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Ralph Blocksma Collection



Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Biographical information




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Ralph Blocksma Collection, 1933-2003 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

By Ed Gerritsen, June 2010

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Collection Overview

Title: Ralph Blocksma Collection, 1933-2003

ID: COLL/507

Primary Creator: Blocksma, Ralph

Extent: 1.75 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description

Date Acquired: 00/00/2009


Plastic and reconstructive surgeon (specialized in repairs for cleft lips and palates, decubitus ulcers, and burns), and served as a medical missionary. The collection includes biographical materials; diaries; writings; diplomas; awards; publications; speeches; lectures; correspondence; newspaper clippings; "Letters from Pakistan"; photographs (photographic images of surgical procedures are restricted); and materials from his leadership in the Christian Medical Society, Medical Assistance Program (MAP), Board of Affordable Medicines in Africa (AMFA); Oral Cleft Clinic; plus other medical and plastic surgery associations and societies.

Biographical Note

(1914 - 2001)

Ralph Blocksma was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1914. He was a student at Calvin College and graduated with his BA in 1936. He later went on to become a doctor and served on many medical societies and boards and became a medical missionary. Ralph spent a great deal of time and money to develop plastic surgery in third-world countries. He was married to Ruth Naomi Enss in 1940.  Ralph served as a captain in the US Army from 1942-1945. He was a plastic surgeon in the Army and worked in evacuation hospitals in England, France, and Germany. In 1949 he had a career in international medicine. Ralph Blocksma lived in Grand Rapids but died in Jacksonville, Florida. He was eighty-seven years old when he died in 2001.

Administrative Information

Repository: Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Alternate Extent Statement: 4 Boxes

Acquisition Source: Ruth Blocksma, 2009

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical information],
[Series 2: Publications],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous],
[Series 4: Photographs],

Series 1: Biographical information
Box 1
Folder 1: Blocksma family genealogy --- [1967?]
Folder 2: Curriculum Vitae --- 1942 and 1976
Folder 3: "Essays on Being Little in the 1920s" --- [undated]
Folder 4: Autobiography --- 1933
Folder 5: Military service documents --- 1942-1949
Folder 6: Surgery record during military service --- 1944-1945
Folder 7: World War II diary --- 1944-1945
Folder 8: Reminiscences of service during World War II --- 1945-1989
Folder 9: Record of surgeries performed in Pakistan --- 1952
Folder 10: Copies of diplomas and awards --- 1941-1976
Folder 11: Awards --- 1977-2000
Folder 12: Oral Cleft Clinic, surgery results and related materials --- 1972-1982
Folder 13: Log of Caribbean - Mexican travels --- 1976
Folder 14: Letter to his mother on her 103rd birthday --- 1989
Folder 15: State of Michigan Senate Concurrent Resolution Honoring Ralph Blocksma, MD --- 1991
Folder 16: List of scientific publications and lectures --- [1992?]
Folder 17: Obituaries, funeral service programs, and death certificate --- 2001

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical information],
[Series 2: Publications],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous],
[Series 4: Photographs],

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