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Former pharmacy professor Frate dies in auto accident
27-Oct-2007: OXFORD - An automobile accident has claimed the life of Dennis A. Frate, a former longtime pharmacy professor at the University of Mississippi.
The accident occurred Monday near his home in Jackson.
Frate, a medical anthropologist widely known for his studies of rural health in the Mississippi Delta, joined the School of Pharmacy faculty in 1980 as an assistant professor.
He left in 2000 to become a professor of preventive medicine at the UM Medical Center, where he served until retiring June 30.
Frate is survived by his wife, Juliet B. Frate, and daughter Elizabeth.
The family requests that memorials be sent to Tutwiler Clinic Inc., P.O.Box 462, Tutwiler, MS 38963.
After earning a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Miami University, Frate completed master's and doctoral degrees in medical anthropology at the University of Illinois. During his graduate studies, he spent time in the Delta studying geophagy, the practice of eating dirt.
"It was kind of a running joke we had," Banahan said. "Every three or fouryears, somebody would rediscover the geophagy article, and Dennis would geta whole new round of calls from people doing stories on dirt-eating."
The researcher was even invited to be a guest on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" to discuss the practice, but he declined because hedid not want the work taken lightly, Banahan said.
Source: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal