Lowell Winship Lapham March 20, 1922 – February 8, 2006
Lowell Winship Lapham, M.D., passed away on the 8th of February 2006 in the Cleveland Clinic at the age of 83. Dr. Lapham was a professor of neuropathology at the University of Rochester from 1964 to 1992. He "retired" in 1992, but continued to be active academically as an Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine working on neuropathologic studies with the Republic of Seychelles and the Seychelles Child Development Study. Dr. Lapham had been residing at the Kendal retirement community in Oberlin, Ohio. His family -- wife Miriam, M.F.A. (Oberlin graduate, 1944); children Joan, Steven, Judy, and Jennifer; and four grandchildren -- had all visited recently. He was with family, comfortable, and listening to his favorite classical music when he died.
Dr. Lapham's professional career was long and brilliant. Born in New Hampton, Iowa, he grew up in Charles City, Iowa. He graduated from Oberlin College Phi Beta Kappa in 1943 and AOA from Harvard Medical School, cum laude, in 1948. He trained in clinical medicine (internal medicine and neurology) at Boston City Hospital under Dr. Derek Denny-Brown and Dr. Joe Foley, and at the Neurological Institute of New York under Dr. Houston Merritt. His fellowship in neuropathology was taken at Massachusetts General Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Raymond D. Adams. His first faculty appointment was at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1955. In 1964 he moved to the University of Rochester to serve as Head of Neuropathology. After retiring he traveled extensively, often with family members, to such destinations as China, Africa, Australia, Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. Dr. Lapham's retirement years at Kendal recapitulated his college years, both happily based in Oberlin.
Dr. Lapham was both a bona fide "bench scientist" and a world-class clinical neuropathologist. His contributions to the field of neuropathology were substantial, consisting of many original studies published in major journals as well as training several leaders in the field. For his local contributions to the University of Rochester and Strong Memorial Hospital, he was chosen to be the Henry C. and Bertha H. Buswell Distinguished Service Fellow in 1980-1981. In 1994, in recognition of his scholarly achievements, he received the Award for Meritorious Contributions to Neuropathology from the American Association of Neuropathologists, the premier neuropathologic organization, with an international membership. At the time of his retirement, Dr. Lapham was recognized for his significant contributions to the neurosciences and neuropathology program and to medical student and resident education at the University of Rochester Medical Center.