Dr. Mary Allen Engle, 86

Pediatric cardiologist observed first `blue baby' operation

January 31, 2008|By Jacques Kelly

Dr. Mary Allen Engle, a retired Johns Hopkins-trained pediatric cardiologist who practiced in New York City for many years, died of breast cancer Sunday at her Easton home. She was 86 and had resided in Talbot County since the 1970s.

Born Mary Allen English in Madill, Okla., she graduated first in her class at Baylor University with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology. She also graduated first in her class at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1945, when she married a classmate, Dr. Ralph Landis Engle Jr. He died in 2000.

She also was mentored and worked closely with Dr. Helen Taussig in pediatrics. During the first "blue baby" operation, she stood beside Dr. Taussig and saw the baby's color improve, her family said.

Dr. Engle then moved to New York and joined the staff of the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, where she initiated and directed a program in pediatric cardiology.

Dr. Engle wrote numerous scientific papers, textbook chapters and editied medical books. She served on editorial boards of cardiologic journals and professional committees.

After retiring in the 1970s, she moved to Easton and lived there much of the year.

In 2003, the Hopkins University Alumni Association awarded her its Distinguished Alumna Award. In 1976 she was the first female recipient of the Helen B. Taussig Award, which is presented by the Maryland Chapter of the American Heart Association.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 100 Peachblossom Road, Easton.

Survivors include a daughter, Marilyn Elizabeth Engle of Alexandria, Va.; and two grandchildren. A son, Ralph Landis Engle III, died in 1975.

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