Lillis Altshuller

Obituary of Lillis Martha Altshuller

Dr. Lillis Altshuller passed peacefully with her son and daughter at her side November 5th.  She was 91 years old and a long time resident of The Forest at Duke (Durham, NC), previously of Chapel Hill. 


Lillis was born near her grandparents’ dairy farm in western Wisconsin and was raised by her parents George and Bessie Taylor Flatman in Ohio.  Her undergraduate degree was earned in Chemistry and Zoology at the University of Cincinnati (1950); then she continued her study in Medicine at Western Reserve University in Cleveland (1957); continuing to board certification in pediatrics in 1959.  After completing her studies, she practiced in Cincinnati, Ohio for a decade among the under-served including children at the juvenile court, and orphanages. 


In 1969, Aubrey accepted an opportunity to lead the air pollution research effort for the EPA located in the RTP, NC.  Aubrey, Lillis and their three children George, Beth, and Sandy moved to Chapel Hill.  After a short time with Duke University, Lillis joined the Lincoln Community Health Center (Durham, NC).  She retired as the Director of Pediatrics in 1994 after two decades of service to patients and staff. 


In early retirement, Lillis gave tours at the NC Botanical Garden with particular emphasis on carnivorous plants, continued to swim and enjoy horses.  Of late she read the paper and assembled puzzles.  During her time at Lincoln Community Health, Lillis cared for the children of several of The Forest of Duke skilled nursing care staff and these women more than reciprocated this care as Lillis became needy with age.  


Lillis is survived by her brother, George Flatman; her son, George Altshuller; her daughter-in-law, Miao-Fang Lin; her daughter, Sandra Hughes; her son-in-law, Scott Hughes, and six grandchildren (Alexis Altshuller, Anna Altshuller, Alexandra Hughes, Fayge Hughes, Nicole Kurtz, and Jonathan Millard).  Lillis was preceded by her husband of 63 years, Dr. Aubrey Paul Altshuller, and her daughter, Beth Kurtz.


Your memories are welcome here.  Lillis’ passing will be marked by a thank you celebration for staff that cared for her in her memory support neighborhood at The Forest at Duke near Valentine’s Day 2020.  Friends, co-workers, and others are welcome to attend the thank you celebration too...send your contact information to   Details will be forwarded as they become available.


In lieu of flowers consider a donation to the non-profit Lincoln Community Health Center  Lincoln Community Health Center is listed in the donation section here at

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