Dr. Seth S. Philbrook

Dr. Seth S. Philbrook, 97, of La Porte, passed away on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.


Seth was born on August 8, 1922, in Piqua, Ohio to Dr. Seth C. and Martha Christine (Simon) Philbrook. He graduated from Piqua High School in 1940.  Seth attended Miami of Ohio University for undergraduate and Ohio State University for Medical School.  He met the love of his life, Rose Hart, when he was a senior medical student and she was a senior nursing student.  They married August 19, 1949, in Canal Winchester, Ohio.


Seth proudly served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army during WWII.  He was a medic and medical laboratory technician.


After their marriage, Seth and Rose moved to Chicago, where Seth completed his internship at Northwestern University and Passavant Memorial Hospitals.  He served as head of the Department of Ophthalmology at Hines Veterans Hospital.


In 1953, they moved to La Porte, where Seth began serving La Porte county through his Ophthalmology practice.  He studied throughout his entire practicing years, as he attended the University of Illinois and University of Chicago classes to hone his skills in the latest developments in medical science, offering the most advanced care for his patients.  Seth served in his practice until his retirement in 1992.


In 1977, Seth and Rose were part of a partnership formed to purchase and remodel the former La Porte Sash and Door building at 1300 State Street, La Porte.  Seth was proud that medical professionals could be close to the La Porte Community Hospital that he and Rose, alongside the entire community, worked tirelessly to build.


Professional participation included Phi-Chi Medical Fraternity, La Porte Hospital Visionary Committee to build a community hospital, La Porte Hospital Board member, Life member of the La Porte Hospital Foundation, La Porte County Medical Association, Fairview Youth Treatment Center Board member, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, Board Certification in Ophthalmology, American Medical Association and Indiana State Medical Association.


Seth was very community-oriented.  He loved attending La Porte First United Methodist Church, where he served on various committees and taught Sunday School.  He was active in Kiwanis Club (since 1954), La Porte Area Lake Association, and the Jaycees.  Seth served on numerous community boards including, La Porte Community School Board for 16 years, La Porte City Parks Board, Salvation Army Board, and the La Porte County Library Board.  He also participated in YMCA Indian Guides, was an Honorary Lions Club Member (Eye Bank), and was Committee Chairman for Better Schools Committee for 6 years.


Seth had an insatiable appetite for learning.  He enjoyed museums, especially the La Porte County Historical Society Museum, affectionately known to Seth as the "Kesling La Porte County Museum", technology, and history.  He had great respect for the past but looked forward to the future. 


As a young man, Seth began journaling.  He began with pen and paper but transitioned to the computer upon his retirement.  He enjoyed exploring the world through a new avenue.  His journal was up to date until the day he passed, thanks to John.


Seth and Rose loved traveling, boating on Lake Michigan, and wintering in Jupiter, Florida, but most of all, spending time at the family cottage on Pine Lake. 


Surviving are his beloved children, Pamela (Robert) Shultz of Elkhart, Janice (Eric) Yandt of La Porte, David (Helen) Philbrook of Raleigh, NC, and John (Melissa) Philbrook of Crown Point; 10 grandchildren, Andrew Yandt of La Porte, Kathryn (Matthew) Dermody of Fort Collins, CO, Christopher Shultz of Elkhart, Megan (Jesse) Lester of Goshen, Jessica Philbrook of San Francisco, CA, Jennifer Philbrook of Charlotte, NC, Parker Philbrook of Crown Point, and Lara Rose, Lily Ana, and Michael Philbrook all of Raleigh, NC; 4 great-grandchildren, Luke and Jack Dermody and Morgan and Reagan Lester; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.


He was preceded by his parents; wife; and brother, Dr. Phillip Philbrook.


Cremation has taken place with Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, La Porte.


A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at a future date.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the La Porte First United Methodist Church, 1225 Michigan Avenue, La Porte, IN 46350 or the La Porte Area Lake Association, P.O. Box 324, La Porte, IN 46352.


The Philbrook family would like to thank the loving caregivers who provided outstanding care for their families.


Condolences may be shared with the family online at  

Weather Center

High School Scoreboard

Sports Scores