Mayo cytogenetics pioneer passes away

| March 2, 2010

While I never had the fortune of working with Dr. Dewald, his reputation preceded him.  There are countless stories about his dedication and devotion to clinical cytogenetics.  Full obituary in local Rochester, MN newspaper.

Mini-3bpypgyfewkwmp31201016334 Dr. Gordon Wayne Dewald, 66, pioneering clinical cytogeneticist, researcher, teacher, and devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother, died the evening of Friday, Feb. 26, 2010, after a long, courageous battle with acinar cell pancreatic cancer.

Gordon was known among his peers as a leader in clinical cytogenetics for patients with congenital disorders and patients with hematological malignancies. His experience in cytogenetic studies was among the most extensive in the world, and his clinical research set international standards for the care of patients.

Gordon was born July 22, 1943, in Jamestown, N.D., to Christian Dewald and Mary Graf Dewald. He grew up in Dawson and Jamestown, N.D. Gordon married Laurel Ann Havelick on Aug. 16, 1964, in Jamestown, where they met several years earlier at Jamestown High School. They were happily married for more than 45 years.

Gordon earned a Bachelor's Degree from Jamestown College in 1965. He then earned a Master's degree in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Dr. Dewald came to Mayo Clinic in 1972 as a fellow in clinical cytogenetics. In 1979, he became director of the cytogenetics laboratory and devoted the remainder of his career to clinical cytogenetics at Mayo Clinic. By the time he retired in 2007, this laboratory was recognized internationally as one of the finest and innovative in human cytogenetics.

Dr. Dewald was known as an avid teacher and dedicated mentor to generations of cytogenetic technologists, medical genetics fellows, pathology residents, and individuals from many other areas of medicine. Dr. Dewald participated in many significant international organizations and was a recipient of several important national awards for his contributions to cytogenetics.

Among friends, he was known for his energy, loyalty, and fun-loving nature. Gordon and his wife loved to travel and were especially interested in Italian Renaissance art and churches of the world. He was an avid tennis player throughout most of his life and learned to love golf in recent years.

Category: Pathology News

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