Donald A. Adams, MD ’55 (RES ’59), passed away on May 27, 2013 — four days before his 87th birthday — due to complications from prolonged illnesses. Dr. Adams was a member of the first class of the new UCLA School of Medicine and had the unique distinction of being the first graduate from the medical school in 1955. He was born in Hollywood and lived in West Los Angeles throughout his life. He attended Santa Monica High School, where he played varsity basketball. Two days after his high school graduation, in 1944, Dr. Adams joined the Navy, where he served for two years. After the military, he attended UCLA, earning his bachelor's and master's degrees. Dr. Adams had a private practice specializing in Internal Medicine and Nephrology in West Los Angeles for more than 31 years. During this time, he was active in many medical associations, including the California Medical Association, American Medical Association, the Society of Internal Medicine, and the National Kidney Foundation. He served as chief of staff at Santa Monica UCLA Hospital and received numerous awards, including the Professional Achievement Award from the UCLA Medical Alumni Association in 1996.
Barbara Marion Ajello passed away from brain cancer on May 4, 2013, surrounded by family and friends at her home in Fallbrook, California. She was 73 years old. Mrs. Ajello was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Dallas, Texas, and Arcadia, California. She graduated from UCLA in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and master’s degree in education. Mrs. Ajello met her husband of 47 years, Joseph M. Ajello, at a dance in 1965. They married in North Hollywood the following year. Their son, Michael, was born in 1971. They moved to Fallbrook in 2004, after living in Arcadia for 32 years. Mrs. Ajello and her husband loved traveling together around the world and once lived for a year in Paris, France. Mrs. Ajello taught Spanish for the Los Angeles Unified School District. During her career, while teaching in Arcadia, she was selected as Teacher of the Year. Upon retiring from teaching after 30 years — having touched the lives of more than 1,000 students — she became a certified physical-fitness instructor at 24-Hour Fitness and the Paradise Club. A long-time volunteer, Mrs. Ajello was active in several organizations, including AAUW, Rally for Children and the Angel Shop. Mrs. Ajello is survived by her husband, Joseph M. Ajello, PhD, three sisters-in-law and five brothers-in-law. Two graduate-level fellowships are being established in Mrs. Ajello’s name for brain cancer research at UCLA and UC San Diego.