Nov. 11, 1954 — July 10, 2013
Paul Howard Gumerlock passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on July 10, 2013, in Sacramento.
Paul was born on Nov. 11, 1954, in Richmond, Va., to Stanley Francis and Mary Huber Gumerlock. Along with his seven siblings – Mary Kay, Bob, Anne (dec’d. 1998), Margaret, Sarah, Clare, and Jane – Paul’s childhood was spread across five states: Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and California. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco in 1972.
After earning degrees in chemistry (UC San Diego, 1980) and biology (Cal State, Sacramento, 1983), Paul went on to do graduate work in genetics at UC Davis, where he was awarded a PhD. in 1988. He did postdoctoral research in molecular genetics at Cetus Corporation. Paul ultimately became an assistant adjunct professor of hematology and oncology at the UC Davis Medical Center.
Paul had an exceptional career doing oncology research at the UC Davis Cancer Center. A seasoned researcher, with numerous papers to his credit, he was equally gifted as a presenter, in constant demand at medical conferences in the U.S., Europe and Japan. His most significant contribution to the Cancer Center may have been his skill at obtaining research grants. At the height of his career, the grants he personally sought and secured brought in some $25 million, the largest single segment of the Center’s revenue.
He was also instrumental in the Cancer Center’s 2002 designation by the National Institutes of Health for its ability to contribute to the nation’s cancer research. Notwithstanding those achievements, Paul was most proud of his ability to mentor graduate students. Several of the students he guided have become acclaimed researchers themselves, and they kept in close contact with Paul as their careers blossomed.
Paul married Michele H. Platten on Oc. 25, 1989. They were blessed with a daughter, Caitlan (1990), and a son, Daniel (1992). Perhaps in response to his own peripatetic childhood, Paul resisted attempts by other laboratories to lure him away from Davis. Thus, his children were able to spend all of their formative years in one home in a family-oriented neighborhood, attending local public schools and making friends all across town. On May 4, 2013, Paul was delighted to give Caitlan in marriage to Justin Jeffrey of Perry, Okla.
Chronic health issues forced Paul to take disability retirement at an early age. Even in retirement, he continued to contribute to the community as president of the Gumerlock Family Foundation. In addition, he was a tireless worker for the first Obama campaign. Throughout Paul’s extended illness, he was cared for by his wife, Michele and his son, Daniel. To the end, Paul was deeply appreciative of all the efforts made on his behalf.
He is survived by his wife, Michele Platten; by his daughter, Caitlan Jeffrey (Justin); and by his son, Daniel Gumerlock.
Funeral services will be private. Memorial donations may be made to Davis Schools Orchestral Music Association (DSOMA), PO Box 1305, Davis, CA 95617; or Food Bank of Yolo County, 1244 Fortuna Ave., Woodland, CA 95776.