Dr. Sil­vino Mune­ses

In­ternist prac­ticed in Brook­lyn and South­west Bal­ti­more and was known for lis­ten­ing to his pa­tients

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Jac­ques Kelly jac­ques.kelly@balt­sun.com

Dr. Sil­vino Bu­talid Mune­ses, an in­ter­nal medicine physi­cian who prac­ticed in Brook­lyn and South­west Bal­ti­more and was pa­tri­arch of his ex­tended fam­ily, died of con­ges­tive heart fail­ure Oct. 2 at his Glen Arm home. He was 86.

Born in the Philip­pines, he was the son of Ilde­fonso Mune­ses and his wife, Ce­cilia. The fam­ily owned a small gro­cery store where he worked as a boy.

“He was the fourth of 13 chil­dren, and the fam­ily lived in a poor sec­tion of the Philip­pines,” said his son, Jef­frey B. Mune­ses, a chi­ro­prac­tor who lives in Glenwood.

“His fa­ther wanted one of his chil­dren to get to the United States, and a lot of fam­ily ef­fort was placed on get­ting my fa­ther ed­u­cated,” he added. “He was the first per­son from his small town — In­a­banga, Bo­hol — to come to the States, and once he was here, he sent money back to the fam­ily.”

Af­ter ob­tain­ing a de­gree from the Univer­sity of Santo To­mas Med­i­cal School in the Philip­pines — where he was his class pres­i­dent — he set­tled in Bal­ti­more in 1958 and per­formed his res­i­dency at the Johns Hop­kins Hospi­tal.

He stud­ied di­a­betes and kid­ney dis­eases un­der Dr. Harriet Guild, founder of what be­came the Kid­ney Foun­da­tion of Mary­land.

Dr. Mune­ses es­tab­lished two med­i­cal of­fices — one at Lom­bard and Pop­ple­ton streets in South­west Bal­ti­more and the other at Ritchie High­way and Po­tee Street in Brook­lyn. He also saw pa­tients at the old Prov­i­dent and North Charles Gen­eral hos­pi­tals. He lived in Rosedale and later Glen Arm.

In 1966 he joined the staff of what was then South Bal­ti­more Gen­eral Hospi­tal, now MedS­tar Har­bor Hospi­tal. He re­mained on staff un­til 2017, when he re­tired.

“His prac­tice was in a poor sec­tion of Bal­ti­more and he wanted to take care of these peo­ple re­gard­less of their abil­ity to pay,” said his son. “He per­fected the art of mak­ing house calls and was still mak­ing them for some pa­tients un­til a few years ago.”

“My fa­ther worked long hours and would get home at 11 p.m. Then he’d say to me — when I was in bed — come and eat din­ner with me,” his son re­called.

Dr. Mune­ses kept week­day walk-in of­fice hours at his two med­i­cal of­fices. On the week­ends, he of­ten vis­ited pa­tients at lo­cal hos­pi­tals.

“I can re­mem­ber him say­ing to me, ‘Why don’t you come along?’ And I would have to sit for hours at North Charles Gen­eral as he made his rounds. Then maybe, for a treat, he’d take me to a pin­ball ar­cade,” his son said.

He also re­called how his fa­ther treated three dis­abled broth­ers who lived to­gether in South­west Bal­ti­more.

“On Christ­mas Eve, he drove to their home, some­how got them in our small car and drove them to our home to join in the fam­ily cel­e­bra­tion,” said his son. “The three broth­ers talked about the ex­pe­ri­ence all year.”

Dr. Mune­ses told his fam­ily that many of his pa­tients were look­ing for a sym­pa­thetic ear they could trust.

“He would take the time to lis­ten to their sto­ries,” his son said. “And years ago, even though he dis­ap­proved of smok­ing, he would even light up a cig­a­rette with a pa­tient who smoked — if he felt it would help that con­ver­sa­tion and get them to talk.”

“When­ever he was in the physi­cians’ lounge or cafe­te­ria, there would be a group of peo­ple around him,” said Dr. Larry Yap, direc­tor of neona­tal care at MedS­tar Har­bor Hospi­tal. “There was a con­ge­nial side to him. Peo­ple would open up with him. and I think it was be­cause he had such a good sense of hu­mor.”

Fam­ily mem­bers said that af­ter Dr. Mune­ses set­tled in Bal­ti­more, he fi­nan­cially as­sisted nu­mer­ous fam­ily mem­bers from his former home.

“My un­cle didn't wear a cape, but he was a su­per­hero,” said Ce­cilia Mune­ses, a niece who lives in Wilm­ing­ton, Del. “I am for­ever grate­ful that he spon­sored and helped my fam­ily, all six of us, come to Amer­ica. He in­vited us to live in his home for a long time so that we could have a bet­ter life. Never once did I feel un­wel­come.

“He taught me the im­por­tance of cu­rios­ity, hard work, and hav­ing fun,” she said. “He made me re­al­ize that true wealth is about laugh­ter and be­ing sur­rounded by the love of friends and fam­ily.”

Dr. Mune­ses was a mem­ber of Na­tiv­ity Ro­man Catholic Church in Ti­mo­nium.

A Mass for him was of­fered Oct. 6 at Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion Ro­man Catholic Church. A pri­vate me­mo­rial fam­ily gath­er­ing will be held Nov. 11.

In ad­di­tion to his son and ne­ice, sur­vivors in­clude his wife of 42 years, Ce­cilia Baker, who worked with her hus­band as an of­fice man­ager; three other sons, Dr. Todd I. Mune­ses of Monk­ton, Mark H. Mune­ses of Ti­mo­nium and Blair B. Mune­ses of Glen Arm; a daugh­ter, Tri­cia E. Mune­ses of Glenwood; two broth­ers, Epi­fanio Mune­ses of Bos­ton and Leopoldo Mune­ses of Bal­ti­more; a sis­ter, Cres­cen­ciana Galar­rita of Tow­son; and nine grand­chil­dren. A mar­riage to Carol Der ended in di­vorce. Dr. Sil­vino Mune­ses was a Filipino im­mi­grant who was pa­tri­arch of his large fam­ily.

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