Charles Wisseman, 78, doctor, head of UM department

July 16, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Dr. Charles L. Wisseman, a noted specialist in infectious diseases who headed the microbiology department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine for 31 years, died Sunday at the University of Maryland Medical Center while convalescing from lung surgery in April. The Cockeysville resident was 78.

Dr. Wisseman headed the school's microbiology department from 1954 to 1985 and gained worldwide recognition for his basic and clinical research studies of typhus and other rickettsial diseases.

During his tenure at Maryland, Dr. Wisseman published more than 150 research papers, reviews and chapters in medical texts, most of which focused on rickettsial diseases.

A native of Guadalupe County, Texas, Dr. Wisseman received a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in 1941, a master's degree from Kansas State College in 1942 and in 1946 received his medical degree from the Southwestern Medical School at the University of Texas in Dallas.

Following clinical training in internal medicine at Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Boston, Dr. Wisseman was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps.

In 1948, he was assigned to the Army Medical Service Graduate School at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where he began his lifelong research of typhus fever and other rickettsial diseases.

He was discharged in 1954 and began his career at the University of Maryland medical school. He retired in 1985.

Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the Lemmon Funeral Home, 10 W. Padonia Road in Timonium.

In addition to his wife, the former Jane Abrahamson, whom he married in 1941, he is survived by two sons, Dr. Charles L. Wisseman III of Champaign-Urbana, Ill., and Robert Wisseman of Corvallis, Ore.; two daughters, Dr. Jan Christie of Hull, England, and Mary Donahue of Cockeysville; a sister, Lola Belle Johnson of Great Barrington, Maine; and six grandchildren.

Donations may be made in Dr. Wisseman's name to the University of Maryland Medical School Alumni Scholarship Fund, W. Lombard St., Baltimore.

Pub Date: 7/16/98

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