Robert Goyer

Obituary of Robert Goyer

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DURHAM - Robert A. Goyer, age 89, died on February 21, 2017 at the Hock House Hospice at Duke. Robert was born on June 2, 1927, in Hartford, Connecticut to the late Andrew Goyer and Cecilia Castonguay Goyer. Robert was married to Mary Ellen Wilke. He went to Canton High School in Canton, Connecticut where in October, 2003, his name was installed on the Canton High Wall of Fame in recognition of his lifetime of achievement. After serving in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II, Robert graduated from the College of the Holy Cross (B.S., 1950) and the St. Louis University School of Medicine (1955). He interned at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, and completed a residency in Pathology at the St. Louis University Hospitals. Dr. Goyer was a Clinical Pathologist with special interest in pediatric pathology, toxicology and research in health effects of toxic metals. He held a National Foundation Research Fellowship and was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Medical Unit of University College Hospital Medical School, London, England. Professional appointments included Director of Laboratories at the Cardinal Glennon Hospital for Children in St. Louis; Professor of Pathology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Deputy Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) at Research Triangle Park NC. He also served two terms as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Western Ontario, London Canada. Dr. Goyer published over 170 research papers, reviews and book chapters on toxicity of metals and interactions of toxic metals with nutritionally essential metals. He co-edited 3 books on Toxicology of Metals. He was an internationally recognized expert in health effects of toxic and nutritionally essential metals and served on committees for US and International Health Agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences and The World Health Organization International Programme for Chemical Safety. In 2001, he was recognized by the National Academy of Sciences for his extraordinary service to the nation as an advisor in matters of science, engineering and health. Dr. Goyer was also awarded the 2003 merit award from the Society of Toxicology "in recognition of a distinguished career in toxicology." Dr. Goyer retired as Professor Emeritus of Pathology, University of Western Ontario, Canada. In retirement, Dr. Goyerwith his wife, Mary Ellen, resided in Chapel Hill, NC. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, the former Mary Ellen Wilke; four children, Barbara Rose (Eugene) of Fairfax Station, VA, John H. Goyer (Tonina) of Austin, TX, Peter A. Goyer (Patricia) of Whitehouse Station, NJ, and Ellen Vlcek (Tomas) of Ashburn, VA; his grandchildren, Jean Marie (Jasper), Robert, Patricia, Elizabeth, Alison, Andrew, Michael, Peter, and Jacob; his two brothers David Goyer (Jean) of Cazenovia, NY, and John Goyer (Theresa (d.)) of Cincinnati, OH, and a great-granddaughter, Cecilia Vassie Cooke.A Funeral mass will be held at 2:30 pm on Friday, February 24, 2017 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 940 Carmichael St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514.In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Hock House at Duke Hospice, or to a "Rescue Gift for A Safe Space for Children" with the IRC at The family would also like to thank Aegis Home Care for their constant loving care in recent years. Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill is serving the Goyer Family.
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