Dr. Edward DeLamater, researcher

November 28, 1994|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,Sun Staff Writer

Dr. Edward Doane DeLamater, a noted medical researcher and physician whose passions included music, poetry and gourmet cooking, died Thursday of leukemia at his home in Oxford. He was 82.

Dr. DeLamater was a conservatory student whose opera career was cut short in 1932 by an inner-ear infection. He enrolled at the Johns Hopkins University and started his medical career.

From 1979 to 1982, he worked as a staff physician at the Eastern Shore Hospital Center in Cambridge. But Dr. DeLamater was known primarily for his research work at various universities.

"He led three lifetimes in one," said Ana Van Ness, one of his daughters. "Dad was very diverse and self-taught in things like art and gourmet cooking. He was passionate about the things he did. He wrote in one of his favorite poems, 'time does not procrastinate.' "

Dr. DeLamater was born in Plainfield, N.J. He studied opera at the Conservatory of Art and Music at Oberlin College until he developed the inner-ear infection, then took up botany at Hopkins, where he earned a master of arts degree.

His interest in science led him to Columbia University where he simultaneously earned a doctorate in bacteriology and his medical degree.

During World War II, he served as an officer in charge of the Rheumatic Fever Control Program for the Army Air Corps. After the war, he was a fellow in dermatology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

He began his career as a research scientist in 1947 when he became assistant professor in bacteriology and mycology at the University of Minnesota.

He later moved to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he became a research professor of dermatology and microbiology. There, he directed the section on cytology and genetics at the College of Medicine.

He chaired the Department of Microbiology at the New York Medical College from 1963 to 1966 before moving to Florida Atlantic University where he served as Distinguished University Professor of Science.

Dr. DeLamater received honorary appointments from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American College of Physicians, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Royal Society of Medicine.

He also served on numerous boards of directors and medical advisory boards and held fellowships and memberships in a number of medical and research societies.

He published more than 140 scientific research articles, but his writing was not limited to scientific journals. He had more than 35 poems published.

His other artistic pursuits included drawing and wood-carving. He also was an avid sailor and hunter.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Oxford.

He is survived by his wife, the former Margaret Murray of Oxford; three daughters, Gretchen DeLamater Edgar of Drexel Hill, Pa., Margaret Murray Maynadier of St. Michaels, and Ms. Van Ness of Santa Fe, N.M; two sons, Peter Van Ness of Santa Rosa, Calif., and David DeLamater of Trappe; two stepsons, Horatio Whitridge Turner of Dahlgren, Va., and William Fitzhugh Turner of Stevensville; a step-daughter, Mary Lynne Turner of Alexandria, Va.; five grandchildren and five step-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Talbot Hospice Foundation in Easton, or to the Academy of the Arts, also in Easton.

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