Margaret Billingham Guestbook

Margaret Billingham

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Reader Comments (12 comments accepted)

 the comments of Margo Gill-Linscott, July 22, 2009 09:36 PM

Sincere, brilliant, and genuine in all regards. My deepest regrets for her loss. Would that more could leave the world with the gentle touch and true gifts she gave.

 the comments of Kevin V. Lemley, M.D., Ph.D., Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, July 22, 2009 10:36 PM

I received help from Dr Billigham in electron microscopy, when I was a graduate student studying - of all things - the kidney in the 1980s. I cannot even remember the exact project on which she helped us, but I remember well her insight, supportiveness and a real grace she showed in helping others somewhat outside her own field. She was one of the most positive influences I had as a graduate student and a truely impressive individual.

 the comments of Ronald F Dorfman MBBch, FRCPath Professor of Pathology/Emeritus, Stanford University Medical Center, July 23, 2009 04:04 PM

When I came to Stanford in 1968 and took up my position as Codirector of Surgical Pathology with Richard L Kempson MD, Margaret was already a resident in the Department of Pathology. We soon established a fellowship in surgical pathology and she became one of our very first "fellows". I distinctly remember her occupying the so-called "hot seat", her desk always neat and tidy, often decorated with a vase of flowers! As the years went by it was clear that she had developed a special interest in cardiac pathology, and she was eventually to become a national and international authority on this field of pathology and especially on the effects of chemotherapy on the heart. In collaboration with the late Norman Shumway and his colleagues in Cardiovascular Surgery and Cardiac Transplantation she became the eminent authority on the microscopic features of cardiac rejection, based on her studies with Philip Caves of cardiac biopsies utilizing the bioptome. She will be sorely missed.

 the comments of Rupinder Sekhon, Cupertino, CA, July 26, 2009 12:12 PM

I was Dr. Billingham's son Graham's math instructor at Menlo School in mid 1970's. My wife and I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Margaret Billingham during that time. We were most impressed by her keen intellect, social grace, and gentle charm. Her death is, indeed, a great loss. We send our deepest condolences to the family.

Rupi Sekhon

 the comments of Dan Bernstein, Pediatric Cardiology, July 27, 2009 12:35 AM

Margaret was an incredible innovator, a pioneer, a wonderful teacher and a generous and caring physician when we began to develop the pediatric heart transplant program at Stanford. There are thousands of children alive and healthy and enjoying living normal lives today due to her contributions. She will be warmly remembered and very much missed.

 the comments of Trina Holshouser, July 28, 2009 08:34 PM

Margaret was my godmother and one of our family's longest friends. She was truly a remarkable woman. She was intelligent, compassionate and had a unique love of life and family. She will be sorely missed.

 the comments of Audrey Shafer, MD Professor, Anesthesia, Stanford, July 29, 2009 07:43 PM

I was saddened to hear the news of Dr. Billingham's passing. She was my faculty interviewer when I applied to Stanford medical school, and I shall always be grateful that she recommended my admission. Due to financial constraints, I interviewed in Boston when she was there to interview East coast applicants. Of all the interviewers I had for medical schools, she was the only one to take an interest in my undergraduate research. She was a wonderful advocate and role model for women in medicine. As a Stanford medical student and then faculty member, I thanked her for the positive interview and the pivotal role she had thus played in my life.

 the comments of David Korn, M.D., July 31, 2009 12:17 PM

As former Stanford University Vice President and Dean of Medicine, Chair of the Department of Pathology from 1968-84, and Professor of Pathology, emeritus, I had the great pleasure of first knowing Margaret when she was a resdient and fellow in Pathology, providing her with her first academic appointment, and consistently supporting her academic progression. She was truly a wonderful colleague who, in developing the field of cardiac transplantation pathology essentially ab initio, aptly personified the maxim that "opportunity favors the prepared mind." She was a first-class academic physician, a gracious and generous person, and a superb role model and mentor for countless women aspiring to careers in academic medicine. As a relatively early entrant into a profession still tarnished by sexism, Margaret bore many inappropriate slights with tenaciousness and dignity, and in her dignity further diminished those who slighted her. I am terribly sorry to learn of Margaret's death and extend my deepest sympathies to her husband, John, and their family.

 the comments of Daphne Johnson nee Cairns, August 10, 2009 02:25 AM

Margaret and I were at the Loreto Convent Lumbwa Kenya during the war years - she was very much liked by everyone in the School. Her old friends have been told the sad news and we all feel, even after so many years, that we have lost someone special. Our thoughts go out to John and her sons.

 the comments of John Billingham, August 11, 2009 11:42 AM

A personal highlight of Margaret's life was being at the Stanford all those years. She achieved much, as has been said by many. But she was always modest about her own accomplishments, and preferred to highlight those of her friends, including her professional colleagues.

I would like to send my appreciation to everyone at the Stanford School of Medicine who contributed to her obituary. I include, in particular, the faculty in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, and pathology.

Corresponding appreciation goes to the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, including Stephanie Pappas, for the beautifully written obituary itself.

Not least, I must acknowledge those of you who have written such special words in the Comment section of the Margaret Billingham Guestbook.

She is sorely missed.

She was dedicated to her family, and we to her. On our behalf, thanks to you all.

John Billingham

 the comments of Margaret Burke, Histopathologist, Harefield Hospital, London, UK, August 18, 2009 12:50 PM

I first met Margaret in 1988 at St George's Hospital, London when she visited Mike Davies (Cardiac Pathologist, now also deceased) for a few days. We had started doing cardiac transplants in 1987. She invited me to come to Stanford to look at her teaching collection - this I did later that year and quickly realised that I was benefiting from gentle, insightful, wise, on-the-job instruction and encouragement. She and John befriended me and over the years we met at many meetings, more informally following her retirement and, in latter times, we often chatted by e-mail. She remained a caring and loyal friend to me, as I am sure she did to many, for the rest of her life. Bless her for what she was to all of us, and may she rest in peace after a life well lived and a job well done.

 the comments of Stephen M. Modell, M.D., M.S., Ann Arbor, Michigan, August 18, 2009 05:41 PM

I am sad that my friend and former premedical advisor Margaret Billingham has passed on, but quite pleased to share my memories of her, all positive. Margaret was my premedical advisor at Stanford from 1976-1980. My interests when I met her were all over the map: I was a premed. a philosophy major and a wrestler. How she tolerated my centrifugal interests is beyond me, yet she was able to facilitate my involvement with the Stanford premedical society, including a chance to see spinal injury from start of condition to conclusion of therapy and an externship in the Stanford dermatology lab, both of which left an indelible impression on me and my career.

I recall about 1/3 of the way through my undergraduate years, when I resolved wholeheartedly on medical school, she sat down with me and instructed me in detail on courses that were essential and that needed my utmost concentration, a talk that had pronounced value. There were also lighter times. I can still picture her and husband John's Portola Valley house as beautiful and welcoming; the meals I and premedical buddies had there were light-hearted. They were the opposite of an academic affair, which was totally refreshing given the press of studies!

Somehow, Dr. Billingham has left a creative stamp on all those she has taught and advised. Three years ago I collaborated with a cardiac epidemiologist on a paper discussing family history of cardiac disease; two years ago I produced an exhaustive review with a University of Michigan cardiologist on a heart arrhythmia condition - long QT syndrome. Conditions of the heart are of immense medical and public health importance, and by example she taught me this lesson. Margaret Billingham captured everyone's heart, and will be both greatly missed and highly remembered.

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