Yoder Fulmer Shealy
February 26, 1923 – July 3, 2019
CHAPIN – Yoder Fulmer Shealy, PhD, age 96, passed away peacefully at home on July 3, 2019. He was predeceased by his parents, Levi Yoder Shealy and Essie Fulmer Shealy and by his two sisters, Valeria Shealy Peay and Eunice Shealy Marlowe. He is survived by his son, Robin Shealy, PhD (Merianne O'Grady) of Illinois; two daughters, Nancy Shealy (Brandon Russell) of Birmingham and Priscilla Shealy Thomas (Darrell) of Texas, as well as four granddaughters, Shelley Jones, Caroline Thomas Daniels, Allison Thomas, Sarah Thomas and one grandson, Carson Jones. Dr. Shealy grew up on a small rural cotton farm with no electricity in Chapin, South Carolina where his grade school was a one room schoolhouse. After graduating from Chapin High School, he went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from the University of South Carolina with a BS in Chemistry. He earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was a member of Phi Lambda Upsilon chemistry fraternity. He completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. During WWII, Dr. Shealy lived in Bethesda, Maryland and worked with the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor to the CIA) on their classified weapons development program. He began his career at Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan but soon found his way to Birmingham, Alabama to work at Southern Research Institute (SRI) in medicinal chemistry specializing in cancer research. During his tenure at SRI, which spanned over forty years, Dr. Shealy’s research included anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and cancer chemo preventive agents. Dr. Shealy was responsible for the development of several drugs, most notably Dacarbazine (DTIC) which is used to treat malignant melanoma and is the basis for many later cancer drugs. It was SRI’s first drug to be approved by the FDA and one of the few listed on the World Health Organization's Model List of Essential Medicines. He was the first recipient of SRI’s Scientific and Engineering Excellence Award, elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, The American Association for Cancer Research and numerous other chemical and medical societies. He published 157 articles in scientific journals, including Scientific American, the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and the Journal of Molecular Pharmacology and was an inventor in many issued patents. His works were referenced by others in numerous scientific articles and patents. Dr. Shealy loved his native town of Chapin and told many delightful stories of his growing up on the farm to his children. He had an intimate knowledge of the genealogy of the Shealys, a family of German farmers that immigrated to South Carolina in the mid-1700s. In 1992, the Town of Chapin honored Dr. Shealy by inducting him into their Hall of Fame. Dr. Shealy, a lifelong student and teacher of science, was considered a "resident expert" in constellations and the identification of many trees and plants. He helped many Boy Scouts earn merit badges in these areas. Besides his love of science, Dr. Shealy enjoyed ballroom dancing and was an active member of several ballroom dancing groups in Birmingham for many years. He loved his three children dearly and encouraged them as they moved through each season of their lives. His family is especially grateful for his longtime caregiver, Connie Evans, whom he adored. Dr. Shealy was a lifelong member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Chapin, SC where a service will be held on Friday, July 12, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Dr. Shealy requested that donations be made to Saint Peter Lutheran Church, 900 Dreher Island Rd., Chapin, SC 29036 or the donor's charity of choice. Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Chapin Chapel, is assisting the family with arrangements.
St. Peter Lutheran Church
900 Dreher Island Road, Chapin, South Carolina 29036
- Donor's charity of choice
- Visitation Friday, July 12, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, July 12, 2019