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Dr. G. M. JEFFERY


1919 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
JEFFERY, Dr. G. M. Dr. Geoffrey Marron Jeffery, 97, retired pioneer in tropical medicine and malaria control, died peacefully at home on December 30, 2016. He was born on May 13, 1919 in Dundee, NY, the youngest of three children of parents Joseph Ewart Jeffery and Augusta Knapp Jeffery. He graduated from Hobart College, and then received a Masters in Zoology from Syracuse University. He received his Doctor of Science from Johns Hopkins, and his Masters in Public Health from Yale. He began his distinguished career in public health with the Malaria Control in War Areas in 1944. Following World War II, he remained with this agency when it became the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) in 1946. He joined the Public Health Service as a commissioned officer in 1948, serving as senior scientist for malaria research in Milledgeville, GA, Columbia, SC, and then the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. He also had many foreign assignments, including five years in El Salvador, where he established a malaria research station and clinic. He retired from the CDC in 1984 as director of the lab for parasitic diseases in Chamblee. He continued as an active advisor to the World Health Organization from 1984 to 1994, consulting in malaria control programs in China, Malaysia, Africa, Mexico, Thailand, and Australia. He served as president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine which presented him with the Ashford Medal. He played leadership roles in the American Society of Parasitologists and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in London. He even discovered a strain of malaria which bears his name, plasmodium jefferyi. He authored over 125 publications on malaria and other parasitic diseases. He was also a long-time member of Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur. He enjoyed ocean cruises, feeding wild birds, and listening to Big Band music while sipping his martini on the rocks. He married the former Constance Jane Wicker on August 16, 1941. She was his loving wife and faithful companion for 65 years until her death in 2006. He is survived by their four children and their spouses, Janet & Bob Harrison (Watkinsville), Tom & Linda Jean Jeffery (Young Harris), Sally & Ken Houghton (Decatur), and Beth & Dennis Tosh (Oxford, MS). He also is survived by eight grandchildren: Debbie Harrison Gettinger, Cathy Harrison Graves, David Jeffery Houghton, Laura Houghton Coleman, John Andrew Houghton, Sarah Houghton Geer, Christine Tosh Rayburn, and Dennis Stone Tosh III. He was predeceased by grandson Thomas Jeffery Tosh. Known and loved as "G'Daddy," he now has seventeen great grandchildren: Blake, Lauren, and Brandon Gettinger; Mitchell and Amelia Graves; Thomas and William Coleman; Henry and Hamilton Houghton; Celie and Thomas Rayburn; Stone, Ella, and Claire Tosh; Caroline and Liam Houghton; and Blocker Geer. A graveside service will be held at Floral Hills Memory Garden in Tucker at 1:00 PM on Monday, Jan. 2 with Rev. Susan Allen Grady officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Childrens' Healthcare of Atlanta. A.S. Turner and Sons Funeral Home and Crematory.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jan. 1, 2017
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