Francois Marthinus Booyse, 80, passed away on March 1, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he had resided since November 2020. He was born on April 15, 1941 in Kimberley, South Africa to Petrus Johannes Booyse and Catharina Wolmarans Booyse.
Francois grew up in Pretoria, SA, receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Science from the University of Pretoria, where he was a star winger on the rugby team. He left South Africa in 1965 to pursue a Ph.D. In Biochemistry at the University of Illinois Chicago. Upon completion of his degree in 1967 he joined the Biochemistry Department faculty as assistant professor at what today is Rush University, Chicago. He left Rush in 1979 to join the Michael Reese Research Foundation, Chicago, as Senior Research Associate/Director of the Division of Cellular Biology. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) as Professor in both the Departments of Medicine and Cell Biology in the School of Medicine and directed research in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease for 20 years. In 2007 the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System recognized his distinguished service with the appointment of Professor Emeritus.
Francois was recognized as a leading authority in human endothelial cell science and published numerous manuscripts over the years. In the later years of his career he developed an interest in the cardioprotective benefits of red wine and alcohol. He was well funded throughout his career by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and other sources. He lectured and published numerous papers and manuscripts until his retirement at the end of 2005. He held memberships in many professional and scholarly organizations, including the American Heart Association, American Society of Hematology, the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, and the North American Vascular Biology Organization, among others. He was recognized with a number of honors and awards from academic and professional organizations over the years.
Upon retirement Francois and Holly moved full time to their home on the shores of the Choctawhatchee Bay in Niceville, Florida, where he avidly pursued his lifelong passion for fishing. Through the years he always traveled with the appropriate fishing tackle, including many scientific meetings he attended that were near water. The endless fish tales are legendary and fortunately, many have photos to support them. During these years he made many visits to see his daughter, Yvette, in Texas so that he could help with the development of her growing animal rescue operation. He was so very proud of Yvette and her many accomplishments as an obstetrician-gynecologist and passionate animal rescue advocate.
Francois was preceded in death by his parents, his mother and father-in-law, Charles and Jean Kindred, his beloved grandmother-in-law, Hattie Kempf, with whom he shared a special immigrant bond, and more recently by his beloved dachshund Tex. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Holly Kindred Booyse, of Indianapolis, his daughter, Dr. Yvette Gordon, of Texas, his sisters-in-law, Claudia Johnson (Robert) of Indianapolis, Valerie Lerner (Bruce) of Vista, CA, nephew Aaron Marshall (Jordan Finch) of Indianapolis, many cousins, and by his precious dachshund Rose. The family would like to thank special friend Dr. Bobbie Jellison and caregiver Kavika King, as well as nurse Cara and the many other wonderful staff at Anew Hospice for their love and support during this difficult time.
A celebration of Francois’ life will be held in May in Indianapolis. Contributions in Francois’ memory may be made to Clipped Ear Cat Sanctuary, 206A South Loop, 336 West #229, Conroe, TX 77304 (ClippedEar.org) or The Jovial Family Farm, 907 Junction Place, Indianapolis, IN 46220 (JovialFamilyFarm.org).