COOPERSTOWN – In the morning hours of Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Lionel “Andrew” Rauscher, M.D., beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away after a long battle with illness at his home with family by his side. He was 79.
A native of England, he was born February 14, 1943, in London, son of the late Hana and Peter Rauscher. Educated in the United Kingdom, he was a Medical Doctor practicing in both England and the United States.
On April 3, 1971, he married Jocelyn Alice Rauscher in a private ceremony in East Sheen, Surrey, UK.
Andrew graduated from the prestigious Dulwich College and then received his M.D. from University College Hospital, London.
Andrew came to the United States to complete his Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiology Fellowship, where he also co-founded the first Paramedic program. He co-authored several studies published in medical journals and was a Fellow of the Faculty of Anesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons. Upon joining the staff of the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, a teaching institution affiliated with Columbia University, Dr. Rauscher acted as Chief of Anesthesiology for several decades, until accepting the position as Medical Director. Throughout his career, he helped mentor students and medical residents, and was a trusted colleague and friend to hundreds of professional medical staff that he interacted with during his long illustrious career.
Changing countries? Are you always afraid to do that? Or do you learn to take big moves in stride? Do you become starry-eyed over the next adventure?
Maybe. Stars sure danced in front of my eyes when a former partner lured me to move from New Zealand to London. One of the most exciting cities in the world and one where English was the native language. On top of that, all of my on-the-job training in New Zealand was in the British school of journalism. I was armed to take London by storm with tear sheets of my front-page leads at Wellington’s morning paper, The Dominion, and tapes of my best radio and TV news reports.
My plane ticket included 13,000 miles of getting on and off planes, changing airlines, picking stop-over destinations.
Just leaving Belfast to go to London was scary. Soldiers dressed in camouflage gear held machine guns and guarded barbed wire topped fences which ringed the airport.
I kissed my family through the fence. Security whisked my suitcase away and sealed my handbag in cling wrap until we landed in London.
After 10 days in Northern Ireland, I loved the security. I imagined my plane blown up in mid-air, hurtling to the Irish Sea.
But Northern Ireland — I was still with my family. London? Perhaps the biggest city in the world. I had to travel miles from the airport to central London. I had figured out a bus would be the cheapest public transportation — and found the right stop.
A couple of hours later, I was at Kings Cross-St Pancras – railway, bus and underground stations all in one place.
My $1 a day guidebook said my hostel was a short walk from Kings Cross. I realized that author hadn’t been lugging a suitcase with all of his worldly possessions to get there.
Eventually I found the street number on a windowless door. I pushed the buzzer, climbed a windowless flight of stairs. Arrived at a dingy counter where a clerk scrutinized my passport, wrote down details, demanded cash in advance.
Then he locked my passport in a safe. Told me I couldn’t have it till I checked out. By then I expected that he would murder me in my sleep, steal my traveler’s checks and cash them with my passport.