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Mary Ellen Avery M.D.

Mary Ellen Avery, MD

AGE: 84 • Wellesley, MA

Dr. Mary Ellen Avery, 84, died on Sunday, December 4, 2011. Born in Camden, NJ, Dr. Avery was raised in Moorestown, NJ and her last residence was in Wellesley, MA. Dr. Avery is a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, MA and Johns Hopkins University Medical School. She was a Physician, Researcher, Educator and the first woman to chair a major Department at Harvard University Medical School and the first woman to serve as physician-in-chief at the Children's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Avery is best known for her pioneering research efforts that led to the discovery of the main cause of respiratory distress syndrome in premature babies in 1959. In 1991 she was awarded the National Medal of Service by President Bush. Dr. Avery is the aunt of Sue Smith, William Smith and Jennifer Smith and the grand aunt of 7. She was predeceased by her sister Jane Avery Smith.

Services will be held in the First Presbyterian Church, 101 Bridgeboro Road, Moorestown on Friday, December 9 at 11AM. In lieu of flowers, donations to in Mary Ellen Avery's name may be made payable to Children's Hospital Trust, Attention: Mary Conway, 1 Autumn Street #731, Boston, MA 02215 for the Mary Ellen Avery Investigatorship Fund at Children's Hospital Boston.

Published in Courier-Post on Dec. 7, 2011
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