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Stanbury, John B. On July 6, 2015, died peacefully in his sleep seven weeks after his 100th birthday in Westwood MA. He was born in Clinton NC, went to college at Duke and medical school at Harvard. He married Jean Cook right after the war, raised a family of 5 in Chestnut Hill, MA, and commenced his career in medical practice and endocrine research in the thyroid lab at the Mass General Hospital. Dr. Stanbury's work in the laboratory and his clinical studies in countries where goiter, a thyroid condition, was widespread, ultimately demonstrated the link between reduced dietary iodine and intellectual disability and neurological deficits. Recognizing the need for governmental intervention to solve this devastating problem, he went on to become a world advocate for the addition of iodine to salt in countries with inadequate dietary iodine. His research in international public health was also inspired by a love for travel and adventure, which he documented in a memoir, The Iodine Trail. His children well remember his return from a research trip up the Orinoco River in Venezuela, almost unrecognizable from insect bites and carrying a bow and 5' long curare-tipped arrows. His important scientific publications included The Metabolic Basis of Inherited Disease, used by generations of medical students, as well as hundreds of technical papers. He was a mentor to many scientists who went on to distinguished careers in the study of thyroid disorders. His awards included the Prince Mahidol Award from the royal family of Thailand and the Farney Medal of the Franklin Institute, and he received honorary degrees from Leiden University and the University of Pisa. Above all, he loved a family gathering, especially on Isle au Haut, Maine. He was an avid tennis player, beekeeper, and gardener. He is survived by Jean, his beloved wife of 70 years, four children (John Jr, Martha, Sarah Stanbury Smith, and David), seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, and was pre-deceased by his youngest daughter, Pamela. Funeral from the Holden-Dunn-Lawler Funeral Home, 55 High Rock Street, WESTWOOD. A memorial service will be held in September.
Published in The Boston Globe on July 12, 2015
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