Dr. Jan “John” Pavel Skalicky MD, age 94, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 15, 2019, in his Walpole, Massachusetts residence surrounded by his loving family. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia on February 22, 1925, he was the son of the late Jan Skalicky and Maria (Soulakova) Skalicky. Beloved husband of 34 years to Dr. Carolyn (Francis) Aldredge-Skalicky MD. Loving father of John M. Ramsdell and his wife Nicki Ramsdell of Seattle, WA, and Anne M. Skalicky and her husband Fernando Martinez of Seattle, WA. Cherished grandfather of Pablo N. Martinez. Brother of the late Milena Sefr and the late Vladamir Michael Skalicky. John is preceded in death by his first wife of 35 years, Marta (Walter) Skalicky.
Dr. Skalicky led a remarkable life. He fled Czechoslovakia in 1948 with his first wife, Marta, when living under a communist government became unbearable. The escape was a daring one and not without tragedy. Of the twelve members of the group attempting to escape, only four made it across the border. A close friend was killed and seven were captured. Before arriving in the United States in 1952, John and Marta spent one year in a German refugee camp and two years in England. While living in England he learned English in six months and worked as a hospital orderly. John completed an undergraduate degree at Boston University in Biology in 1955. Following in his parents’ footsteps, he obtained a medical degree at the University of Rochester in 1960 with Marta’s support as an office secretary and Sears employee. In 1962 the couple settled in Walpole. Dr. Skalicky opened a general medical practice in Walpole, purchased a home on Countryside Lane and with Marta adopted John and Anne as infants from the New England Home for Little Wanderers in 1964 and 1965 respectively. Deciding to specialize in orthopedics, John completed his residency in orthopedic surgery in 1971 at Shriner’s Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts. Shortly afterward, he opened a private practice and worked at Milford Regional Hospital. Sadly, Marta, beloved wife, and mother of Anne and John, unexpectedly passed away in 1984. Later that year John met Dr. Carolyn Aldredge, who became his second wife. Together they enjoyed attending myriad cultural performances including New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. They also enjoyed frequent and extensive international travel adventures together on all seven continents. After three heart attacks, Dr. Skalicky retired in 1987. In 1998 he became the oldest heart transplant recipient at the age of 73 and at his death, the oldest living recipient of a heart transplant in the United States. Always the curious intellectual, and refusing to slow down, John completed a Masters in Theological Studies at Harvard "for the fun of it" in 2000.
He also leaves behind step-sons Brian Aldredge and his wife Sivia Dipippo Aldredge; Horatio Aldredge and his wife Tenley Aldredge; nieces Milada Skalicky, Roseanne Skalicky, and nephew Mathew Skalicky of Australia, and cousins Brad Williamson, Dana Williamson and Sara Williamson of Massachusetts., brother Vladimir Michael Skalicky of Australia and sister Milena Sefr of the Czech Republic.
Dr. Skalicky’s family would like to acknowledge and extend profound thanks to several very special women: Darline Innocente Jean-Pierre, Ellen Buchmaier and Lijun Li, who took amazing care and showed genuine friendship and compassion to “Dr. John” in his last few years.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Dr. Skalicky’s Life Celebration on Saturday, August 17, 2019, from 10:00 to 1:00 PM at the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole, MA. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in John’s name may be made to Boston University.