Peter Carey Nowell

  • Born: February 8, 1928
  • Died: December 26, 2016
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tribute & Message From The Family

Peter was born on February 8, 1928 and passed away on Monday, December 26, 2016.

Peter was a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the time of passing.

Internment will be private. Memorial Service to be announced at a later date.
Contributions in Peter's memory can be made to The School in Rose Valley, 20 School Lane, Rose Valley, PA 19063 and Elwyn, 111 Elwyn Road, Media, PA 19063. Services entrusted to Walter J. Meyers Funeral Home, PC.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Posted by Michael Nowell    March 02, 2017

Sorry for your loss my Thoth's and prayers are with you and your family at this time of need. Your father was a great man for just the short time that I got to know him. Rest In Peace Michael Nowell

Posted by A friend   February 02, 2017

Posted by Michael Nowell    January 30, 2017

Posted by Michael Nowell    January 30, 2017

Posted by Michael Nowell    January 30, 2017

Posted by Michael Nowell    January 30, 2017

To the Extended School in Rose Valley Community,

It is with a full measure of sadness and sense of loss that I share the recent death of my father, Dr. Peter C. Nowell. While my practice has always been to keep my life outside of the school private, it was asked that I share a bit of the school's impact on my father and family and his efforts to support the school's longevity and spread its teachings.

My grandmother, Margaret Peg Nowell and my grandfather, Foster, found the school in 1931, two years into its experiment in education. They enrolled my father and his two brothers and the following year Peg took on the job of school secretary while Foster began to lend his engineering skills to the erection of the school's buildings. Within a dozen years, Grace Rotzel had pressed Peg into teaching the oldest group, a position she held for 18 years. My father and uncles were blessed with the teachings of the school's original Shop teacher, Mr. Rawson, and, while the manual tool skills of the program never quite took hold in him, Grace's science teachings and my father's reading of Paul Henry de Kruif's 1926 book Microbe Hunters at an early age provided the sparks of inspiration that he carried from his childhood into pursuing a career in the field of science.

My father also carried forward the approach to education that he had experienced as a child at The School in Rose Valley along with a deep dedication to education itself.
As an instructor, professor, Chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and first Director of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, now known as the Abramson Cancer Center, my father helped spearhead major curriculum changes in the way Penn educated medical students. He instituted the practice of first year students interacting directly with patients and did away with grades in the Medical School to name two in which he took particular pride. In recognition of his many contributions to medical education, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine named a departmental teaching award in his honor.

My father served on medical school and university committees and councils as well as being advisor to numerous individuals throughout the institution, including chairmen, deans, the provost and the president. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Wesleyan University, and chairman of their Education Committee, and he served on the boards of both Elwyn and The School in Rose Valley.

For those interested in the scope and particulars of my father's career in science, here is a good starting point:
An internet search on his name will provide a host of other resources.

In his retirement, I was able to coax my father back into the woodshop to the same worktables where he had hammered and sawed as a child, this time to directly offer his support to children engaging in the educational practices he believed in so deeply.

The School in Rose Valley lost one of its champions on December 26, 2016. May my father's love for this school and its dynamic approach to learning inspire us to take up the banner in his absence.

Posted by Michael Nowell - Swarthmore, PA   January 30, 2017

My sincere condolences to your family and friends. I have GIST cancer and take imatinib which allows me to live a full and happy life. Thank you, Dr. Nowell, for your research and contributions to cancer research.

Posted by Amanda K - Chattanooga, TN   January 12, 2017

What a legacy. Untold numbers of lives saved and will continue to be saved because of something you did.

Posted by Erin    January 07, 2017

I am a physician who was diagnosed with CML this last year. Thanks to Dr. Nowell's work, I knew right away that I was fortunate enough to have a very treatable cancer. His legacy will live on as so many patients with CML continue to live. Thank you.

Posted by A friend   January 03, 2017

My son was diagnosed in January 2016 with CML. Thank you for saving his life. Your research will continue to save lives for years to come!

Posted by Carol Hagen - Torrance, CA   January 03, 2017

January 3, 2017

We have only just now learned of Peter's death and send our condolences and warm sympathy to his family and dear friends. Like Janet Finan, who has also written her message, we knew Peter and Janet too, through our work in genetics with Peter and Janet and other colleagues at Penn.
Peter was one of the finest and most beloved of our colleagues at Penn and we rec'd our last Christmas note from his family just before Christmas. As Janet has said below, it was an honor to work with him and to know him and his dear wife. We are sad for his loss but know he would have been prepared to go. We loved him. Carlo Croce and Kay Huebner

Posted by Carlo and Kay Croce and Huebner - Columbus, OH   January 03, 2017

A great inspiration for me to enter into science and work on chromosome aberrations in genetic diseases including cancer. Philadelphia chromosome was reported in the year I was born (1960). It was in my maters degree program learned about the remarkable discovery within 4 years after the identification of correct number of human chromosomes as 46 in the pre-banding era. Dr. Nowell and Hungerford made a remarkable discovery which benefits thousands of patients suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia. History will remember Dr. Nowell forever as long as humans exits on this planet. Bravo Dr. Nowell.

Posted by Nallasivam Palanisamy - Ann Arbor, MI   January 03, 2017

I had the honor and pleasure of working for and with Dr Nowell for 34 years. He was one of the very finest people I have ever known as a boss, mentor and true friend. I will miss one of the most important people in my life. My husband Marty joins me in extending sympathy to his family. His was truly a life well lived.

Posted by Janet Finan - Ft. Myers, FL   December 30, 2016

I was greatly influenced by Dr Nowell's intelligence, generosity, and wonderful demeanor. It was an honor to have known him.

Posted by Daniel Sabath - Seattle, WA   December 29, 2016

Condolences to my cousins and families.
Peace be with you all

Posted by Jane Lee Kolasinski - Terrell, NC   December 29, 2016

The world has lost a great man who touched the lives of many. Wishes for peace and comfort to The Nowell Family

Posted by Jonni Moore - Philadelphia, PA   December 28, 2016


I wanted to express my deepest sympathy in the passing of your father. I was lucky enough to work for him at the University of Pennsylvania. The world is a better place because of Dr. Nowell. I am truly gratefully to be able to say I worked for him.

Posted by Honore Santore-Strauser - Philadelphia, PA - Coworker   December 28, 2016