Gail McClure Proffitt

Honored by:Ann Proffitt Orning
Brick location:PAVER:3  map

Gail Arlene McClure was born August 9, 1908, in Bussey, Iowa. She was the daughter of Ernest Covey "Doc" McClure, the town doctor and newspaper editor, and Floy Broughton McClure, a music teacher. Her only brother, Lyle, died of burns at age 15. Gail graduated from Bussey High School in 1925 and followed her father's footsteps to the University of Iowa School of Medicine in Iowa City, where she received her MD in 1931. Her internship and residency in internal medicine were completed in 1933 at Albany Hospital, Albany, New York. During the summers, she acted as medical attendant at the New York State Spa in Saratoga Springs, New York. Dr. McClure returned home to Bussey to practice rural medicine with her father. In 1935, she moved into the field of college health at the University of Kansas at Lawrence.

During that time, she returned to Albany briefly for postgraduate study in diseases of the chest. In 1938, she was hired as staff physician at the Iowa State College Hospital in Ames, Iowa. She became Dr. Gail Proffitt after her marriage to Carrington Albert Proffitt in 1943. They had two children, Charles Carrington and Ann McClure. Dr. Proffitt was named assistant director of the Iowa State University Health Service in 1955 and director in 1964. She retired from the university in 1973, but not from her life as a physician.

When the family moved to Des Moines, she worked for the State Health Department. After their move to Pinehurst, North Carolina, she volunteered in the cancer registry at Moore County Regional Medical Center until her final illness. Gail belonged to many academic honorary and service organizations during her lifetime. Two of her favorites were Altrusa and Mortar Board at Iowa State. In 1971, she was honored as Boss of the Year by the American Business Women's Association.

That same year, she and Dean Chalmer Roy acted as co-marshals of the ISU Veishea Parade. In 1972, the North Central Section of the American College Health Association awarded her a Citation of Merit for her dedicated service to college health. In 1973, the organization voted to make the award a continuing one and named it for Dr. Proffitt. She was a member of the Congregational Church in Ames, Iowa. She was also a lifelong member of Eastern Star, receiving her 50-year certificate in 1976.

Gail McClure Proffitt died in Pinehurst, North Carolina, on August 17, 1983. She is still remembered as a dedicated physician and a caring friend.


Paver inscription:

"Gail McClure Proffitt