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Dr Jean-Maurice Poitras, Sr

Dr Jean-Maurice Poitras, Sr

Montreal, Montreal Region, Quebec, Canada
Death 23 Mar 2011 (aged 94)
Yorktown, York County, Virginia, USA
Burial Owings Mills, Baltimore County, Maryland, USA
Plot Section G-15, Row 30, Site 1
Memorial ID 67514484 · View Source
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YORKTOWN - Dr. Jean-Maurice Poitras Sr., 94, passed away on Wednesday, March 23, 2011.

Dr. Poitras was born in Montreal, Canada, but lived most of his life in the U.S., primarily in New York and Baltimore, and for the last seven years with family in Yorktown, Va.

Although Dr. Poitras was initially trained as a Pediatrician, he also held Medical Specialty Boards in Emergency Medicine. His career and interests were varied. He was a clinical Pediatrician and then became Chief of the Rheumatic Heart Disease Control Program with the U.S. Public Health Service. After retiring from the Public Health Service in 1966, he worked as an Emergency Room physician until retiring from medical practice in 1979. His interests then turned to the History of Medicine and with his wife, ran an antiquarian medical book business for about 20 years. During that time, they collected almost 80,000 volumes, including rare and scholarly medical books and papers.

He was a graduate of Columbia College (class of 1940) and worked as a physicist with the Manhattan Project in New York before entering medical school in 1943. He graduated from Long Island Medical College in 1947. For his entire life he was a tireless advocate of daily exercise and healthy living. He was a varsity swimmer in both high school and college. In 1956, at the age of 40, he represented the U.S. Navy and NATO as the sole American swimmer in the 18 mile Capri-Napoli swim. He placed sixth in the professional swimmer class.

He was very much a devoted husband, father and family man. He was always there to help in countless ways, from organizing the renovation of a crippled children's orphanage in Naples, Italy, using volunteer labor and surplus U.S. government supplies, to generously supporting, in any manner that he could, his family, his friends and even acquaintances. This he did right up until the end. His impact and love was (is) felt by all that knew him. He will be missed greatly…more than he would have imagined.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Helen Murray Poitras; his parents, Paul Eugene Poitras and Berthe Poitras (nee Mallette); a brother, Jacques Poitras; and a sister, Fernande Wiallard.

He is survived by two daughters, Diane Fritsche of Baltimore, Md., and Micheline Blackmon and her husband, Boyce of Sarasota, Fla.; three sons, Denis Poitras of Hampton, Michael Poitras and his wife, Kim of Baltimore, Md., and Dr. Maurice Poitras and his wife, Beth of Yorktown, Va.; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at Amory Funeral Home, Grafton. Interment will be in Maryland Veterans Cemetery Garrison Forest, Baltimore, Md.

Memorials may be made to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in Daily Press (Newport News, VA) from March 27 to March 28, 2011

Additional information given by Find A Grave contributor Thom Painter

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CDR, US Navy




  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Steve Centner
  • Added: 27 Mar 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 67514484
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Jean-Maurice Poitras, Sr (27 Nov 1916–23 Mar 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 67514484, citing Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery, Owings Mills, Baltimore County, Maryland, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .