Laurence Goddard Wesson, Jr. (1917-2008)

Laurence Goddard Wesson, Jr.


Died September 2, 2008, at the age of 90, in Scarborough, Maine. A leading authority on kidney physiology, Wesson also was an expert in entomology who discovered six new species of ants and published several scientific papers on the subject by age 22. He interned at Boston City Hospital before joining the U.S. Army to serve in World War II, during which he was an artillery battalion surgeon with the rank of captain. He was among the first Americans to liberate the Dachau concentration camp. After leaving the Army, Wesson held various teaching positions at New York University College of Medicine. In 1962 he accepted an appointment as a professor of medicine to create the Division of Nephrology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He published the standard textbook Physiology of the Human Kidney in 1969. After retiring in 1987, Wesson pursued many hobbies, including canoeing, rafting, chess, log cutting, winemaking, and dry stonewall masonry. He was a lifelong advocate of conservation, setting aside land in Ohio for a nature preserve. Wesson is survived by his wife of 60 years, Eleanor; four children, Laurence, Anne, Robert, and John; and eight grandchildren.

Dr. Laurence Goddard Wesson Jr., M.D.
b. 18 October 1917
Dr. Laurence Goddard Wesson Jr., M.D. was born on 18 October 1917 in Midland, MI, USA. He married Eleanor Fessenden Roelse, daughter of Harold Vincent Roelse and Katharine Sartelle, in 4 June 1948 at Upper Montclair, NJ, USA.
Children of Dr. Laurence Goddard Wesson Jr., M.D. and Eleanor Fessenden Roelse

* Laurence Nathaniel Wesson b. 15 May 1949
* Anne Roelse Wesson b. 19 Jun 1950
* Robert Flagg Wesson b. 23 Mar 1952
* John Matthews Wesson b. 18 Apr 1953


Wesson, L. G. 1935. A new species of ant from Tennessee (Hymen.: Formicidae). Entomol. News 46: 208-210

Wesson, L. G. 1937. A slave-making Leptothorax (Hymen.: Formicidae). Entomol. News 48: 125-129

Wesson, L. G. 1939. Leptothorax manni Wesson synonymous with L. pergandei Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomol. News 50: 180

Wesson, L. G. 1940a. Observations on Leptothorax duloticus. Bull. Brooklyn Entomol. Soc. 35: 73-83

Wesson, L. G. 1949. Strumigenys venatrix Wesson and Wesson synonymous with S. talpa Weber. Psyche (Camb.) 56: 21

Wesson, L. G.; Wesson, R. G. 1939. Notes on Strumigenys from southern Ohio, with descriptions of six new species. Psyche (Camb.) 46: 91-112

Wesson, L. G.; Wesson, R. G. 1940. A collection an ants from southcentral Ohio. Am. Midl. Nat. 24: 89-103


Bolton B, Alpert G, Ward PS, Naskrecki P. 2007. [CD-ROM] Bolton's Catalogue of the Ants of the World. Harvard University Press.