Slingerlands, New York
We celebrate the life of Martha Lipson Lepow, who died peacefully in her home in Slingerlands, New York on October 17, 2021 She was 94.
Martha was born on March 28, 1927, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Harry Aaron Lipson and Anna Miller. Martha and her younger sister, Natalie, grew up in Cleveland Heights.
Martha began playing the piano at the age of four and, through much practice, became an accomplished pianist. She enjoyed swimming and became a certified instructor and lifeguard. She was also an avid reader.
After graduating from Cleveland Heights High School, Martha went on to Oberlin College, where she majored in pre-med. She pursued medical studies at Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland and graduated with honors in 1952.
She completed her residency at Babies and Children’s Hospital and the Cleveland City Hospital. Participating in research and development for the Salk polio vaccine, and in the Sabin oral vaccine trials in infants and young children, she contributed to the work that made possible the worldwide eradication of polio.
Dr. Lepow subsequently served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. During her 11 years in Connecticut, she participated in meningococcal vaccine trials, and in epidemiological study of pediatric lead poisoning. Her findings supported legislation that sharply ameliorated the problem of airborne lead.
In 1978, Dr. Lepow and her late husband were recruited to Albany, New York, where they settled with their family. A national expert on childhood immunizations, Dr. Lepow came to Albany Medical College as head of the division of pediatric infectious disease. During her service at the medical center, she distinguished herself as an outstanding clinician and physician leader, a dedicated researcher, and an exemplary mentor to countless medical students and residents, as well as other faculty members and department chairs. Dr. Lepow served as chairperson, acting chair, and vice chair of the department of pediatrics, and received numerous awards and recognitions. One of the longest-serving and most esteemed physicians at Albany Medical Center, she helped to make the Capital Region a healthier and more compassionate place to live.
Retiring at the age of 92, “Dr. Marty” became an emeritus professor, continuing to serve the medical center remotely and maintaining some of her academic activities.
A longtime member of Congregation Beth Emeth, a Reform synagogue in Albany, Martha enjoyed participating in the congregation’s musical programs, as well as other musical ensembles in the community. Through her music, her love, her intelligence, and her extraordinary gift for celebrating life, she continually enriched the worlds of her family and friends.
Martha is predeceased by her husband of 27 years, Irwin Lepow, PhD, MD. She is survived by a loving extended family including her daughter, Laurie, her sons, David and Daniel, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Congregation Beth Emeth, 100 Academy Road Albany, NY on Friday, December 3, 2021 at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, please direct gifts to Congregation Beth Emeth or The Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.