Remembering Raymond Melrose


Ostrow Communications


10 Oct 18

It is with deep regret we share the news of the passing of longtime Trojan Dental Family member, Dr. Raymond Melrose.


Ray served the USC dental community for 35 years as a faculty member, before retiring in 2001. Since then, he and his wife, Director of Dental Hygiene Diane Melrose, have been steadfast supporters of the Ostrow community and in regular attendance of our events. Today, we all join Diane in mourning the loss of a tremendous Trojan.   

Ray graduated with his doctor of dental surgery degree in 1962 from Northwestern University. Afterward, he completed military service as a Captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps, serving in the Panama Canal Zone. In 1968, he completed a dental internship and residency in oral pathology at the U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach.

He joined USC’s faculty as a special lecturer in 1966, rising to the rank of professor. During his 35 years of service, the tenured professor held a key number of leadership positions within the dental school, serving as the assistant director of continuing education, co-director of the USC/LAC Oral Pathology Residency Program, associate dean of academic affairs, chair of the Department of Diagnostic Sciences and chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

He retired in 2001 and was named Professor Emeritus in honor of his faithful service and in anticipation of his continued involvement in the USC community.

Since then, Ray taught at the LAC+USC Medical Center and at the Martin Luther King Jr. General Hospital, providing oral pathology conferences to the residents in oral and maxillofacial surgery at both hospitals and to the Department of Pathology at LAC+USC.

He has also remained active in the USC dental community, serving alongside Diane on the school’s Friends of Dentistry organization since 2004.

Ray was very active in organized dentistry, serving presidential terms with the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology  and the Southern California Academy of Oral Pathology and. He was a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association and served as a member of the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation. He also served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for nine years.

Outside of dentistry, Ray was a longtime volunteer with the American Cancer Society (ACS). He served as past-president of the ACS’ California Division, honorary life member of the California Board of Directors and a founding member of the ACS Cancer Action Network, the organization’s political arm. Ray spent his career helping to develop public policy aimed at smoking cessation. He successfully lobbied the L.A. City Council to ban smoking in restaurants and helped develop smoking bans in the nation’s airports. He earned a Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award and the St. George Award, which is the highest honor the ACS bestows on a volunteer. In honor of his achievements in tobacco control the Northwestern University Alumni Association awarded him its coveted Service to Society Award in 2010.

Most recently, Ray and Diane made a donation to establish the Melrose Faculty Lounge in 2017.  This lounge, located on the 4thfloor of the Norris Dental Science Center, serves as an enduring tribute to their relationship, which began in the halls of the USC dental school.

Ray was preceded in death by his son Matthew is survived by his wife Diane and son Brenden.

In lieu of flowers, the Melroses have asked that donations be made for benign hematology research. Send checks to Howard Liebman Research, Kenneth Norris Cancer Center, 1441 Eastlake Ave., NOR 3440, MC 9172, Los Angeles, CA 90033. Checks should be made payable to “Howard Liebman Research” and write on the subject line, “In remembrance of Raymond Melrose.”

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