OBITUARY: Lou Ann Pilkington April 2, 1924 – Aug. 31, 2014

LOU ANN PILKINGTON April 2, 1924 – Aug. 31, 2014

Dr. Lou Ann Pilkington, 90, of New York City and lately of Los Alamos, NM, passed away on Sunday, August 31, 2014.

She was born April 2, 1924 in Wichita, Kansas, the second daughter of Le Roy Ruben Pilkington and Gertrude Fern Hunt Pilkington. She was an excellent swimmer and excelled in table tennis.

The family later moved to Okmulgee, Oklahoma where she graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1942. Lou Ann attended Okmulgee Junior College and worked as a sports reporter on The Okmulgee Daily Times, the first daily in Oklahoma’s history to entrust its entire news department to girls. She then followed her sister to Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

During World War II, she took a hiatus to join the United States Navy Reserves, serving as a Pharmacist Mate Third Class. After the war she returned to college, graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1948 with a degree in Zoology.

After graduating, she worked in Chicago, Illinois, then traveled to St. Blaise, Switzerland where she taught at the exclusive girls finishing school La Chatelainie. She was a popular teacher and often accompanied the girls on weekends of skiing and traveling Europe. It was at this time that Lou Ann formed life-long friendships with fellow teachers.

In 1956, she traveled by ship to San Roque, Venezuela, where her father had been transferred, working at the Phillips 66 refinery. After a year in Venezuela, Lou Ann returned to school, earning her Masters degree (1959) and her PhD in Anatomy and Physiology (1961) from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.

Soon after graduation, she moved to New York City, where she did research in renal physiology at Cornell Medical College, and later, studied the effects of smoking on lungs at NYU. Lou Ann fell in love with New York City, securing a small studio apartment where she lived for 52 years.

She enjoyed traveling, going to the opera, good food, good wine, and good conversations.  She also was an avid tennis fan.

Lou Ann was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Helen Jeanne; brother, Robert; and niece, Sherry Ann.

She is survived by her sister-in-law Betty Henry Pilkington; nieces Trude Jeanne Steele Norman (Mike) and Kim Pilkington Granzow (Howard); nephews Robert Alin Pilkington and Kevin LeRoy Pilkington (Lisa); and numerous great nieces and nephews and friends.

A memorial service will be held Friday, September 12 at 9:30 am at First United Methodist Church, Los Alamos.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Los Alamos Visiting Nurses.

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