May 29, 2019

Retired Dr. Paul Kissner dies at age 78

Paul Kissner, M.D., a retired assistant professor of Internal Medicine for the Wayne State University School of Medicine, died May 12, 2019, after a year-long struggle with mantle cell lymphoma. He was 78.

Born in New York, Dr. Kissner graduated from the New York High School of Music and Art in 1958; the University of Michigan, where he played varsity tennis, in 1962; and the University of Michigan Medical School in 1966. He served as a physician in the U.S. Public Health Service, Peace Corps Division, Kingston, Jamaica, from 1967 to 1969. There he learned firsthand what leprosy, diphtheria and tropical disease look like.

After completing his nephrology fellowship at U-M in 1974, he practiced nephrology and taught at Wayne County General Hospital and U-M until 1986. He then joined the Wayne State University School of Medicine faculty, caring for patients and teaching students until his retirement in 2015.

Family said Dr. Kissner was a “central and driving force in the lives of the many he touched, with his remarkable warmth, kindness, generosity, compassion and quirky sense of humor.” He was passionate about caring for patients, teaching students and trainees, traveling the world, playing tennis, swimming, ice cream, U-M football and basketball, art and photography, and his beautiful home where he loved to be. He had a wonderful ability to become friends with anyone and maintain friendships.

He is survived by his wife, Dana Kissner, M.D., associate professor of associate professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care; and children, Sol (Tricia) and Sara.

A memorial service is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. June 7 at the Ira Kaufman Chapel at 18325 W. 9 Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48075.

The family suggests donations to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, the University of Michigan Musical Society or the Ann Arbor Art Center.