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Dr. Virginia Childs Chamberlain

Dr. Virginia Childs Chamberlain, 72, a long time resident of Bethesda, Maryland, and recently of Palm Harbor, FL, died Tuesday August 31, 2010 in her daughter's Salem home following a long illness.

Born in New London, Connecticut January 25, 1938 she was the only child of the late Elbert and Catherine Fussell Childs. Raised In Hastings-on-Hudson, New York she was a graduate of Connecticut College, graduating as a chemistry major. "Ginny" moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in biochemistry at the National Institute of Health, then went to work at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health of the Food and Drug Administration. Upon her retirement from the FDA she worked for several years as a sterilization consultant for the medical device industry . Settling in Bethesda, Maryland, Virginia married and raised two children, volunteered to teach science to kids and created floral arrangements for her church. Along the way she received a MS in Biochemistry from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Toxicology from American University at the age of fifty. Dr. Virginia Chamberlain was the founding Chairperson of the International Standards Organization Technical Committee 198, Sterilization of health care products . She chaired numerous national and international committees that wrote sterilization standards for health care products , which are widely used today. She traveled to several international standards meetings including London, Stockholm, Vancouver, Ottawa, and New Orleans . Getting to know her counterparts around the world gave her insights into other cultures and enabled her to find common ground among all committee members from academia, industry and government to write many voluntary consensus sterilization standards. Since retiring in 1995 she also pursued her long-term interestslandscape gardening, hiking in the beautiful North Carolina mountains, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, quilting, and studying history. She enjoyed Brubeck, Ella, and Sinatra. With her longtime companion, " Skip " Edmonds, she enjoyed bridge, tennis, theater, opera, classical and jazz concerts. After moving from Maryland in 1997 she wintered in Palm Harbor, Florida and summered in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Her most recent favorite pastime was being a grandmother.

In addition to her longtime companion Henry G. “Skip” Edmonds of Florida, she is survived by a son, Steven M. Ross and his wife Nancy of Mountain View, California, a daughter Linda Ross Girard and her husband Thomas of Salem, three grandchildren, Nathan Ross of California and Samantha Jean and Rosalyn Virginia Girard both of Salem.

Her funeral service will be held Sunday, September 5 at 4 pm in the First Presbyterian Church 179 County Road, Ipswich, MA 01938. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in her name may be made to Suzanne Berlin, D.O, Women’s Cancer Program, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115-6084.

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