James Warren Ingalls, Jr., of 5 John Street, Rosendale and formerly of North Hudson, New York, Cleverdale, New York, Plainfield, New Jersey, Bloomfield, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, New York, died on Friday, November 17, after a long debilitating illness. Dr. Ingalls was 87 years old.
He is survived by his wife, Flora Salvador Ingalls, to whom he was married for more than 60 years.
James W. Ingalls Jr. was born in Barre, Vermont on July 31, 19191 and grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts, Newton, Mass., and Glens Falls, New York. He graduated from Glens Falls High School in 1936. He began his college education at the Syracuse School of Forestry, but later transferred to the University of Maine, from which he graduated in 1941.
After Pearl Harbor, Ingalls attempted to join the army but was rejected because of his poor eyesight; he was a graduate student at the University of Maine when he was called up in January 1943. The medical examiners at the draft board thought he was joking when he said he couldn’t locate the eye chart without his glasses, stamped “malingerer” on his papers, and passed him.
Ingalls did his basic training in San Luis Obispo, California, because -- he later claimed -- his company had been sent to protect the West Coast against submarine attack. His following assignment was in the Medical Detachment of the Infantry at Camp Rucker, Louisiana, where he became an expert at filling out the required forms for soldiers reporting sick. However, after Ingalls stepped on a general during night maneuvers, revealing his night blindness and leading to a discussion of his background and education, he was reassigned to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. There he met his future wife, Flora Roberta Salvador of Patterson, New Jersey, a librarian at the Pan American Union. They were married within six weeks, on December 26, 1944.
In March 1945, Ingalls was shipped to the Philippines as part of the team for the diagnosis and prevention of schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease that affected U.S. troops in the Pacific theater. He traveled to Borneo to perform diagnostic tests on members of the Royal Australian Air Force who had been exposed to the parasite. When his commanding officer was recalled, Ingalls remained with the Australian forces for about six weeks, trading for an Aussie uniform when he discovered that Americans were not popular. After about four weeks, Ingalls was able to get a plane out of Borneo, and from there to Palawan, Leyete, Yokohama, Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Shimonoseki, and Kurume. Flying over Hiroshima after the atomic bomb had been dropped, he was amazed to see a man riding a bicycle whose shadow went across seven blocks. In 1946 Ingalls received the Bronze Star for his medical work.
After the war, James Ingalls attended New York University on the GI Bill, earning a Ph.D. in Biology in 1953. He and Flora lived in veteran’s housing on the uptown NYU campus, near the Hall of Fame. During these years two of his daughters, Susan Roberta and Patricia Joan, were born. In 1947, Ingalls began teaching at Brooklyn College of Pharmacy (now the Arnold and Marie Schwartz Health Science Center of Long Island University), where he would spend the rest of his working career, eventually becoming a Professor of Pharmacology. He and his family moved to Brooklyn from 1954, where his third daughter Victoria Ann was born in 1955. Each summer was spent at their family cottage on Harris Bay (Cleverdale) at Lake George. In 1963, the Ingalls family moved to Bloomfield, New Jersey, but James continued to commute to Brooklyn to teach.
During his career, James W. Ingalls published articles on pharmacology and paristiology in a range of scientific journals, including Nature and Science, presented papers at national conferences, and conducted research on the drug Milltown. In 1962, the students of Brooklyn College of Pharmacy dedicated their yearbook, Pharmakon, to Dr. Ingalls, using these words: “When a man is found in an educational institution who is an understanding teacher, a dedicated researcher, a counselor, and a warm friend, he gains the respect and sincere admiration of his students. In Dr. James Ingalls, we have found such a person. His lectures on chemotherapy, psychopharmacology and parasitology were both stimulating and enjoyable. His sense of humor and his basic ability to make people happy were a welcome light in the long tedious days of our senior year.” Ingalls also became a Visiting Lecturer at Albert Einstein Medical College. He was listed in “Who’s Who in America,” and became a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences.
In 1983, Dr. Ingalls and his wife Flora retired to Harris Bay on Lake George, where he enjoyed gardening, cross country skiing, and local politics. Unhappy with high property taxes and fearing pollution at Lake George, the Ingalls moved to a large home on one hundred acres of forest in North Hudson New York in 1989, when they were already in their 70s. As he entered his 80s, James was still splitting wood for the woods stoves that heated the house.
By 2001, however, Ingalls decided that he wanted to move closer to his children, and he and Flora relocated to Rosendale in 2002. Suffering from the early stages of dementia, he could still often be seen walking around town. After a gradual decline, hospitalization, and two months in Golden Hill Nursing home in 2004, his family was able to bring him home with 24-hour care. He was beloved of all who knew him, even those who met him only in these later years.
In addition to his wife, Dr. Ingalls is survived by his daughters Susan Lewis and Victoria Ingalls of Rosendale, and Patricia Johnson of Kingston, as well as his grandsons James Johnson of Levittown, Ryan Johnson of Kingston, and Robert Lewis of Rosendale.
Funeral services, followed by a reception, will be held at the Old Dutch Reformed Church, Kingston on Saturday, November 25th, at 12:30 pm. Interment will be at the Seeley Cemetery, Queensbury on Monday at 2:00 PM.
Donations in Dr. Ingalls’s memory can be sent to one of his favorite causes, the Population Connection or the World Security Institute, The Population Connection is a national grassroots population organization that advocates progressive action to stabilize the world population at a level that can be sustained by the Earth’s resources. Their office is at 1400 16th Street NW, Suite 320, Washington, D.C. 20036. The World Security Institute supports the Center for Defense Information, an independent group which provides expert analysis of national security, international security, and defense policy and critiques U.S. defense programs and policies. Their office is at 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-2109.