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“I always remember Dr. Dapena as the very best teacher I ever had! She would give extra lectures and students would happily attend, each classmate...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: David Emanuel, M.D. - Framingham, MA

“I wish to extend my deepeset condolences to all my cousins and their families during this time of sorrow. It is heartbreaking to lose so special,...Read More »
2 of 10 | Posted by: Susan Brown Sonzogni - PA

“To all the members of Dr Dapena's family. I had the great honor of being trained by her at St Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia....Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Cyril D'Criz - Berkeley Heights, NJ

“Janet, Carlos, George, Molly, Please accept our sincere condolences to the passing of a extraordinary women. We know she will be missed. Our...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Roberta and Bob Chaves - Ashburn, VA

“TO ALL OF THE vALDES-DAPENA FAMILY MY SINCERECONDOLENCES ON THE LOSS OF YOUR AMAZING MOTHER & GRANDMOTHER I WAS VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE HAD AN...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: GINGER FLUEHR CAMPBELL - PA

“From Temple University website: October 3, 2012 Dear Colleagues, It saddens me to convey news about the recent passing of Dr. Marie Valdés...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: Janet

“This message is from a former student of Dr. Molly: I was a student of Dr. Dapena's during medical school. She was in charge of Pathology...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Janet - vienna, VA

“I will never forget how you helped me so much when I was diagnosed with a cancer 18 years ago. You made me feel so much more comfortable at such a...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: Laurie Cross - Wayne, PA - niece

“For taking time to help me and other Priests find Medical attention, when needed, she will be very close to our Blessed Mother in Heaven. She gave...Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Rev. Jospeh Carney - Miami, FL

“I was privileged to know Molly when living in Miami. We sang together in the church choir, met weekly as part of a fantastic prayer group and...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Terri Bohr - Inwood, WV - friend


Dr. Marie Valdes-Dapena, pathologist and medical professor, mother of 11 children and one of the most prominent researchers of the phenomenon known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, died on September 30 in Media, Pennsylvania at the age of 91.

She was known by many simply as Molly, Dr. Molly or Dr. Dapena.

Born Marie Agnes Brown in Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1921, Molly graduated from Immaculata College at 19 and entered Temple University School of Medicine as the youngest woman to have entered medical school in the United States at the time. It was in medical school that she met pathologist Dr. Antonio Valdes-Dapena of Havana, Cuba, whom she later married.

In her early career, Dr. Valdes-Dapena contracted Tuberculosis twice, yet she took her recovery in the TB ward as an opportunity to study disease, thus fueling her interest in pathology. Despite the assumption she would stay home with her babies, Dr. Valdes-Dapena went on to become a pioneer in Pediatric Pathology and a Medical Professor first at Temple University, then in 1976 at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Working at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia through Temple, and Jackson Memorial Hospital through University of Miami, she was a lifelong believer in Teaching Hospitals.

A prolific writer, Dr. Marie Valdes-Dapena traveled widely and was frequently quoted in media (Life, People and 60 Minutes among them.) She authored seven books on pediatric pathology and penned chapters in more than 20. She was the lead author of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's authoritative 1993 text on SIDS, and published over 70 scientific articles on Pediatric Pathology.

Dr. Valdes-Dapena received dozens of honors and awards including the Elizabeth Blackwell Women in Medicine Award; Eileen G. Hasselmeyer Award for Lifetime Commitment from the SIDS Alliance, The Ashe Lectureship and Medal from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and membership in the prestigious Iron Arrow Society at University of Miami. Dr. Dapena retired as Professor Emeritus from University of Miami at the age of 75, when she began studying the piano. Shortly afterward she moved back to Pennsylvania to be near her family.

She was a reader for the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic program (now known as Learning Ally) in Miami and in Bryn Mawr, Pa, President of the Parish Advisory Council, Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, Miami Springs, FL, and sang in the choir at the Nativity B.V.M. parish and the Media Chamber Chorale in Media, PA. She was a woman of both arts and sciences in every way.

She is survived by Victoria Pendragon, of Paw Paw, W. Va.; Cris, of Bermuda; Debi Malle, of Los Angeles; Andres, of Hanover, Pa;, Antonio, of Spotsylvania, Va; Carlos, of Vienna, Va.; Mark, of Toledo, Ohio;; Dan, of Media, Pa; Patricia Fater, of Cape Cod, Ma., Cate, of Coatesville, Pa and Peter of New York, NY as well as 21 grandchildren and, 5 great-grandchildren. Dr. Antonio passed away in 1993.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 20 at Nativity B.V.M. parish, 30 E. Franklin Street, Media PA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to her alma mater, Temple University School of Medicine. Please make memorial gifts payable to: Temple University School of Medicine, 3500 North Broad Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19140 and indicate "In Memory of Marie Valdes-Dapena, M.D. '44."

Or to the University of Miami. Checks should be made payable to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with "In memory of Dr. Marie A. Valdes-Dapena" noted on the memo line, and mailed to University of Miami, Advancement Division, P.O. Box 025388, Miami, Florida 33102. Gifts may be made online at www.miami.edu/makeagift. Please be sure to complete the "In Tribute"section of the online giving form.

Funeral Services
Interment Private