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Thursday, October 23, 2014


JOLLIE, Dr. William, joined his beloved wife, Ludmila, May 6, 2013. Born June 26, 1928, Bill Jollie and his older brother lost their parents in 1934. Raised by a maiden aunt who taught at Swarthmore College, Bill also demonstrated strong academic achievement. He attended Lehigh University on scholarship, earning a B.S. in chemistry in 1947. As a postdoc fellow, he met a beautiful refugee from eastern Europe. Ludmila, who was using her M.S. from Heidelberg in a lab assistant's role. The orphan and the penniless Bulgarian married in 1950. Drafted during the Korean War, Bill's science background earned a position in classified biological and chemical research at the Dugway proving grounds. The experience cemented a love of the outdoors with a love of research. In the 1950s, Bill became the first to mate kangaroo rats, today a common research mammal, in laboratory conditions. Bill graduated from the Harvard Medical school with a M.D. in 1958. His love for laboratory science produced a teaching and research career. He occupied positions in the Anatomy Departments at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and Tulane University in New Orleans, before becoming Chairman of the Department of Anatomy at the Medical College of Virginia in 1969. He remained at MCV, building the largest research anatomy department in the United States, until his retirement in 1995. A pioneer in electron microscopy, Bill helped invent many of the tissue staining and microtoming techniques that allowed unparalleled visualization of intracellular structure. He maintained a lifelong fascination with the semipermeable nature of the placenta and uterus, co-authoring in 1989 with good friend and fellow opera fanatic Ralph Wynn, M.D., the definitive text on the subject, The Biology of the Uterus. In the 1980s he aimed his work at HIV transmission across these membranes, creating basic research foundational in this area. Author of numerous of papers and monographs, he enjoyed teaching all aspects of anatomy, regularly rotating into the lecture hall for basic and dental anatomy courses, to the delight of freshmen medical students. Bill volunteered his administrative skill to his profession, serving as treasurer and then president of the American Association of Anatomists from 1988 to 1992. During this period, he was instrumental in broadening the spread of American research topics and techniques, leading scientific delegations to Kuwait, China, South America and the Soviet Union. His contributions to science were recognized with membership in the Cosmos Club, election as a fellow to the American Association of Anatomists and other honors. After retirement, he continued to serve on the curriculum development board for academic medical centers and as a consultant to medical schools in Grenada, Mexico, Kuwait and Germany, traveling extensively with his multilingual wife and lifelong love, Ludmila. Bill saw the hand of the Creator in science, and maintained an active role at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans and St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Richmond, serving shut- ins and the severely ill. A polymath, Bill illustrated his own monographs and lectures with freehand drawing. He loved art, music and literature, playing the piano and (Continued...)

This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
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Published online on 5/10/2013 courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.