OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - It was perhaps only fitting. That family, fellow doctors and former patients gathered inside Highland Hospital in Oakland Tuesday to say goodbye to one of its most accomplished medical giants, cardiologist Dr. Walter Stullman. He is described by co-workers as the heart of highland.
"He taught medicine in general, cardiology in particular and the lessons of life always," said friend Dr. Herb Schub.
Dr. Stullman died unexpectedly last month of a stroke at the age of 82.
He was Highland's first full time doctor and chief cardiologist who practiced at highland for 46 years, right up until the end.
"He would tell it like it is. But he cared so much about people that it always came across. He wouldn't deliver bad news without delivering hope and without showing his compassion," said current chief cardiologist Dr. Tom Frohlich.
"It is really hard to believe dad is gone. Mainly because he was so much alive," said his son Eric Stullman.
Among those who came to say goodbye was one of Stullman's former heart patients., one of countless lives the doctor saved.
"He was friendly. Down to earth. Even after I was no longer his patient he would always say hi," said Melodie Barclay.
Along the way Stullman trained more than 1,200 doctors.
Stullman also loved traveling and the arts.
But most of all, those who knew him say Stullman cared most about his family, patients, the people he worked with, and especially Highland Hospital.
Stullman leaves behind four children , five grandchildren and an army of admirers.