NEEDHAM, PhD, Dr. Larry LewisBorn December 10, 1945 in Cairo, IL, went to heaven October 23, 2010. He was preceded in death by his father, William Glen (Tony) Needham. He is survived by his beloved family, wife of 38 years, Doris Luker Needham, Dahlonega, GA; son, Lance Needham, M.D., Memphis, TN; mother, Erma Lee (Joe) Jones, Franklin, TN; sister, Sharon (Jack) Vaughn, Franklin, TN; grandson, Loghan Needham, Memphis, TN; nieces and nephews. He was the grandson of the late Lewis and Mary Jane Needham and the late Frank and Lena Dunning, all of southern Illinois. In 1957 he moved with his family from southern Illinois to Franklin, TN. A 1963 Franklin High graduate, he was voted class "Best All-Around". He also attended Columbia Military Academy where he played basketball. His name is still on record at Louisville's Freedom Hall as making the longest shot ever made in that prestigious arena. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN in 1968 and in 1972 earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Georgia, Athens, GA. He held postdoctoral fellowships at both Vanderbilt University and the University of Georgia. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves at Ft. Gordon, GA from August 1972 to November 1972. He received an Honorable Discharge as Captain, U.S.A.R. He was employed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA for over 34 years where he served as Chief, Organic Analytical Toxicology Branch. He devoted much of his time to the development of methods for assessing human exposure to a variety of environmental toxicants and was considered to be one of the preeminent human exposure assessment experts in the field. He traveled the world working with governments to eradicate disease and to benefit mankind. For his work and devotion to mankind, he was privileged to be the recipient of numerous individual and group awards, with the latest being the 2010 Constance L. Mehlman Award. This award is presented to the person who, in the prior year, most helped shape a National or State policy or that provided new approaches for reduction or prevention of exposures. Two of numerous other awards include his being the recipient of the Public Health Service-Superior Service Award for outstanding leadership and notable achievements in national and international efforts to assess human exposure to toxic substances and his being named the CDC Supervisor of the Year. He authored or co-authored over 350 peer reviewed publications and many published abstracts. Some of these papers have been landmark papers showing human exposure to environmental toxicants in the general population and determining appropriate matrices for biomonitoring at each life stage. He made in excess of 200 presentations at international, national, regional and local meetings both as a contributor and as an invited speaker and was a sought after advisor both domestically and internationally. He was a member of many domestic and international societies and was considered by his peers to be a brilliant scientist. He also served as the President of the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) and was elected ISES's first Distinguished Lecturer. He was the current Editor-in-Chief of Chemosphere: Persistent Organic Pollutants and served on the editorial boards of Environmental Health Perspectives and the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. He was an avid golfer, having achieved his first hole-in-one three weeks ago, tennis player, University of Georgia Bulldog fan and supporter and St. Louis Cardinal fan. He loved and was greatly loved by his family and by a multitude of friends. He will be missed, but will forever live in the hearts of his family. A life-long Methodist, he was a member of Dahlonega First United Methodist Church and the Tuesday morning Achasta Bible Study Group. A memorial service was held at Dahlonega First United Methodist Church on October 25 and a celebration of life dinner was held immediately thereafter at Achasta Golf and Community Clubhouse.
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Published in The Tennessean on Nov. 2, 2010