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HUGH CHAPLIN M.D. Jr.


1923 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
HUGH CHAPLIN M.D. Jr. Obituary
CHAPLIN, Hugh Jr., M.D. Of Westwood Mass., formerly of St. Louis, Missouri, died peacefully at his home on April 29th, 2016 at the age of 93. Hugh was born in New York City on February 4, 1923 to Hugh Chaplin, Sr., M.D., and Virginia Deems Chaplin, and was preceded in death by his two sisters, Barbara Stewart (of Wyckoff, New Jersey) and Virginia Atkinson (of Toledo, Ohio). He was graduated from The Hill School (Pottstown, Pennsylvania), Princeton University (A.B., 1943), and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (M.D., 1947). While in college and medical school, he served in the U.S. Navy during the final months of WWII. He performed his internal medicine residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, serving as chief resident in his final year. He entered an academic career through a research fellowship in the US Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health and pursued additional research training at the Medical Research Council Blood Transfusion Research Unit in London. He joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in 1955 and served several leadership roles including Associate Dean, Director of the Irene Walter Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, and later Director of the Barnes Hospital Blood Bank. A hematologist, research scientist, and professor of medicine, Hugh authored over 140 scientific articles and was recognized internationally for his work on sickle cell anemia, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, transfusion reactions, and blood banking. He served on the national board of the American Association of Blood Banking and was honored by the Association's Emily Cooley Memorial Award and Lectureship. In 2003, in honor of his longest-living sickle cell patient and research colleague, Hugh self-published the memoir, "Lenabell: A Doctor's Memoir of a Remarkable Woman's Eighty Year Battle with Sickle Cell Disease." In his retirement, Hugh worked extensively for BJC Hospice in St. Louis, both as a volunteer visitor with the dying and as the organization's pain management consultant. Hugh travelled extensively throughout his life, including three sabbaticals in England. His day visiting Mother Teresa in Calcutta in the early 1970s remained one of his most profound life experiences. Despite travelling throughout the world, however, his favorite spot was the longtime family home in the Catskill Mountains. Every evening at dusk, he could almost always be found enjoying the changing light and view of the mountains from what he called his "psychotherapy spot" on the upstairs back porch. An avid fly-fisherman, Hugh spent many happy times casting for trout in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. His trout pancakes with caper cream sauce were an epicurean experience. Despite declining health in his latter years, Hugh remained deeply appreciative of his many blessings—a loving family, dear friends—old and new—a strong faith, and the ability to enjoy some of life's simple pleasures: art, the beauty of nature, and the joys of a classic glazed donut. He will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege to know him. Hugh is survived by his four children and their spouses (Kate and Roger Woodward, of Surrey, England; David and Jane Chaplin of Birmingham, Alabama; Monique Chaplin and Mary McCartney of Arlington, Massachusetts; and John Chaplin and Jill Adams of Delmar, New York) eight grandchildren and their spouses (Adrian and Leanna Gonzalez of Charlestown, Massachusetts; Sebastian and Josie Gonzalez of Canton, Massachusetts; Vernon and Cathy Chaplin, of Pasadena, California; Rosalind Chaplin of San Diego, California; Daniel Chaplin of Birmingham, Alabama; and Benjamin, Wesley, and Clara Chaplin of Delmar, New York) and three great-grandchildren (Daniel Gonzalez, June Chaplin, and Madison Gonzalez), whose arrivals brought a most special joy to his final years. Hugh was preceded in death by two beloved spouses, Alice Dougherty Chaplin (mother of his four children, who died in 1996 after 52 years of marriage) and Lee Nelken Robins, PhD (with whom he enjoyed 11 years of marriage before her death in 2009). A memorial service and burial at All Souls Church, Onteora Park, Tannersville, NY, will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to the National Down Syndrome Congress would be a most appreciated tribute.
Published in The Boston Globe on May 8, 2016
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