the UPMC Shadyside West Wing Auditorium at 11:30 A.M. All are invited, and if you wish to share a memory of Pablo, you are welcome to speak.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions go to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Online contributions can be made at https://getinvolved.