March 29, 2023

In Remembrance: Dr. Lawrence Pakula’53, supporter of biomedical research

Dr. Lawrence C. Pakula’53, a pediatrician who improved the lives of children during five decades in practice, and who generously supported biomedical research experiences for Beloit College students and faculty, passed away on Nov. 2, 2022, in Baltimore, Md.

Dr. Lawrence Pakula'53 Dr. Lawrence Pakula’53
Credit: Howard Korn’87
Pakula followed his father’s footsteps in becoming a pediatrician, then blazed his own path by specializing in children who encounter developmental, behavioral, and educational challenges. In addition to founding and growing a successful pediatric practice, he served as an associate professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, receiving emeritus honors when he retired in 2017.

He was dedicated to community service in his adopted city of Baltimore, volunteering and serving on the boards of many organizations, including those concerned with children and family issues and healthcare advocacy.

Among the many honors he received was a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 from the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 2003, he received the Distinguished Service Citation, the highest honor given to alumni by the Beloit College Alumni Association.

Pakula believed that a liberal arts degree made the best foundation for a career in medicine. In 2010, he and his wife, Sheila, established the Pakula Biomedical Fellowships Program Endowed Fund at Beloit, which supports students and faculty during summer research experiences. Among other things, the program provides student stipends for a four- to six-week residency on campus while they pursue research projects with a faculty mentor.

After graduating from Beloit, Pakula earned his M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Johns Hopkins. He served in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps in the Philippines.

He was predeceased by his wife, Sheila Sutland Pakula, and his cousin, Bruce I. White’61. Survivors include four children, eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and his cousin, David C. White’68.


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