Amherst Magazine

John S. McDougal '67

Deceased April 6, 2014

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In Memory

John Steven McDougal, M.D., died in Atlanta on April 6, 2014, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Steve came to Amherst from Grand Rapids, Mich. He lived in Stearns as a freshman and then in Delta Upsilon for three years. He was quiet, funny, steady, respected and well-liked by everyone in the class. An excellent swimmer, he at one time held school records in several distance events. Well dressed and good looking, he was much envied for the MG convertible he brought to school our senior year. He was exceptionally bright and sailed through the various math, science and pre-med courses that laid waste to many in the class.

After Amherst he received an M.D. from Columbia University followed by a rheumatology fellowship at Cornell.

Steve then began his life’s work with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta in 1974. He spent most of his career dedicated to HIV/AIDS research at the CDC and contributed greatly to the understanding of HIV infection and diagnosis. His work on thermal inactivation of HIV in transfusion blood products effectively stopped the exploding HIV epidemic in persons with hemophilia, and thus had a significant impact on public health.

Outside the laboratory, Steve took a quiet yet active role in his community. He spent every Monday as a physician volunteer at a rheumatology clinic and volunteered many nights at Atlanta homeless shelters.

Steve was deeply in love with his wife, Linda, and understandably very proud of his three children, Peter, John and Maggie, all of whom survive him.

For the past 10 years, we have gone on an annual golf trip with Steve where, despite advancing Parkinson’s, he more than held his own, usually prevailing on the putting green. He never complained about the disease, just dealt with it. He was a remarkable person in all respects, and we will miss him.

Tom Alpren ’67
Jay Beech ’67
Bob Hemley ’67

 

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