Dr. Sonja Eva Singletary, M.D.
Dr. Sonja Eva Singletary, M.D., age 62, passed away on Wednesday, the 29th of July 2015 in Houston, Texas. She was born on a small family farm near Florence, South Carolina. After completing an accelerated undergraduate program at Clemson University and receiving her medical degree at the Medical University of South Carolina, Dr. Singletary finished her surgical residency at the University of Florida, including research in Tumor Immunology. She dedicated her entire surgical career to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center with the firm belief that the Anderson was a "big happy family with the focus always on the patient." She was asked to join the M.D. Anderson staff upon completion in 1985 of a two-year fellowship; in 1987 she was named Chief of the Melanoma Section and in 1990 she became Chief of Breast Surgery.
Dr. Singletary became one of the premier breast surgeons in Texas and the United States. Her expertise in the clinical care of women affected by breast cancer was recognized in 1992 when she was named to a 17 member Special Commission on Breast Cancer by the President's Cancer Panel to assess the status of breast cancer research, detection, treatment and prevention throughout the United States. She also served on the Intervention Task Force of the Texas Cancer Council.
Dr. Singletary worked closely with basic and clinical researchers to identify genetic factors associated with development of breast cancer, to design more effective combination therapies and to implement prevention strategies. Her grasp of the complete breast cancer picture placed her in frequent demand as a teacher and speaker. Dr. Singletary authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, books, and patient educational CDs. Her concern and dedication provided the knowledge that now empowers women to make informed decisions and choices that affect their quality of life.
Dr. Singletary was the daughter of the late Josiah B. Singletary and Agnes Kull Singletary. She is survived by her beloved son, Benjamin Harkrider; her brother, Dr. Frank Singletary and his wife Gayle and their three children, Jennifer, Christopher and Brittany; her sister, Anna Marie Schuster and her two children, Douglas and Deanna; her sister, Dr. Loretta Singletary and her husband William Chounet and their five children, Joseph, Robert, Cassandra, Noel, and Jean Pierre.
The memorial service will be conducted at four o'clock in the afternoon on Sunday, the 2nd of August, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston, where The Rev. Bill Cole, Associate Pastor of Worship & Praise at Sagemont Church, is to officiate. The family will gather for a private interment at Memorial Oaks Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of usual remembrances, memorials in Dr. Singletary's name, may be directed to a breast cancer research and education foundation of your choice.
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Published by Houston Chronicle from Aug. 1 to Aug. 2, 2015.