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larry graydon ray sr

Mr. Fix It

Larry Graydon Ray Sr. 53Ox 55C 59M 67MR of Decatur, Ga. died on Oct. 28, 2013, of complications following a stroke. He was 79. During his younger years he attended Lake Wales High School in Florida where, despite being an Eagle Scout, he was legendary for his many misadventures, including accidently blowing up the chemistry lab and sailing a bicycle in a hurricane. He majored in chemistry at Emory and was a tenor in the Oxford Glee Club, a Sigma Chi, and a student curator at the Emory Museum. During the summers, he held jobs as a factory worker, ice cream sandwich vendor, and elevator operator. At Dooley's Den, he met English major Frances Walker 59C, and they married in 1958. After graduating from medical school, Ray served as a lieutenant flight surgeon for the US Navy before moving back to Decatur in 1964. He trained in radiology at Grady Hospital before joining a radiology practice at Georgia Baptist Hospital where he served as chair of the Radiology Department as well as president of the medical staff before retiring in 1997. His myriad hobbies included remote-control airplanes, fishing, science, travel, gardening, beekeeping, astronomy, water skiing, bird watching, and dark room photography. Known to many as "Mr. Fix It," Ray worked on everything from broken washing machines to injured cats. "Generosity and knowledge were power to him," said daughter Amy Ray 86C, half of the singing duo the Indigo Girls. Ray is survived by his wife, Frances; daughters Laura, Susan 87M 90MR, and Amy; son, Larry Jr. 93M 96MR; and grandchildren, Laurie, Simon, Nathan, and Alex.

asa yancey

Asa Yancey, Grady's first black doctor, dies

Asa Yancey Sr., Grady Memorial Hospital's first black doctor and the medical school's first black faculty member, died March 9, 2013. He was 96.

After his residency he was appointed chief of surgery at the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Hospital and later established the first accredited Type II general surgical training program there.

In 1958 he joined Emory and served as chief of surgery at the Hughes Spalding Pavilion at Grady from 1958 to 1972. He established the first accredited surgical graduate medical education program in Georgia for African American surgeons. He served as medical director of Grady from 1972 to 1989, and associate dean of the medical school. He also served as a member of the Atlanta school board for 10 years.

He retired in 1989 and was named professor emeritus of surgery; two years later Grady named its health center on Bankhead Highway after him.

Yancey was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn, to whom he was married for more than 60 years, and daughter Caren. He is survived by daughter Carolyn, a pediatric rheumatologist, and sons Asa Jr., a pediatric psychiatrist, and Arthur, an emergency medicine physician and surgeon at Grady.

ferrol sams

Together in life, work, and death

Ferrol Sams 49M, a longtime doctor who began writing fiction in his 50s to critical praise, died Jan. 29, 2013. He was 90. Less than a month later, on Feb. 23, his wife and colleague, Helen Fletcher Sams 50M, passed away. She was 89. She was fondly known as "Dr. Helen" to her patients who came into the Sams' medical clinic.

The couple met in medical school and were married in July 1948. During her senior year in 1949, Helen gave birth to their first child, Ferrol Sams III 75M. As Helen was in the second class in the school's history to include women, only then did the school establish a maternity leave policy for students.

The Sams ran a medical clinic together in Fayetteville, Ga., from 1951 until they both retired in 2006. Ferrol practiced medicine for four decades before he began writing novels. His first book, Run with the Horsemen, was published in 1982 and was based on his childhood growing up on a farm in rural Georgia. The New York Times said Sams' writing was "elegant, reflective, and amused. Mr. Sams is a storyteller sure of his audience, in no particular hurry, and gifted with perfect timing." Horsemen became the first book in a trilogy, followed by The Whisper of the River and When All the World was Young, in addition to other novels and short stories.

In addition to Ferrol III, the Sams are survived by sons, James 79M and Fletcher, daughter Ellen, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

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