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Martha McCrory Professorship in Medicine

Dr-Wigley-and-Mrs-McCroryMARY ESTELLE McCRORY was born on April 29, 1910 in Kansas City, Missouri. She was a mother, philanthropist, mentor, and friend who was admired and loved by all who knew her. Mrs. McCrory attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she graduated in 1931 with a B.S. degree in education. At the university she majored in secondary education and home economics, the latter serving her well in later life as host and homemaker. After graduating from the university, she taught high school for a year in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Mrs. McCrory had a wide circle of friends and a broad range of interests, the latter including traveling, reading, bridge, gardening, collecting antiques, and home decorating. Mrs. McCrory was a lady of pioneer heritage who displayed spirit and strength of character. Mary was married to Mr. Kenneth W. McCrory for 32 years, prior to his death in 1966. They had two children, Martha and Donald. Kenneth founded the Parker-McCrory Mfg. Company in 1921, which started making farm radios and wind chargers. Parker-McCrory Mfg. Co. is proud of its contribution to the early American farmers. The “Parmak Wind Charger” generates electricity from wind, which provided electrical power for the first time to thousands of farms. In the early 1930s Parker-McCrory pioneered the electric fencing industry. In 2002, Mrs. McCrory’s daughter, Martha, was diagnosed with Scleroderma. Martha passed away on June 10, 2004. Mary was enormously touched by the care and comfort provided to Martha by Dr. Fredrick M. Wigley and his dedicated team. In 2007, Mrs. McCrory took the steps necessary to leave a bequest intention to fund the Martha McCrory Professorship In the Division of Rheumatology. Mrs. McCrory’s gift is both a remembrance of Martha and an honor to Dr. Wigley. Her wish was that this gift would help advance research so that no other mother would have to experience the loss of their loved one to this disease. Mrs. McCrory passed away at home on November 8, 2012 at age 102.



MARTHA ANN McCRORY was born on December 5, 1934 in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Mary Estelle Guisinger McCrory and Kenneth Wilson McCrory. Martha’s brother, Donald J. McCrory, currently resides in Overland Park, Kansas. Martha McCrory lived the life she dreamt. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech and Liberal Arts at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, graduating in 1956. She lived in a number of cities both in the United States and abroad. Following graduation she moved to Florence, Italy, where she lived for two years and was exposed to the fine and decorative arts of the Renaissance. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art at The University of London in 1967. In the years following the award of her doctorate, Martha resided in Florence, completing various research projects – in particular, the collection of the Silver Museum of the Pitti Palace in Florence. After a number of years in Italy, Martha returned to the United States and settled in Baltimore. Martha took a position with the Walters Art Museum, where she lectured and published extensively on many aspects of art in the Renaissance period, with a particular interest in Renaissance dress and jewelry. As an Adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, she shared that interest with students as eager to learn as she was to teach. The art of gem-engraving became a passion, but she had a wide range of interests. There were few professional areas for which Martha’s involvement did not lead to tireless dedication. In 2002, Martha was diagnosed with the autoimmune, rheumatic disease, Scleroderma. It was this diagnosis that brought together Martha, Dr. Fredrick Wigley, and Johns Hopkins because of Dr. Wigley’s international reputation as the leader in the research, teaching, and treatment of this life-altering disease. Martha passed away on June 10, 2004 following a two year struggle with scleroderma.