School of Medicine remembers Dr. Marjorie Sirridge

Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D.
Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D.

Friends, former faculty and alumni recognized former School of Medicine Dean Marjorie Sirridge, M.D., and celebrated her life, lifestyle and memories during a ceremony on Sept. 18 immediately following the School’s annual Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D., Outstanding Women in Medicine Lectureship.

Sirridge, who joined the School of Medicine at its founding in 1971 as one the original docents, died on July 30 at the age of 92.

Stuart Munro, chair of department of medical humanities and social sciences, said Sirridge and her husband William Sirridge, who also served as a founding docent, had a “profound influence” on thousands of graduates and many faculty and staff.

Richard Noback, M.D., first dean of the School of Medicine, said Sirridge was an exemplar and a role model with sense of value, responsibility, caring and diligence in reason and action. He said Sirridge displayed a disciplined use of power that projected a sense of authenticity.

“When you met and engaged with her, you were dealing with a real person, a serious, kind, gentle, powerful person,” Noback said. “There was no pretense. There were no masks. There was no make believe.”

He said Sirridge was also notable for her commitment to assisting and guiding others and expecting their best while possessing an abundant drive and stamina that allowed her to perform with “effortless excellence.”

Harry Jonas, M.D., who served as the School’s second dean. He said that with Sirridge serving as a teacher, counselor and administrative leader, the School has become an outstanding example of the involvement of women in medicine.

“Sadly, we’ve lost one of the nation’s best examples of the performance of women in medicine,” Jonas said. “But the UMKC School of Medicine will always treasure and maintain its remembrances of Dr. Marjorie Sirridge.”

Dan Flavan, M.D., a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic and a member of Sirridge’s Red 1 docent unit for four years, said he has continued to be one of her students for the past 35 years. He said that Sirridge taught her students the value of curiosity, creativity, persistence and teamwork.

School of Medicine Dean Betty M. Drees, M.D., F.A.C.P., called Sirridge “a wonderful physician, a wonderful teacher and mentor, a scholar, a philantnropist, a wife, a mother, and a friend.”

“I know I speak for all of us that we are grateful for the time that we had with her each in our own way,” Drees said.