In Memoriam

Peter John Gomes (1942-2011)

Peter J. Gomes, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister of the Memorial Church at Harvard University, died late last month from complications of a stroke. He was 68 years old.

Reverend Gomes, who was ordained in the Baptist Church, had been on the Harvard faculty for more than 40 years. Henry Louis Gates Jr., Fletcher University Professor at Harvard, stated that, “No one epitomizes all that is good about Harvard more than Peter J. Gomes. He was one of the nation’s truly great preachers and one of Harvard’s truly great scholars.”

Gomes was born in Boston and attended public schools in Plymouth. He was a 1965 graduate of Bates College and held a graduate degree from Harvard Divinity School. He was the author of many books and the recipient of 39 honorary degrees.

Marva J. Morris (1935-2011)

Marva J. Morris, a physician and educator, died from cancer at her home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She was 75 years old.

Dr. Morris was a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee. She graduated from Hampton University and earned a master’s degree in secondary education from Tennessee State University. In the early 1960s there were very few black women physicians, but Morris overcame the long odds and earned a medical degree at Meharry Medical College in 1965. She began her career as a pediatrician in Detroit and specialized in asthma and immunology. She later moved to Las Vegas and opened a practice in immunology. She also served on the faculty of the University of Nevada medical school.

Laura Johnston Lee (1937-2011)

Laura J. Lee, a longtime professor of social work at the University of Pennsylvania and Fordham University, died last month at a hospital in Philadelphia. She was 73 years old.

Dr. Lee was a native of Grottoes, Virginia, and graduated from Virginia State University. She received a master of social work degree from Atlanta University and a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. She retired in 2010 after spending 55 years in the field of social work.