Dr. M. Louise Cason, “Casey” to friends and family, 93, of Gainesville, Florida and formerly of Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida, passed away peacefully Friday, March 17, 2017.
Born on March 26, 1923 in Lakeland, Florida, after graduating from high school Louise worked her way through college as chemical analyst at the Goodyear Synthetic Rubber Company in Houston, TX. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1945 from the Florida State College for Women (now Florida State University) and her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1953 from the University of Chicago Medical School, with residencies completed at Duke University and Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn (now Interfaith Medical Center). She established her own pediatric practice in Coconut Grove, Florida in 1953, and later served as the Chief of Pediatrics for Variety Children’s Hospital (now Miami Children’s Hospital) from 1958-1971, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics (1961-1987) and Director of Outpatient Clinics and Emergency Services from 1981-1987, retiring in 1988. She was a staunch advocate for healthcare for all children no matter their race or background, and took great pride in providing the same outstanding care for all. In 1989 Louise was the second ever recipient of the Elizabeth Blackwell Women in Medicine Award given by the Dade County Medical Association for her outstanding contributions to the cause of women in the field of medicine, and in 1990 was honored to be included in the Polk County Public Schools Hall of Fame.
Louise was an avid traveler, birding enthusiast and breeder/shower of Dalmatians. She was a prize-winning orchidist, and donated her beloved collection to the University of Florida shortly after moving to Gainesville. She loved classical music and spirited debate, and had a fondness for good Rioja wines. She was a lifetime supporter of the National Audubon Society and several Florida nature preserves, and in 2012 presented a substantial gift to her alma mater, FSU: the M. Louise Cason M.D. Endowment to the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Medicine.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Oscar and Mossie Turner Cason of Lakeland, FL, her long-term partner, Ruth Faulds Taylor of Gainesville, FL, and three siblings, Dorothy Cason of Miami, Robert Cason of Lakeland and Claude T. Cason, Sr., of Jacksonville, FL. She is survived by two great-nieces, Sharon Cason of Gloucester, VA and Debi Cason Wilburn of Gatlinburg, TN, and one great-great-niece, Rowan T. Schreiner of Williamsburg, VA.
The family would like to give special thanks to Linda Damico, Maura Poglitsch, Connie Sax and LaVada Brown for being Casey’s “second family” and providing her with loving support, the staff at Oak Hammock at the University of Florida for providing outstanding care during her residence, and the members of Haven Hospice who made her last days peaceful.
Family and friends will gather informally at a later date to celebrate her life, and per her request, her ashes will be returned to nature at a local preserve of her choice.
Memorial donations may be made to:
The National Audubon Society, Inc., Florida – Everglades Chapter
4500 Biscayne Blvd Suite 205
Miami, FL 33137