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James Robert Willson

Internationally-known Albuquerque gynecologist Dr. J. Robert Willson died Thursday from head injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Willson was 81.

Willson's academic and clinical career spanned four universities and more than half a century. During his career he trained several thousand fellow practitioners at the University of Chicago, Temple University, the University of Michigan and the University of New Mexico.

In 1937. Willson, earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan, and in 1942 received his master of science in obstetrics and gynecology. After serving as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, Willson went to Temple University in 1947 where be was named Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology professor and department chairman.

In 1964 be returned to the University of Michigan as the Bates professor of diseases of women and children. When be retired from that position in 1983, Dr. Willson became adjunct professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico.

Wilson wrote more than as 85 papers published in scientific and medical journals. Among, his books are "Obstetrics/Gynecology and the Law; "Management of Obstetric Difficulties" and a textbook. "Obstetrics and Gynocology," now in its ninth printing.

Willson was a founding member of the Society for Gynecological Investigation and of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which he also served as president. He was also president of the American Gynecological Society and the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He won many national and international awards, including the Cross of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany.

As a tribute to his career the University of Michigan established the J, Robert Willson professorship in obstetrics in 1989. Also, the University of New Mexico has a J. Robert Willson lectureship fund. Willson is survived by his wife, Joan Dunbar Willson of Albuquerque; a brother, Jack Willson of York, Maine; his daughter, Anne Willson Dupre of Toronto, Canada; his son, Richard Starr Willson of Devon, Penn.; and two grandchildren, Daphne and Maurice Dupre.