Werner Ned Keidel, MD, passed away on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the age of 75.
Ned Keidel was a pioneer in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, especially in the use of ventilators and surfactant with premature babies to combat hyaline membrane disease, the disease which killed President John F. Kennedy’s son in 1963.
In 1972, he was assigned to open the first Newborn Intensive Care Nursery at the U.S. Army 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, as Chief of Pediatrics to serve American military families in Europe. There, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for his achievements.
After leaving the Army, he started the NICU at Methodist Hospital in 1978, establishing a dedicated private practice of Neonatology-Perinatology and co-founding South Texas Newborn Associates in 1981.
Born in Fredericksburg, Texas, Ned attended the University of Texas in Austin, Plan II and graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1967. He entered the U.S. Army and completed his internship at Fort Sam Houston, his residency in Pediatrics at Wm Beaumont Hospital in El Paso and his fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the University of California San Diego/La Jolla School of Medicine.
Ned Keidel’s Texas roots were deep. His ancestors included Dr. Wilhelm Victor Keidel, who emigrated from Germany in 1845, becoming the first doctor and county judge in Gillespie County, founder of the town of Pedernales. He was named after his great-grandfather, Ned McIlhenny, who was born in Belton, Texas, in 1862, coming to San Antonio in 1877, serving for 67 years at what became Frost Bank in 1899 as cashier and Vice President.
Ned was an outdoorsman at heart — hiking for miles all over his ranches and reading Texas history books, where he developed a vast knowledge of the wildlife, native ecosystems, and habitat. Based upon this passion, Ned and Diane, his wife of 36 years, established a commercial whitetail deer breeding operation on their historic ranch homestead which he restored in the Texas Hill Country. Not one to rest on his laurels, between caring for preemies and breeding deer, Ned also loved to compete in dressage with his Arabians, play tennis and travel with Diane — especially when it involved fine dining.
He was predeceased by his father, Dr. Werner Keidel, and loving mother, Emily “Mickie” Adams Keidel of Fredericksburg.
He is survived by his wife, Diane LeComte Keidel; and three children from his first marriage to Julia Norton-Keidel and their families: Werner William Keidel II (wife, Lara), Julia Mitchell Keidel Troy (husband, Michael), Eleanor Keidel-Thompson (husband, Woody) and nine grandchildren, Caroline, William, Hampton and Henry Keidel, Colin, Malcolm and Emily Troy and Marinell and Robert Thompson; as well as sisters, Carol Milburn (Mrs. Philip) and Kathy James (Mrs. Ken).
Gratitude is expressed to the many health professionals who assisted Dr. Keidel over the years as he fought declining health.
The family will greet friends from 10 to 11 a.m. on Monday, May 13, 2019, in the chapel of the Schaetter Funeral Home in Fredericksburg, Texas.
The service will be at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, you are invited to send a memorial to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, the JDRF, Peterson Health Foundation or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by the Schaetter Funeral Home.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent at www.schaetter.com.