Dr. Hildegard Rand Maricq passed away in Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday, October 25, 2009. She had joined the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in 1975, rising to the position of Professor of Research Medicine in 1981. She retired as Professor Emeritus in 1997.
Hildegard Rand was born in Rakvere, Estonia, on April 23, 1925. When she was still a young girl the family moved to Tallinn, where she graduated from high school. During World War II she fled with her parents from communism to Germany and from there to Belgium.
In Belgium she began to study French so as to attend university. She met Belgian Jean (John) George Maricq and they married on October 9, 1948. Hildegard Rand Maricq graduated cum laude in medicine from the University Libre of Brussels in 1953. A few days after graduation she gave birth to their first son, Matti. Her husband became a doctor of chemistry.
The young couple emigrated to the USA, where two more sons were born. Villu is now a doctor of biology and Toivo is an artist, and a member of the Society of Estonian Artists in Toronto (EKKT). Matti, the eldest, is a doctor of chemistry like his father.
In the U.S. Hildegard trained in the field of psychiatry. Her interest in microcirculation led her to join Dr. E. Carwile Le Roy who at that time was studying scleroderma at Columbia University. They moved together to MUSC to found the Division of Rheumatology & Immunology. During her long and productive career Dr. Rand Maricq pioneered the use of nailfold capillary microscopy for the evaluation of Raynaud phenomenon and scleroderma spectrum disease and conducted important studies on the epidemiology of Raynaud phenomenon in the U.S. and Europe. Her work is quoted widely in rheumatology literature and her contributions have had a lasting impact on our approach to patients with Raynaud phenomenon and connective tissue disease. She was a popular speaker throughout her career, frequently traveling to France, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Estonia and other countries as well as across the United States to speak at rheumatology conferences.
According to Dr. Edwin Smith, Hildegard Rand Maricq was a remarkable investigator who likely knew more, and taught more about peripheral microcirculation and its response to the environment than anyone else in the world.
Hildegard Rand Maricq also worked for many years with Dr. Ivo Walter, who is presently the director of Pärna Clinic in Estonia.
Hildegard’s mother Elvine Rand helped with raising the couple’s three sons. Elvine Rand was the aunt of artist Benita Vomm. John Maricq was called Jaan by family members, and he was fluent in Estonian, as are their sons, who also speak French in addition to English.
Hildegard’s older brother Dr. Walter Rand was a professor of civil engineering at City College, New York. Walter was a regular lecturer at Kotkajärve Metsaülikool (MÜ), and an honourary member of MÜ. Hildegard also enjoyed attending Metsaülikool. She belonged academically to korp! Filiae Patriae, U.S.
Thank you Hildegard, for your contributions to the world. We will always cherish the memory of you.
MAI. R. VOMM JÄRVE,
In memoriam: Dr. Hildegard Rand Maricq