Dr. Edgar Draper

Dr. Edgar Draper, 93, Physician, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, died Saturday, November 16, 2019 at his home.

Services will be held at Parkway Funeral Home Chapel at 1 PM on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Entombment will be in a crypt in the Draper family mausoleum at Parkway Memorial Cemetery. The family will be visiting with friends on Tuesday from 12 until 1 PM.

Dr. Draper was a native of St. Louis, where his father, Dr. Neal Draper, was a prominent physician and his mother, Florence, was a school teacher. He was a graduate of Beaumont High School in St. Louis and was awarded a 4-year Honor Scholarship to Washington University for being the top student in his class. He graduated from Washington University in 1946 with an A.B. degree. He then entered divinity school at Duke University and completed his Bachelor’s of Divinity degree from Garrett Biblical Institute at Northwestern University in 1949. He was ordained Deacon and Elder in the Methodist church, serving parishes in Raleigh, NC, Rockford and Garden Prairie, IL, before entering medical school at Washington University in order to become a psychiatrist. He was elected president of his class, and at graduation ceremonies presented a certificate of “Doctor of Loyalty” to his wife, Jane, and to the other five married classmates' wives.

He interned at St. Louis City Hospital on the Washington University service. In 1954, he entered psychiatric training at Cincinnati General Hospital. His training at Cincinnati General was interrupted by the doctor’s draft during the Korean War. He was assigned to the Public Health Service Hospital in Fort Worth, TX, where he served two years as a Sr. Assistant surgeon. He then returned to Cincinnati General, where he completed his residency in 1959.

He then became Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. In 1960, he began his psychoanalytic training and graduated from the Chicago Institute of Psychanalysis in 1966. By 1968, he had risen to the rank of Associate Professor of Psychiatry. He then became Professor and Director of Resident Education at the University of Michigan. In 1975, he was appointed Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS and served in this capacity until 1994, when he became Professor Emeritus.

Throughout his academic years, Dr. Draper became deeply involved in the study and research of the psychological functions of religion and beliefs, writing a number of scientific papers on this subject. His books included: Psychiatry and Pastoral Care, Community Psychiatry and the Clergyman, and Psychiatry and the Student Physician. He contributed chapters to many books; e.g. his autobiography – “An Illusion’s Past” – was included as a chapter in the book, Healers of the Mind. His most significant scientific papers included “The Diagnostic Value of Religious Ideation”, “A Developmental Theory of Suicide”, and “The Role of Transference in the Formation of Beliefs.”

Honors included: An “Award of Commendation” from the Chicago Academy of Religion and Mental Health, selection as the “Man of the Month” by the Pastoral Psychology Journal, and being named to the Sigma XI Honorary Society. He was also given the “Physicians Recognition Award” by the Mental Health Association of Hinds County. In 1987, he was designated “A Visiting Scholar” in residence at the University of Chicago. He achieved specialty certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1961 and was later named an “Examiner” of candidates for the Board. In 1966, he received a “Graduate Diploma” from the Chicago Institute for Psychanalysis. He served on the Board of the Methodist Foundation at the University of Chicago for several years.

He was a member of the Nu Sigma Nu medical fraternity, the Illinois Psychiatric Society, the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, the Michigan Psychiatric Society, and the American Association of Chairmen of Departments of Psychiatry.

He was licensed to practice medicine in Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and Mississippi. He was a former president of the Mississippi Psychiatric Association and was a board member of the Mental Health Association of the greater Jackson area. He served as the chairman of the “Committee on Religion” of the American Psychiatric Association from 1980 to 1986. While chairman of this committee, he initiated the “Oscar Pfister Award” for accomplishments in the fields of religion and psychiatry. He was an officer in the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residence Training and served as “Parliamentarian” in the Southern Psychiatric Association from 1978 until his death.

He was a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytic Association. He was a Fellow in the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Southern Psychiatric Association, the American College of Psychiatrists, the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians, the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, and the American College of Psychoanalysts, in which he was elected to the Board of Regents, having served at program chairman from 1996-2000. He was a “Life Fellow” in the American Psychiatric Association and served on its board of directors.

According to his wife, Jane, Dr. Draper loved life, his work and play. He was an avid sportsman, earning high school letters in track, diving, and golf. He was a varsity member of the Washington University basketball team. As a youth, he won the St. Louis playground table tennis championship. He continued his enjoyment of golf all of his life and was a member of Barton Hills in Ann Arbor, MI, the County Club of Jackson and the Mississippi Seniors Golf Association. After his retirement, Dr. Draper became interested in “birding” and duplicate bridge, achieving a number of master points as a member of the Jackson Bridge Club and the American Contract Bridge Society. He was a member of the Magnolia Investment Club and served two terms as president. His wife quotes him as saying: “The worst thing about dying is losing the loved ones of your family and friends and their loss of you.”

Proceeding him in death were is loving wife, Norma Jane, and his most loved brothers Verden and Neal.

Dr. Draper is survived by their three children, Susan Jane Draper-Masteller, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Anne Meyers Klevay (Tom), Newberg, Oregon, Neal Edgar Draper (Leah), Clarksdale, Mississippi, his six grandchildren, Madeline Jane Buyers (Bradley), Jack Edgar Masteller, Alexander James Klevay, Nicholas Jon Klevay, Mary Myers Parks (Andrew), Benton Burris Draper, two great granddaughters, Gwyneth Jane and Charlotte Faye Buyers and great grandson, James Toler Parks.

If desired, memorial contributions can be made to the UMMC Psychiatric Residents' Draper Endowment, c/o the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216.

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1. He drove a blue ‘77 Chevy Nova in high school. 2. He played on Jackson Prep’s 1985 and 1986 state championship basketball teams.