September 3, 2014

Philip Person

The MBL flag will be lowered next week in memory of long-time Corporation member, Philip Person, who passed away on September 16, 2010. An obituary written by his family follows:

Longtime MBL corporation member Philip Person passed away peacefully at his home in Kew Gardens Hills, NY on September 16. He was born in Brooklyn NY in 1919 and was the son of a master tailor and his grocer wife, Barney and Lena Person. Philip was the beloved husband of Bertha P. Person. He attended Boy’s High School in Brooklyn NY, and graduated with a degree in Chemistry from the City College of New York in 1940. After obtaining his dental degree from New York University, he earned his PhD in Biochemistry in the laboratory of the late Walter Wainio of Rutgers University. It was this work which brought him to the Marine Biological Laboratory in the late 1940′s, where he conducted summer research for over 50 years, often using the horseshoe crab model.

Philip served in the US Armed Forces at Edgewood Arsenal during World War II, and as a research scientist at Walter Reed Army Hospital during the Korean War. He spent his career as Chief of the Special Research Laboratory for Oral Metabolism at the Brooklyn VA Hospital, and served on the dental school faculties of New York University, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he lived with his family during a sabbatical in 1968. He also served as a consultant to the World Health Organization of the United Nations. As a summer scientist in Woods Hole, he developed a love for Cape Cod, and also worked for a year as a post doctoral fellow in the MBL Muscle Research Institute laboratory of Albert Szent Gy├Ârgi.

In 1974 he worked with former MBL electron microscopist Delbert Philpott of NASA on cosmic ray research conducted during the Apollo 14 space mission. After retirement from the Veteran’s Administration in 1985, he began a post retirement career as a biomedical consultant.

Philip was loved, admired and respected by people from all walks of life because his gentle, kind, intelligent, humorous way, and for his insight into the human spirit. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Bertha, daughters Sarah Person (Neil Cohen) and Naomi Person (Don Silverman) of New York City, son Matthew Person (Jill Erickson) of Falmouth, grandson Ben Cohen of Brooklyn, NY and sister Pearl Weiss of Pembroke Pines FL. A burial service was held in Elmont, NY on September 17. Donations in his memory may be made to the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543.