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David Geffen School of Medicine

In Memoriam

Mary Ellen O’Connor Davis  
Photo: Reed Hutchison  

Mary Ellen O’Connor Davis, the first female editor-in-chief of UCLA’s The Daily Bruin newspaper and a founding member of The UCLA Foundation, passed away June 23, 2013. She was 90 years old. Known as “M.E.,” Mrs. Davis spent her early childhood in Indianapolis, Indiana, before moving to Glendale, California, in 1936 to live with her aunt. When Mrs. Davis applied to UCLA, she tested with the highest verbal score and second-highest math score among applicants. She graduated from UCLA in 1954 with a degree in political science and then attended the UCLA School of Law. Ultimately, she opted to pursue journalism, becoming the first female editor of the Tacoma Star in Tacoma, Washington. Mrs. Davis was a steadfast, generous supporter of UCLA, particularly the Division of Digestive Diseases and the Department of Neurology. She also was a dedicated donor to the Fulfillment Fund, an organization founded by Dr. Gary Gitnick, cochief of the Division of Digestive Diseases. Through the Edwin W. and Catherine M. Davis Foundation, named after the parents of her husband, Fred, Mrs. Davis devoted herself to providing financial support and opportunity to talented but financially disadvantaged children. In addition to her husband, she adored her seven children, 12 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Samuel Rexford Kennamer, MD, widely known as a physician to the stars, including Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, passed away September 28, 2013, in Alabama. He was 93 years old. Dr. Kennamer had lived with his nephew in Montgomery, Alabama, for the last five years after suffering a stroke. The Alabama native received degrees from the University of Alabama and Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, an honorary medical society. Following successful completions of his internship, residency and fellowship, Dr. Kennamer was certified in internal medicine and entered private practice in Beverly Hills, California, where he worked from 1954 to 2008. He was the personal physician for many of the most-successful people in entertainment, business and government. In 1982, in recognition of Dr. Kennamer as a role model for young physicians, Albert B. Parvin, through the Albert B. Parvin Foundation, established the Kennamer Fellowship Program in General Internal Medicine at the then-UCLA School of Medicine. The program provides avaluable opportunity for advanced training in internal medicine for those already board-certified or board-eligible in that specialty. Dr. Kennamer is survived by five nieces and five nephews.


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