Dr. Edward W. Malphus, a beloved pediatrician whose patients included children of celebrities and the poorest of the poor, died Aug. 3 at his home in Santa Monica. He was 64.
Dr. Malphus was diagnosed with cancer in December 2014, but was well enough to see patients and continue ocean swimming until about six weeks ago. A funeral mass will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday August 11 at St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Santa Monica.
He was born on Sept. 19, 1950 in Miami, Florida to Roy and Hilda Malphus, who owned an air conditioning and refrigeration business.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola University in New Orleans and a medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in pediatric nutrition and gastroenterology at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
An interest in community medicine brought him to Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital in Los Angeles. During that internship, he married Mary Lou Fitzpatrick, now a fundraiser for Boy Scouts of America.
For more than 30 years Dr. Malphus was in private practice in Santa Monica, where many of his current patients are children of his first generation of patients. He was Chairman of Pediatrics at St. John’s Hospital from 1994-2000.
Helping the needy was a central tenet of both his professional and personal life. Beginning with an internship at Martin Luther King, Jr. General Hospital in 1975, he continued to serve the inner city community throughout his career.
Dr. Malphus served for two years with the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP) on their Pediatric Risk Assessment Peer Review Committee.
For a decade he served as president of Mission Doctors Association, a Catholic agency providing health care in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. He spent a month on a medical mission in Cameroon in 2011 where he treated patients with malaria, HIV disease, malnutrition and all sorts of parasitic infestations. In 2013 the association honored him for his years of leadership and personal service.
A devoted Catholic, Dr. Malphus sought deeper spiritual awareness through private study and monastic retreats. He also was a koi fancier, dedicated gardener, and a year-round ocean swimmer who competed in distance swims worldwide and joked about bonding with dolphins in Santa Monica Bay.
A dapper dresser, Dr. Malphus was famous for his bow ties.
Dr. Malphus and his wife were members of the Jonathan Club and regularly attended events at both the downtown and Santa Monica locations.
Dr. Malphus is survived by his wife of 40 years, Mary Lou, his mother, Hilda, his brothers Bill (Becky), and Bob (Barbara) and many friends. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Monica’s Catholic Church, 725 California Ave, Santa Monica, Tuesday, August 11 at 1:30 p.m.