With an academic and clinical career that spanned more than 40 years, Dr. Larry Kun, 72, changed the way children with brain tumors are treated. In doing so, he impacted countless lives. Dr. Kun spearheaded the creation of one of the most successful pediatric brain tumor treatment programs in the United States, advanced the field of radiation oncology and brought hope to families caught in the fight against cancer everywhere. He died May 27, 2018, after a brave 6 week battle with cancer, surrounded by his loving family.
Dr. Kun had a passion for learning throughout his life, first as a student and then as a teacher. He graduated from medical school at 22 and began an impressive career as he rose in the academic ranks of radiation oncology. At the age of 36, Dr. Kun was recruited to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis to start a pediatric brain tumor program. His roles over 32 years at St. Jude began as Chairman of Radiation Oncology and retiring many years later as Clinical Director and Executive Vice President. He was an extraordinarily kind and compassionate physician. His patients and their families loved him and the feeling was mutual. In addition, one of his passions was mentoring other people, always encouraging everyone to reach higher.
As dedicated as Dr. Kun was to his career, nothing was more important to him than his family. He leaves his loving wife of 47 years, Donna, his two adoring daughters, Julie Alpert (Seth), Amy Pass (Steve), and the lights of his life, his five precious grandchildren – Justin and Scott Alpert, and Andrew, Lorelei, and Nathan Pass.
A memorial service was held at Temple Emanuel in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, May 31. Contributions can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Melanoma Research Foundation or a charity of your choice.