Past RI President Carlos Canseco dies
Carlos Canseco served as RI president from 1984-85. Rotary Images
Carlos Canseco, who served as RI president in 1984-85, died 14 January in Monterrey, Mexico. He was 87.
A former physician specializing in allergy research, Canseco launched PolioPlus, Rotary's ambitious program aimed at eradicating polio, during his term as RI president.
Canseco joined the Rotary Club of Monterrey, Nuevo León, in 1950. In addition to RI president, he served as Rotary Foundation trustee chair and vice chair, RI vice president and director, International PolioPlus Committee adviser and member, district governor, and district PolioPlus subcommittee chair.
"The Rotary world is saddened by President Canseco's death," says RI Director José Alfredo Sepúlveda. "His rich heritage of service to others through the paths of science and humanitarianism will continue to improve the lives of children throughout the world."
Canseco was a professor of medicine at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, where he established the institution's first course in allergology. He helped found the Mexico Society of Allergology in 1948.
In 2004, Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, awarded Canseco the Belisario Domínguez Medal of Honor, the highest award bestowed by the Mexican government. The honor has been presented every year since 1954 to Mexicans with distinguished lifetime careers who contribute to the welfare of the nation and humankind.
In 1982, as head of Coordinated Health Services in Nuevo León, Canseco assisted Albert Sabin, who discovered the oral polio vaccine, in developing an aerosol vaccine to prevent measles.
He was the director of the Regional Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Allergies at the University of Nuevo León Faculty of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. He also served as Nuevo León's minister of health.
In 2002, he was honored by the Pan American Health Organization as one of the Public Health Heroes of the Americas for his contributions and commitment to health care in the region. Canseco headed a collaborative study on chronic allergic diseases in Latin America for the organization.
He also served as director of urban transportation and council member for the City of Monterrey. He has received humanitarian awards from the governments of Brazil, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, and Turkey. He served as honorary consul of Honduras and the Philippines.
The RI theme during Canseco’s presidency, Discover a New World of Service, helped Rotarians explore new ways to serve and to expand opportunities for service in existing club and community programs. He worked diligently to encourage the formation of new Rotary clubs.
He is survived by his wife, María Aurora; sons José Ignacio, Carlos, Rodolfo, and Paulino; and daughters Martha, Lucía, Esperanza, María Aurora, and Teresa.
Funeral services were held 15 January in Monterrey. Condolences may be sent to the family at Pedro de Alvarado 101 Ote., Col. Mirasierra, 66240 San Pedro, Garza García, Nuevo León, Mexico.