Dr. Ernest Meese

Dr. Ernest Harold Meese, better known as “Bud” to his family and friends passed away on June 4, 2019, in  Cincinnati, Ohio.  He was 89.

Dr. Meese was born on June 23, 1929, in Bradford, Pennsylvania, to Ernest Daniel Meese and Blanch (Robb) Meese; his sister predeceased him. Bud loved the artwork of Norman Rockwell.  The wholesome, all-American sense reminded him of the small town life where he grew up. Bud was a serious hard- working student.  He also excelled in basketball and acting in school plays. He joined friends square dancing at a nearby state park during the summers, skied and delivered mail during school winter breaks. His aunts had farms and they were happy when he would visit and help to milk cows, bale hay, shear sheep, and drive the tractor. 

Dr. Meese graduated magna cum laude from the University of Buffalo in 1950, where he made Dean’s List and was initiated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his medical degree from the University of Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Science, in 1954. Dr. Meese completed his general surgery residency in thoracic surgery at the U.S. Naval Hospital, St. Albans, Long Island, New York, 1961-1963 and was promoted to lieutenant commander.  

After six years in the Navy, Dr. Meese relocated to Cincinnati where as head of thoracic cardiovascular surgery at Deaconess Hospital and St. Francis-St. George Hospital, he preformed the first coronary bypass surgery in Cincinnati in 1969 at Good Samaritan Hospital. He made history and headlines as the coronary bypass was a welcome replacement to the previously used indirect bypass, in which arterial grafts took up to six months to knit and increase blood flow.  

Dr. Messe was also head of thoracic surgery at Provident Hospital and on the staff at Bethesda Hospital, Christ Hospital, Jewish Hospital Kenwood. 

Dr. Meese contributed articles to text books and to professional journals. He was a frequent guest on the TV show “Ask the Doctor.” Dr. Meese saw firsthand the devastation caused by smoking and was committed to educating the public by giving lectures and talks to all ages to encourage non-smoking. He was president of the Cincinnati and Ohio chapters of the American Cancer Society.  

As a assistant clinical professor of surgery, Cincinnati Medical Center (UC) he had a positive impact on many medical careers as students accompanied him on rounds, in surgery and patient office visits. His children also spent summers following him on rounds at the hospital and assisting with billing and administrative work at his office.  

Dr. Meese was a fellow A.C.S. International College of Surgeons, a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American College of Chest Physician, American College of Cardiology, member of Gibson Anatomical Honorary Society , AMA, Association of Military Surgeons U.S., Academy of Medicine Cincinnati, Association for Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, North American Society Pacing and Electrophysiology. Dr. Meese was a member of the Queen City Club and a Mason. 

In addition to open heart surgery, pacemaker implantation, and lung surgery, Dr. Meese corrected many chest wall and sternum deformities and injuries. He was often called in the middle of the night to preform emergency surgery. He practiced for more than 50 years and maintained his license until 2018.  

Dr. Meese was a brilliant yet humble man. He was a dedicated professional who earned an outstanding reputation for his high level of care to his patients. 

Dr. Meese enjoyed golfing, reading a good book, attending Reds and Bengals games, boating on the Ohio River and traveling the world. His compassion and calm, reassuring positive demeanor, touched the lives of his family, friends, patients and colleagues. 

May his memory be a blessing.