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January 22, 2001

Emory Passings

John Bostwick, director of plastic surgery in the medical school and chief of plastic surgery at the Emory Clinic and Emory Hospital, died unexpectedly at his home, Jan. 11. He was 57.

Bostwick, who was scheduled to be officially named the William G. Hamm Professor of Surgery later this month, was known internationally for his work in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. He was instrumental in the development and refinement of surgical techniques in which a woman’s breast is reconstructed using tissue from her own body.

“John was such a gentleman,” said Michael Johns, executive vice president for health affairs. “He was a great leader in American medicine, a man who held the highest offices in his field. He will be sorely missed by his family, his patients, his friends at Emory and across the world.”

Bostwick’s family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made either to the Bostwick United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 5741, Bostwick, Ga., 30623; or the Susie Agnes Hotel Fund in Bostwick (same ZIP code), P.O. Box 129. This historical hotel renovation was a favorite project of Bostwick and his family.

Mary Thacker Cohen, who retired last year from the faculty and administration at Oxford, died Jan. 11 at Rockdale (Co.) Hospital. She was 65.

Cohen, a native of Dothan, Ala., earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Emory and taught chemistry at Oxford from 1959 to 1985, when she joined the college’s administration. In 1999 she received the Fleming Award, presented to staff members in recognition of many years of service to Oxford.

Last fall, Cohen and her husband, Philip, were honored with the presentation of two seats in their names in Oxford’s new performing arts center, which broke ground last fall.

Dean Dana Greene called Cohen “a steady force in Oxford.” “Mary’s dedicated and love of Oxford and her support of students is a model for us all,” Greene said.

Jose Luis Torres, a 26-year-old construction worker at the Whitehead Memorial Research Building, fell to his death Jan. 10 while working on the building.

Torres, a native of Mexico who had been in the United States only three weeks before his death, was employed by a subcontractor of Whiting Turner construction company.

“I didn’t know Jose Luis Torres, in the same way I don’t know many of you—I regret that,” said medical Dean Tom Lawley in a memorial service for Torres held Jan. 16. “But in the short three weeks he had been in Atlanta, he had begun realizing some of his dreams: working hard, making friends, making a new life. His death is a great loss, a great tragedy, for him, his family and community, and for those of you who worked with him.”

The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has made arrangements to send Torres’ body back to small town in Mexico where he was raised. Contributions can be sent to the Jose Luis Torres Memorial Fund, c/o Charles Andrews, 4th Floor, WHSCAB.


Back to Emory Report Jan. 22, 2001