Rene A. Arcilla

August 15, 1925July 27, 2021

René Ascunsion Arcilla, age 95, of Audubon, PA, passed away in his home from natural causes on July 27, 2021. He was born on August 15, 1925 in Virac, Catanduanes, in the Philippines, and earned a doctorate in medicine from the University of Santo Tomas. There, he met his wife, Teresita Rivera, also a medical doctor, and they celebrated more than 60 years of marriage.

Dr. Arcilla’s inspiration and passion was pediatric cardiology. After he and his wife moved to Chicago, IL in 1955, he completed his residency at Cook County Hospital. In 1964, he assumed a visiting research position at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. He returned to Chicago in 1965 and joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital. In 1987, he resigned from UC in order to help create the Heart Institute for Children which is affiliated with Christ Hospital and the University of Illinois at Chicago; he served as its founding director. The Institute remains to this day dedicated to pediatric cardiology clinical excellence, research, and education.

Dr. Arcilla retired from medicine in 2005 and relocated with his wife to Audubon, PA. His retirement years were enjoyed in the company of his children and grandchildren. He was dedicated to daily exercise, first jogging then walking to keep himself fit. Throughout these years, he remained interested in new technological advances and the ways they continue to reshape the practice of medicine. René Ascunsion Arcilla leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife, Teresita; four children: René V. (Patricia Dahl) of New York City, Danilo of Chicago, Moyra Thilenius of Los Angeles, Corinne Mansfield (Kevin) of Essen, Germany; four grandsons: Matthew Thilenius, Jared Thilenius, Colin Mansfield, and Jackson Mansfield; and his sister, Sarah Arcilla, of the Philippines.

René will be remembered for his lifelong curiosity, humility, and kindness.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Rene A. Arcilla

have a memory or condolence to add?

stuart berger

July 29, 2021

I am so sad to hear this news. I loved Rene. Dr. Arcilla was a great man. I can say without question that not only was a Rene a pioneer, but he was emblematic of great things and a great, great mentor. A great teacher, a great clinician, a great thinker, an innovator, a leader, an inspiration and in addition one of the most humble people I have ever met. And his love for his family was also so very special, so inspirational and so legendary.

There is no question that Dr. Arcilla will be greatly missed. He influenced our field in so many ways and shaped the lives and careers of so many of us because of that great inspiration and mentorship that he showed every single day of his life. I owe my career and career pathway to his incredible mentorship and leadership.

Rene, may you Rest In Peace. Thank for all that you have done. Your life and your memory is and will always be a blessing to all of us! We love you and we send all of our love to your family.