Lawrence W. O’Neal, MD, died July 29, 2012 of congestive heart failure at age89. O’Neal was reared in St. Charles, MO. As a youth he was frequently an animal handler for his veterinarian father. He was a 1946 graduate of Washington University School of Medicine, obtaining his degree in three years in the wartime accelerated program. His post-graduate training in surgery was at Barnes Hospital, after which he remained on the staff at Barnes. He has contributed to medical literature as author, editor and reviewer. In addition to practicing surgery he engaged in clinical research, chiefly on endocrine subjects. He and Marvin Levin, MD, established and edited a volume on diabetic foot problems in 1973. This work has gone into seven editions and has been published in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. He received the Alumni Achievement Award from Washington University in 1991.
He was President of the St. Louis Medical Society in 1971, and later a Delegate to the American Medical Society. He was granted a Special Recognition Award from the medical society in 2001.
He was served as Chairman of the Department of Surgery at St. John’s Medical Center from 1980 to 1988. While there he worked to achieve Level I trauma designation for the medical center. This required creation of a response team consisting of surgeon, anesthesia, laboratory, radiology and others. He helped develop an integrated program for surgical training between the medical center and St. Louis University, and was named Professor of Clinical Surgery and Director of Surgical Education.
Following his retirement from surgery he was Medical Director of the Sisters of Mercy Health System. While there he was part of a team that created a database of discharges from SMHS hospitals which allowed comparisons of medical care between the then thirteen hospitals.
In retirement, he continued to write and published Vignettes of St. Louis Medicine which featured profiles of prominent events in mid-century 1900s. He also published accounts of events in the lives of two of his great-grandfathers. He pursued the hobby of photographing flower arrangements in thimbles. Most of these he gave to friends. He attended Lifelong Learning courses for many years, often presenting PowerPoint slides on a variety of topics.
The body was donated to the Department of Anatomy of Washington University.
He is survived by his daughters Patricia Davis (Al) Edwardsville, Il; Kathleen Harper, Wichita, KS; Janet O’Neal, Glendale, MO; Laura O’Neal, Danville, CA; eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. His wife, Marianne Kammerer, died in 2000.
Contributions may be made to the Mercy Health Foundation, 615 South New Ballas Road, 63141 or to Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine 660 S. Euclid, Campus Box 8109, St. Louis, MO 63110.
A memorial service will be held at Ladue Chapel, 9450 Clayton Road , 63124, at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 4. There will be no interment.