Dr. Louise Schnaufer, 86, a pioneering pediatric surgeon in Baltimore and Philadelphia, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Friday, Oct. 14, at her home in Cathedral Village, the retirement community in Roxborough where she had lived since 2003.

Dr. Schnaufer was the chief surgical assistant in the 1970s to Dr. C. Everett Koop, chief of surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, when they separated a series of conjoined infant twins, Inquirer articles at the time reported.

To honor her, Children's Hospital in 1995 established its two-year Louise Schnaufer Endowed Fellowship in Pediatric Surgery.

Born in Towson, Md., Dr. Schnaufer lived above the general store that her father's father had opened in the late 1800s.

A cousin, J. Rollin Otto Jr., said in a phone interview that after Dr. Schnaufer's parents died in 1937, the year she turned 12, she was raised by his parents.

After graduating from Towson High School in 1942, she earned a bachelor's degree in zoology in 1947 from Wellesley College.

Otto said that after Dr. Schnaufer graduated from the former Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1951, she became the first female chief surgical resident at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore in 1955.

She returned to Philadelphia for advanced pediatric surgical training at Children's Hospital.

The National Library of Medicine website states that in Baltimore, Dr. Schnaufer "joined Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1960 and in 1963 she helped establish the first pediatric surgical unit at the hospital. She was also part of the pediatric staff at Union Memorial Hospital and Greater Baltimore Medical Center."

In 1971, she returned to Children's, where she worked until retiring in 2002.

The National Library website states that in 1992, "the University of Pennsylvania honored her with the residents' faculty teaching award, and that same year her alma mater, Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, presented her with its alumnae achievement award." In 1999, according to the website, the American Academy of Pediatrics gave her its Arnold M. Salzberg Award, which recognizes outstanding mentorship of pediatric surgical trainees.

Dr. Schnaufer is survived by several other cousins, Otto said.

A memorial service was set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Hunt's Memorial United Methodist Church, West Joppa and Old Court Roads, Riderwood, Md.

Donations may be sent to the Dr. Louise Schnaufer Endowed Fund, Lockbox 1352, Box 8500, Philadelphia 19178-1352.