R. Ben Dawson, Jr., MD

Class Year




Posted on: August 17, 2021

Dr. Roy Benjamin “Dr. Ben” Dawson, Jr., age 86, died peacefully on July 22, 2021 near his home in Columbia, MD, surrounded by the love and comfort of family and friends.

Dr. Ben was born on November 16, 1934 in Norfolk, VA to Captain Roy and Marguerite Dawson, where he was raised with two sisters, Joan and Mary Roy. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Hampden-Sydney College and his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He completed his internship and residency training at Jefferson Medical College and Hospital and Hahnemann University Hospital, and his fellowship in hematology at Tufts-New England Medical Center. He was also a special graduate student at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His passion for hematology inspired groundbreaking research on blood preservation at the US Army Medical Research Laboratory at Fort Knox, KY, where he served as Senior Scientist for three years. He then served as Blood Bank and Transfusion Service Director at the University of Maryland Hospital and Professor of Pathology and Medicine at the university’s School of Medicine. His research and educational activities in the field of hematology resulted in over 300 publications and receipt of the Congress Prize of the International Society of Blood Transfusion. His dedicated work led him to become a pioneer in hemapheresis at the Baltimore RH Typing Laboratory. His service and expertise supported many respected organizations throughout his career.

Outside of his career in medicine, Dr. Ben was also an eager and courageous athlete, despite suffering polio as a child and post polio syndrome later in life. Having grown up on the water, he found great joy in racing sailboats around Annapolis and throughout the Chesapeake Bay. He was also an avid photographer with a special interest in nautical themes. His daughter, nieces, and nephews embrace childhood memories of unforgettable adventures with Dr. Ben.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Frances Motyca Dawson, and his daughter, Anne Dawson. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Roy Edwards (Charles Edwards), his nephews Ralph Hedian (Anne Hedian), Brad Wallace (Morgan Fenner), and Bruce Wallace, his nieces Vickie Hedian (Edwin Woo) and Licia Hedian. He was predeceased by his sister, Joan Wallace.

His memorial service will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in honor of Dr. Ben Dawson to:

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Attn: Membership Department 6 Herndon Avenue Annapolis, MD 21403 Tel: 410-268-8816 URL: www.cbf.org

Doctors Without Borders USA P.O. Box 5030 Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030 Tel: 888-392-0392 URL: www.doctorswithoutborders.org