Norah Frances Metcalf (née Lambe)

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 07 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1452
  1. William Kenneth Metcalf

    Dr Norah Frances Metcalf (née Lambe) passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on 2 March 2009.

    Norah was born in London, England, on 4 December 1918, the elder daughter of Frank and Emily Lambe. She was educated at the Convent of the Nativity in Sittingbourne, Kent, and graduated from the medical school at Newcastle on Tyne in December 1943. During her medical school years she met her future husband, a fellow student, William Kenneth Metcalf. They were married in St Bede’s Catholic Church, South Shields, in August 1944.

    In April 1968 Norah and Ken and six of their seven children came to the United States, where they took up faculty positions at the University of Iowa Medical School. They moved to Nebraska in 1973 to faculty positions in the Department of Anatomy. They retired as emeritus professors in 1991. Norah will be remembered particularly for her inspired teaching of embryology and her collection of pictures of babies born to members of her classes during her tenure. She was invited to the medical school at Lagos, Nigeria, as a visiting professor to develop and present an embryology programme. Although her greatest pleasure came from teaching, for which she received many awards, she was active in research, writing numerous papers and making many presentations at scientific meetings in the United States and in Europe.

    Norah was devoted to her family. She and Ken raised seven children: Peter, Michael, Nicholas, Amanda, Abigail, Lindsey, and Jordan. Five of them became physicians, one an attorney, and one a special education teacher.

    Norah was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved sister, Patricia. She is survived by her loving husband of 65 years, all of her children, 13 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1452


    • Former professor of embryology University of Nebraska (b 1918; q Newcastle 1943), d 2 March 2009.

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