Edmond J. Yunis, M.D., 93

June 17, 2023

Edmond J. Yunis, M.D., age 93, of Concord, died peacefully after a heart attack on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.  He was the beloved husband of Borghild (Olson) Yunis for 58 years and father and father-in-law of Maria and Donald (Crookes); David and Silvana; Joseph and Suzanne; and Christian and Shabnam; and adored grandfather of Gregory (Foley), Camila, Matthew, Joseph Jr., Alexandra, Ava and Darius. 

Edmond was an active member of the West Concord Union Church.

Born in Sincelejo, Colombia on August 8, 1929, he was the oldest son of Jose and Victoria (Turbay) Yunis. Through fate and unbelievable events, one of nine children of proud Lebanese immigrants with modest means and education, Edmond became a world-renowned scientist and Harvard Medical School Professor. In recognition of his contributions to his field, he was given the title of Emeritus Professor of Pathology in 2016. 

Educated in Bogotá, Colombia, Edmond received his MD in 1954. After finding his way to the USA for his postdoctoral training, his multiple academic and hospital appointments started at the University of Minnesota in 1960. His involvement played a huge role in developing a secure method for blood transfusions during the development of open heart surgery. During this time he met and married his beloved lifelong companion, Borgie.

In 1976, Dr. Yunis, was appointed as a Professor of Pathology at the Harvard Medical School where he was the Chief of the Division of Immunogenetics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.Professor Yunis’s scientific contributions were vast, his major research interests were human immunogenetics and molecular basis of disease. His work in HLA continues to be instrumental for donor matching and organ transplantation. He was known worldwide and received numerous esteemed honors and awards.

Larger than life, all who knew Edmond, knew his heart—expanding to hold anyone regardless of their station. He was loved by many who saw him as their mentor, teacher, friend, brother, uncle, and second father. He loved to write poetry, listen to classical music, and dance to latin music. A proud father and even prouder grandfather, he beamed when with his grandchildren. The family has beautiful memories of family trips, summer weekends in New Hampshire and holiday gatherings. 

Family and friends will gather for visiting hours on Friday, July 14th from 4 to 6 pm at Dee Funeral Home, 27 Bedford Street, Concord Center. A memorial service in celebration of  Edmond’s Life will be held in the Trinitarian Congregational Church, 54 Walden Street, Concord Center on Saturday, July 15th at 11 am. The service will be live streamed and recorded.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the BU ICCR Program (www.bu.edu/cbr) which has been particularly helpful to his granddaughter, Lexi,  The Glioblastoma Foundation (www.glioblastomafoundation.org) in hope to make a difference to his son, Christian, or to The West Concord Union Church (www.westconcordunionchurch.org).

Arrangements are entrusted to Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord. For Ed’s full obituary, online guestbook and church livestream link, please visit www.DeeFuneralHome.com.