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A Memorial Mass for Julia M. Wershing, M.D. ("Dr. Julie"), age 89, of Madison, will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, September 12, 2022 at St. Leonard Catholic Church in Madison. The Reverend Gregory Carl will be celebrant. The mass will be live-streamed on the funeral home website. Visitation will be 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sunday, September 11, 2022 at the church with a rosary at 7:00 p.m. Inurnment will be in St. Leonard Cemetery. Resseguie Funeral Home in Madison is in charge of the arrangements.
Dr. Julie died Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at the Arbor Care Center (Countryside Home) in Madison.
Julia Martha Wershing, daughter of Nicholas L. and Julia (Mikla) Wershing, was born on August 4, 1933, in New York City. She graduated from high school at the Academy of the Holy Angels in Fort Lee, New Jersey in 1950. She attended the University of Missouri, where she was a member of Chi Omega sorority, and was president of Mortar Board and of PanHellenic. She was chosen for LSV, an honor society that recognizes the four to six most outstanding upper-class women at the University. She received her BA in chemistry in 1954.
Upon graduation, she applied to Georgetown University Medical School and was rejected because, as the dean told her, she “was a woman, would marry and would waste her education.” She was later accepted when a male student cancelled at the last moment. She was one of three women in her class.
She interned and was a resident in Georgetown University Hospital's pediatric unit. She then became a cardiology fellow at Colorado Medical Center and Denver General Hospital, where she was a pediatrics instructor and researched heart-lung machines for premature infants. She was the assistant director of the Denver Rheumatic Fever Diagnostic Service and the Adolescent Clinic at the University of Colorado Medical Center.
In 1963, she became the clinical director of the newly-opened Agnes Hardecker Children's Clinic in Nassau, Bahamas. The clinic served a predominately poor population, many of them suffering from tropical diseases such as parasitic worms. During her 29 years running the clinic, she saw over 23,000 patients, whom she referred to as “her kids.”
While at the clinic, she served as a Georgetown University professor of pediatrics. Hundreds of medical students from the United States and the Caribbean studied under her for hands-on pediatrics experience. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Georgetown Medical School for her work with these students.
She ran clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies, including anti-worm medications and vaccine trials for various childhood diseases. Her research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Julie was beloved throughout the Bahamas. After her departure from Nassau in 1992, she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her services to the Bahamian people.
She returned to the United States and briefly served the children of military families in the Charleston, South Carolina area, until cancer forced her retirement. She resided in Charleston until 2015, when she moved to Countryside Home in Madison.
Dr. Julie was a lifelong devout Catholic, and was active in the Archdiocese of Nassau and the Diocese of Charleston. She is survived by her sister, Mary Ann Flack of Madison; by nine nieces and nephews; and by eleven great-nieces and great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Francis S. Wershing.
Memorials may be designated to Doctors Without Borders in Dr. Julie's memory.