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James Arthur Warth, M.D.

December 29, 2019

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James Arthur Warth M.D., 77, passed away peacefully at his home in Newton on Sunday, December 29, 2019 following a brief illness. Maria, his wife of 50 years, was by his side.

Dr. Warth was born on April 30, 1942 in New York City, the only child of the late Peter Warth and Anne (Furgang) Warth. He was raised in Forest Hills, Queens, where he graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1959.  He attended Tufts University for both his undergraduate and graduate studies, earning his B.S. in 1963 and his medical degree in 1967. He undertook his residency at Albany Medical Center, where he met fellow medical resident Maria Russell. The two were married in 1969.

He served stateside in the United States Army, alongside his wife, at Walter Reed Medical Center during the Vietnam War. Following their military service, the Warths’ medical careers took them to Boston and then to Detroit, where their sons David and Andrew were born. The family returned to Boston in the 1980s, where they settled in Brookline.

Dr. Warth worked as a hematologist-oncologist in the Boston area for over thirty years. He served on the academic staff at Tufts and Harvard and worked for many years in private practice in Jamaica Plain. He was a lead researcher in the 1980s on the team that first identified the sequestrocyte, a type of red blood cell present in patients with sickle cell anemia. He took great pride in his relationships with his colleagues and patients, and his passion for his work sustained his distinguished medical career well into his 70s.

His interests spanned museums, fine dining and popular culture. Dr. Warth loved a wide variety of music, ranging from classical to indie rock. He enjoyed going to the movies and made a habit of seeing a new release every week. He was a keen fan of comedy, and watched Saturday Night Live every week from the beginning of its run until the end of his life. He also nurtured a lifelong love of travel, which took him and Maria to destinations spanning six continents.

Dr. Warth is survived by his wife, Maria Russell Warth, his son David Warth and daughter-in-law Kelly Buttermore of New York City, and his son Andrew Warth, daughter-in-law Emily Warth, and grandchildren Ethan and Zoe Warth of Nashville. In addition to his family, he treasured his close relationships with many lifelong friends.

The family will hold a private memorial at a later date. They ask that donations in Dr. Warth’s memory be directed to The National Parks Foundation (


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A memorial service will be held at a later date

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