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Dr. John F. ‘Jack’ Wilber, former head of endocrinology at University of Maryland School of Medicine, dies

Dr. John F. Wilber and his wife maintained homes in Mexico and Florida.
Dr. John F. Wilber and his wife maintained homes in Mexico and Florida. (Handout / HANDOUT)

Dr. John F. “Jack” Wilber, former head of the division of endocrinology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a patron of the arts, died July 25 from heart failure at Westminster Bradenton Towers assisted living in Bradenton, Florida. The former Guilford and Roland Park resident was 84.

John Franklin Wilber, son of Frank Wilber, a real estate lawyer, and his wife, Edith Wilber, a homemaker, was born in Bronxville, New York, and raised in Scarsdale, New York.

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After graduating in 1953 from Friends Academy in Locust Valley, New York, he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1957 from Amherst College, where he was a magna cum laude graduate and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and was a 1961 cum laude graduate of the Harvard Medical School.

From 1961 to 1963, he completed an internship in internal medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, now Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, and a residency in 1966, also in internal medicine, from Barnes Hospital, now Barnes-Jewish Hospital, in St. Louis. He also completed a fellowship in endocrinology at Barnes Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine.

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Dr. Wilber was an instructor in medicine and pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis from 1966 to 1968, when he was named an assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, the associate professor in 1971 and finally professor in 1973.

Before coming to Baltimore in 1989, when he was appointed professor of medicine and head of the division of endocrinology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Wilber was a professor of medicine at Louisiana State University Medical Center from 1978 to 1989.

Dr. Wilber who retired from the University of Maryland Medical School in 2000, was president of the American Thyroid Association from 1989 to 1990, on which he also established its editorial board. He was also a member of the editorial board The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Thyroid University Case Reports and The American Journal of Medical Sciences and was an ad hoc manuscript reviewer for The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

He was also a prolific contributor to medical journals and published numerous articles related to his medical field.

During his career, he traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Russia and China, as a lecturer with Doctors Without Borders.

Fluent in Spanish, he maintained an interest in both Spanish and Mexican culture. After retiring, he and his wife, the former Joan Eddelman, whom he married in 1972, moved to a home in Puerta Aventuras, Mexico, while also maintaining a second residence in Kissimmee, Florida.

They were patrons of the arts and while living in Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore and Sarasota, particularly the opera.

Dr. Wilber enjoyed scuba diving and playing golf, and was an avid bridge, cribbage and chess fan.

He was a former member of the Baltimore Country Club and the Maryland Club, and a former communicant of St. David’s Episcopal Church, where he was a vestryman.

An online Zoom memorial service was held Aug. 28 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

In addition to his wife of 48 years, he is survived by two sons, Douglas Wilber of Peaks Island, Maine, and Damon Wilber of Warsaw, Poland; two daughters, Margaret Estes of Ellenton, Florida, and Jennie Wilber-Corrales of Williamsburg; a stepson, Daniel Eddelman of Belmont, California; 13 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. A stepdaughter, Abbie Eddelman Stephens, died in 2015.

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