Mickle James Douglas Jr. Died on June 8, 2022, surrounded by his family and dogs, at Christus St. Vincent Hospital. The cause of death was acute respiratory failure caused by pulmonary emboli following hip surgery. Jim had been under treatment for Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus for months. Jim was born February 1, 1949, in Philadelphia, into a close family which nurtured his love for sports, academics, dogs, and the outdoors. As a senior at Springfield High (Montco), he set the Pennsylvania state record for most consecutive foul shots without a miss when he went 17 for 17 in a 1966 game against North Penn. A knee injury that spring curtailed his basketball career but left him free to concentrate on his pre-med studies. He graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1971 and received his MD from Hershey Medical School at Pennsylvania State University in 1975. After an internship at Chestnut Hill Hospital, he served in the National Health Service Corps in Foxburg before moving to Boyertown where he was a family practitioner for 34 years. There he loved working with a dedicated staff to care for patients at every stage of life. He happily drove down country roads on house calls, accepted farm produce as payment, and, in an emergency, would suture an injury in his living room. He coached his daughter’s AAU basketball team, The Rolling Thunder, and established the Barn Ball annual tournament in his retrofitted eighteenth-century barn in Douglassville. His in sports and medicine culminated in a stint as ringside doctor interests for the Philly-based World Wide Wrestling Alliance. Jim relished taking care of the wrestlers and occasionally being worked into the show. Ever intellectually curious, Jim became interested in the science of cholesterol after years of seeing patients whose health status did not match up in an obvious way with their basic cholesterol numbers. After several years of study, he became a board-certified Lipidologist, and in 2011 he opened Cholesterol Studies and Treatment, a practice in Santa Fe devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cholesterol-related illness. Jim’s interest in cholesterol led him to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, whose people, culture, land, and waters he came to love very deeply. Early in his investigations, he realized the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids for some patients. When he could not find a fish oil capsule with his ideal therapeutic balance, Ocean Nutrition of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia agreed to formulate it for him. Eventually, he traveled to Dartmouth to meet their research staff, and then to Mulgrave, Nova Scotia to tour their plant. Just over the causeway was Cape Breton Island, which he fell in love with, eventually building a cottage in Mabou Harbour, where he was as happy as a person can be. Jim loved being a doctor, and practiced medicine until the last year of his life. He would answer medical questions from anyone at any time and help whenever needed, including on September 11, 2001, when he jumped from a mid-town Manhattan cardiology conference to volunteer at a triage station at Chelsea Piers. He told good stories about booking musical groups such as the Byrds and the Fifth Dimension and speakers such as Muhammed Ali for Muhlenberg College in the late nineteen sixties when he was a student organizer. He got clean for Gene, went door-to-door for McGovern, marched in Washington against the invasion of Iraq, and as a physician and citizen supported reproductive choice and Medicare for All. Jim loved archaeology, fly-fishing, jigging for mackerel in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Cape Breton fiddle music (he died listening to the Natalie MacMaster/Donnell Leahy version of “Hector the Hero”), and visiting his children on the sets of their film and television projects and at their screenings and film festivals. He is credited in his son Jim’s movies as actor, extra, and medical consultant. Jim is survived by his wife Cynthia Baughman, son Jim Mickle (Linda Moran), daughter Beth Mickle (Russell Barnes), ex-wife and mother of his children, Carole Bianco, brother-in-law Jack Hornberger, niece Nancy Bragger (John ), nephew Brant Hornberger (Meghan), beloved great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and many cherished friends and colleagues. He was predeceased by his parents, Nan and Doug Mickle, sister Jane Ann Hornberger, niece Debbie Hornberger and great-nephew Sam Hornberger. Jim has been cremated and memorial plans will be announced later. If you wish, memorial gifts may be made to Humane Pennsylvania or a charity of your choice. Or just listen to “Hector the Hero” and think of Jim.
Published by The Philadelphia Inquirer on Jul. 31, 2022.