Josephine Templeton, 79, of Bryn Mawr, a former pediatric anesthesiologist and member of a prominent philanthropic family in the Philadelphia area, died Friday, Oct. 25, of a blood disorder at her home.
Dr. Templeton, known as “Pina,” was the wife of John Marks Templeton Jr. A former pediatric surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, he retired from medicine in 1995 to head the John Templeton Foundation, a vehicle for the family’s philanthropy. He died in 2015.
She was born on the island of Capri, Italy, to Orlando and Angelina Gargiulo. Her family moved to the United States when she was 9 and settled in Brooklyn, N.Y.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Fordham University in 1961 and a medical degree from the University of Rome in 1968.
Dr. Templeton returned to the U.S. to serve a medical internship and residency at the Medical College of Virginia from 1968 to 1974. While there, she met and married “Jack” Templeton, a fellow medical resident. They launched joint careers.
After completing a residency in anesthesiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and a fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology and critical care at CHOP, she accompanied her husband to Virginia when he served in the Navy.
In 1977, she returned to CHOP as senior clinical anesthesiologist. The couple worked together at CHOP for 20 years. They often served on surgical teams, including those that separated conjoined twins.
One of a handful of female pediatric anesthesiologists, Dr. Templeton was a role model for other women who aspired to the specialty. She never sought the limelight, her family said.
Dr. Michael Nance, a former colleague who occupies the Josephine and John M. Templeton Jr. Chair in Pediatric Trauma at CHOP, recalled her calm presence in the operating room: “No matter how chaotic things might have been on the surgical side of the operative drapes, you knew things were in good hands when you saw Pina on the anesthetic side.”
Besides her work at CHOP, she was a teaching doctor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her caring physician’s persona, which never waned, “won her deep affection and gratitude from patients and colleagues,” her family said. She retired in 1999.
She received the 2007 Robert M. Smith Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, the field’s top honor.
In retirement, Dr. Templeton supported her husband’s work with the Templeton Foundation, founded by her father-in law, Sir John M. Templeton. At various times, she served as a trustee of the Templeton Foundation, the Templeton World Charity Foundation, and the Templeton Press.
In 2017, she committed $3 million to brain tumor research in a collaborative effort led by CHOP. Her husband had died of brain cancer, and the family hoped to defeat the disease by bringing together medical institutions to study it.
Dr. Templeton and her husband were instrumental in founding the Museum of the American Revolution. She also served on its board.
“She was grateful to carry on the story of the Revolutionary tradition, and eager for new generations to learn to appreciate their heritage of freedom, liberty, and sacrifice,” the family said.
Dr. Templeton was a member of the Union League of Philadelphia and a trustee of its Scholarship Foundation. The Templetons created the Sir John Templeton Heritage Center, the home of the league’s philanthropic arm, and starting in 2017, she funded the Jack Templeton Liberty Lecture Series.
She served on the board of Opera Philadelphia, Opportunity International, and the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.
The Templetons received the 2006 Heroes of Liberty Award from the National Liberty Museum and the 2012 Crystal Award from the Union League. She was honored with the 2015 Special Achievement Award in Philanthropy from the National Italian American Foundation.
She is survived by daughters Heather Templeton Dill and Jennifer Templeton Simpson; six grandchildren; and two sisters.
A visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, at Chadwick & McKinney Funeral Home, 30 E. Athens Ave., Ardmore. Services are private. Plans for a public memorial are pending.