About Dr. Marilyn Scudder
Dr. Marilyn Scudder born in 1939, Daughter of Lewis R. Scudder, Hope College ’31, graduated from Kodaikanal International School in 1956, Hope College in 1960, and received M.D. from the University of Michigan in 1965. She was a medical missionary in Tanzania for 35 years.
Her work in Africa began in 1970 when she was head of the eye department at a hospital in Mvuni, Tanzania. She returned to Minnesota in 1971 for further study, and in 1973 joined the eye department at a medical center in Moshi, Tanzania, where she became department head in 1979. According to a longtime friend, “She felt there was plenty of medical advice in the United States. She wanted to be where she was really of use.”
She was sponsored by a German group, the Christian Blind Mission International. The eye team took medical safaris by vehicle and small plane to 30 mission and government hospitals all over Tanzania. Scudder retired from surgery in 2001 and went to live and work with the Capuchin Sisters of Maua, on the western slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro near the village of Sanya Juu. She continued training nurses and holding eye clinics there.
Dr. Scudder received an Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology on Oct. 22, 2004, and the George Tani Humanitarian Service Award from the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology on Dec. 10, 2004. Hope College presented her with a Distinguished Alumni Award on May 7, 1988, and profiled her in a story in the August 1985 issue of news from Hope College that had previously been featured in the Kodaikanal International School’s alumni publication. She was diagnosed with primary amyloidosis in 2002. and died of that disease on Monday, May 16, 2005, in Dar es Salaam. She was buried May 21 at her home on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. She was 66 years old.