Dr. Edward Lee Washington, a longtime Columbia resident and pediatrician, died peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at Parker Funeral Service in Columbia.
Dr. Washington was born June 26, 1920, in Hannibal to Lee S. Washington and Opal Christian Washington. He grew up in Hannibal and graduated from Hannibal High School in 1937. While recovering from a complicated appendicitis, he attended Hannibal-LaGrange College. He transferred to Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He graduated with a B.S. degree in 1943.
On Dec. 24, 1943, he married Mary Ruth Lennox, also of Hannibal. He attended medical school as a U.S. Army cadet in an accelerated degree program, first at the University of Missouri then transferring to and graduating from Washington University School of Medicine in 1945. After his internship at St. Louis City Hospital, he spent two years on active duty as a medical officer with the U.S. Army at Fort Roots in Little Rock, Ark. He then returned to St. Louis City Hospital for a pediatric residency program.
During the family's stay in Little Rock, their first child, William Lee, was born in 1946. In 1950, the family moved to Columbia, where Dr. Washington joined Helen Yeager Thomas in pediatric practice. In 1951, their second child, Louis Edward, was born.
Dr. Washington remained in pediatric practice in Columbia along with his partner, Charles Schueber, M.D., until 1977. He was a long-term member of the Boone County Medical Society and served as its president during that time. In 1977, he moved to Fort Campbell, Ky., for one year, working as a pediatrician there. They returned to Columbia, where he assumed a position as a medical director for Missouri Crippled Children's Service from 1978 to 1983.
In 1983, Dr. Washington and his wife retired to Fairfield Bay, Ark., where they lived and enjoyed golf and many friends until 1993. While in Arkansas, he worked part-time for the University of Arkansas School of Medicine Outreach Clinics screening children for cardiac defects. He and his wife then moved to the Cincinnati area to join their son, Louis. In 2007, after developing Alzheimer's-type dementia, they relocated to Columbia, joining their other son, William. In the last year of life, he was a resident of The Bluffs.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ruth; his first son, William Lee and his wife, Frances Ann (Hoffman); his second son, Louis Edward and his wife, Barbara (Williams); a granddaughter, Katherine Elizabeth Flanner and her husband, Mark; and great-granddaughter Adela of Ann Arbor, Mich.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorials be made to Hospice Compassus of Columbia or the Mid-Missouri Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
The family wishes to thank the Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital, doctors Richard Burns and Paul Cravens, The Bluffs dementia unit staff, as well as the Hospice Compassus staff for their care and support