Julian Norman Kanfer, 90, died on December 23, 2020 in Dallas, TX. He was a lifelong learner and brilliant scientist known for his sharp wit and sense of humor, and penchant for ugly ties.
A first generation American, Julian was born in Brooklyn, NY on May 23, 1930 to Benjamin and Klara Kanfer. His interest in science began at an early age, and later grew into a career as an esteemed biochemist. Julian served his country in the Korean War as a medic and upon his return to NY, he attended Brooklyn College to obtain his Bachelor of Science. He went on to George Washington University in Washington, DC to pursue his PhD in biochemistry. He did his post-doctoral work in Boston, MA and at Duke University. Julian relocated several times and spent many years doing what he loved - researching diseases. He was part of a team who pioneered neuroscience research at the NIH in the early 1960’s. He was able to realize his career goal in November of 1975, when he became the chair of the Department of Biochemistry, at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. His research continued to be the focus of his work life, and he was known for his extensive body of work on Cancer, Tay Sachs, Gaucher’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and most notably Alzheimer’s.
It was in Winnipeg that Julian met his second wife, Beverly McNamara. Bev and Julian had a long, loving and happy marriage, involving much entertaining and international travel, including sabbatical years in Paris, France and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Paris was a touchstone of their time together; a city they returned to and remembered often. Julian and Bev eventually retired to an oceanside condo in Ormond Beach, Florida, where they happily hosted numerous visits from their children and grandchildren. Julian’s daily 4-mile walks on the beach became a local event; a sighting of him on the beach signified a good day for many. In 2018, they relocated to Texas to be closer to her daughter Ann Cuddy. Bev passed away in June 2019 after a lengthy illness.
Julian is survived by his son Brian Kanfer (Mary); daughter Rachel Kanfer Frederick (Adam), stepson Edward Cuddy (Libby); stepson Jonathan Cuddy; stepdaughter Alison Cuddy; stepdaughter Ann Cuddy (Blair Phillip); grandchildren Addison, Slateon, and Cressa Frederick; and step-grandchildren Jessica, Declan, and Campbell Rose Cuddy, and Patrick and Erin Lynn; and not least of all - his beloved cat and companion Max.
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