Services set for UNMC's Dean Antonson, MD

by John Keenan, UNMC strategic communications | September 08, 2021

Image with caption: Dean Antonson, MD

Dean Antonson, MD

Services are set for today and tomorrow for Dean Antonson, MD, former UNMC faculty member and a pioneer in pediatric gastroenterology, who died on Sept. 3.

Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. at Heafey Hoffman Dworak and Cutler at 7805 Center St., followed by a vigil service at 7 p.m. The mass of Christian burial will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific St., in Omaha. 

Dr. Antonson was a UNMC alum and did his pediatric residency at UNMC. According to his obituary, he "played an integral role in many UNMC programs throughout his career, including serving as medical director for the Pediatric Liver and Small Intestine Transplant Program, medical director for the Eating Disorders Program and chairman of the Institutional Review Board (IRB)."

"Dean was on the forefront of establishing pediatric gastroenterology in the United States," said Laurel Salonen, transplant coordinator at Nebraska Medicine. "He was an integral part of the pediatric liver transplant program at Nebraska Medicine from its inception. He was loved by his patients and their parents. He had an infectious sense of humor and loved to laugh. He will be missed."

Alan Langnas, DO, professor in the UNMC Department of Surgery, first met Dr. Antonson when he arrived at UNMC in the 1980s. 

"Dean was a cornerstone of our pediatric transplant program," Dr. Langnas said. "He always had great insight into what was going on with patients, always provided good medical counsel, and he was instrumental in all the success we've had in pediatric liver and small bowel transplant in the past 30 years.

"Working with Jon Vanderhoof, MD, he was critical to the establishment and growth of the abdominal pediatric transplant program."

Ernest Prentice, PhD, professor emeritus in the UNMC Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, worked with Dr. Antonson on the Institutional Review Board.

"I was privileged to have Dean Antonson as a longtime colleague and good friend," Dr. Prentice said. "Dean was a competent, caring physician who always went the extra mile. I enjoyed many conversations with Dean on the subject of research ethics, clinical trials and other topics pertinent to the work of the IRB. I will miss him, as I am sure many others do."





Ed Waechter
September 12, 2021 at 10:46 PM

RIP. Let perpetual light shine upon you.

Dr. Sheritta Strong
September 08, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Dr. Antonson was significant in my early desire to become a pediatrician. He is one of my most memorable, positive influences at UNMC.

Tom O’Connor
September 08, 2021 at 3:04 PM

Dr. Antonson was an awesome dude. Never saw him in a bad mood. He always had a smile on his face and a friendly word. A great doctor to boot. What a loss!

Valentina Orduna
September 08, 2021 at 8:18 AM

Very sad to hear he has passed. He was a great physician and very caring. RIP Dr. Antonson.

Patty Davis
September 08, 2021 at 7:50 AM

This is very sad to hear. I met Dr. Antonson when I started working at UNMC over 28 years ago. He was a very nice physician who always said hello and chatted with me. His patients and their families loved him. The students and residents learned a lot from him. He was very skilled, intelligent and caring. Rest in peace.

Kari Simonsen, MD
September 07, 2021 at 1:57 PM

I had the pleasure of working together with him on one of my earliest academic publications, a patient case of a rare condition. He provided mentorship and support for me and one of our Pediatric ID fellows as writers; and also provided exceptional care and expertise in the management of this complicated young patient and their family.