Dr. Dolores Cooper Shockley

Obituary of Dr. Dolores Cooper Shockley

Dolores Janet Cooper Shockley, age 90, completed her work on earth on October 10, 2020. Dolores was born on April 21,1930, in Clarksdale, Mississippi to the late Fredrick S. Cooper, Sr. and Cozetta G. Cooper. Dolores completed her early education at Booker T. Washington in Clarksdale, Mississippi until the tenth grade. She left home to attend Mary Holmes College, a private high school for black girls, located in West Point, Mississippi. After graduating in 1947, she enrolled in Pharmacy school at Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she earned her B.S. in 1951 and was number one in her class. She continued her education at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she received her M.S. in 1953, and her Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1955 at the age of 25. Dr. Shockley was the first black woman to receive a Ph.D. in any discipline from Purdue University. Dr. Shockley was the first black woman in the United States to receive a Ph.D. in Pharmacology. While obtaining her Ph.D., Dr. Shockley accepted a faculty position as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1954. Dr. Shockley took a leave of absence in 1955 to complete a Fulbright Fellowship at the Pharmacology Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. Shockley continued her research in New York City at Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 1959-1962 then returned to Meharry Medical College as an Associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology where she worked for 26 years. In 1988, she became the first black woman to chair a pharmacology department at an accredited medical school in the United States. After an accomplished career, Dr. Shockley retired from Meharry Medical College as Professor Emerita in 2005. Her career involved research, teaching, and involvement in many organizations. She worked tirelessly to help others for more than 50 years. She loved to see her students succeed. After her retirement, she continued to serve on many national committees including NIH, NSF, NRC, and FDA. She held offices in the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). The society established a travel award in her honor for student(s) to attend the national meeting biennially. Other distinguished honors include, the Dolores C. Shockley Lecture and Partnership Award which was inaugurated at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology in 2009 and is presented biennially, and Distinguished Alumna of Purdue, Old Master at Purdue. She spent over 50 years as a dedicated and active member of St. John A.M.E. church where she served as a loyal member on the Carnation Board, Lay Organization, Booster Club, and Women’s Missionary Society. She was also very passionate about attending and participating in bible study classes. Dolores will always be remembered for her humble and loving spirit. She loved her children and grandchildren and encouraged them in all they did. She believed in never giving up and being your best self in whatever your goals and aspirations are in life. Her inspirational quote, “Aim for the stars, spread your wings and fly. You never know what is possible until you try.” Dolores was a prolific reader. She was well versed and could contribute commentary on any subject. Gardening was truly one of her favorite hobbies. Plants, whether indoor or outdoor, thrived at the touch of Dolores’s green thumb and sweet hands. Home Chef Dolores enjoyed cooking, especially grilling. She adored and looked forward to playing board games with her children, grandchildren, and a circle of friends at every opportunity. Her love of life, and energetic spirit, definitely kept her busy with professional and social organizations in her community, participating in the Meharry Internal Review Board (IRB) and AARP. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Dolores was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Thomas E. Shockley, Sr. She is survived by her children, Dr. Thomas E. Shockley, Jr. (Lillie) Cincinnati, OH; daughters, Gail Shockley James (Fred) Knoxville, TN; Kimberly Shockley-Tongo (Wole), and Janet Cozetta Shockley; grandchildren, Donita Bryant, Dr. Ronald Thompson, III, Thomas Shockley, III, Brooke Thompson, Julian Shockley, Caelab Tongo, and McCowan Tongo; brother, Dr. George Cooper, Atlanta, Georgia; sister, Euzelia Griffith, San Diego, California; and a host of extended family and friends. On behalf of our family, we would like to extend sincerest thanks to the many physicians and nurses at the local hospitals, and the outstanding healthcare team at the Blakeford and NHC Place at the Trace who provided exceptional and compassionate care for the past seven years. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Meharry Medical College for the Dr. Dolores C. Shockley Endowed Scholarship Fund. Mailing Address: Meharry Medical College Institutional Advancement 1005 Dr. D. B. Todd Jr. Blvd Nashville, TN 37208 Based on social distancing guidelines, there will be a public Walk-through on Friday, October 16, 2020, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Lewis and Wright Funeral Directors. Saturday, October 17, 2020, visitation will begin at 12:00 noon for family and close friends, followed by A Celebration of Life service at 1:00 p.m. at Lewis and Wright Funeral Directors Celebration of Life service may be viewed on Zoom and Facebook Live Stream on Saturday, October 17, 2020, beginning at 11:45 a.m. Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6929991888 Meeting ID 692 999 1888 Passcode welcome (all lowercase) Facebook page: Lewis – Wright FD
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Friday
16
October

Public Walk- Through

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Friday, October 16, 2020
Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors
2500 Clarksville Pike
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Saturday
17
October

Visitation

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors
2500 Clarksville Pike
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Family and Close Friends
Saturday
17
October

Celebration of Life

1:00 pm
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors
2500 Clarksville Pike
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
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Dr. Dolores Cooper