Dr. Ayd, pioneer in psychopharmacology, dies at 87

A funeral Mass for Dr. Frank J. Ayd Jr., a distinguished psychiatrist and world leader in medicine who was dedicated to the Catholic Church, was offered March 24 at St. John the Evangelist, Hydes.

Dr. Ayd died March 17; he was 87. A graduate of Loyola College and the University of Maryland Medical School, he followed in the footsteps of his father, a pediatrician, and his grandfather, a pharmacist.

He served in the U.S. Navy Reserve Medical Corps in 1943, and while working at the veterans’ hospital in Perry Point, he became fascinated with psychiatry and the emerging field of psychopharmacology.

The father of 12 children moved with his family to Rome in 1962 and was the first American layman appointed to the faculty of the Pontifical Gregorian University. He broadcast weekly on the Vatican Radio program “Religion and Science.”

In 1963, the family had a private audience with Pope Paul VI.

“One of the greatest gifts my father gave to me and my brothers and sisters was the opportunity to live in Rome for three years. He instilled in all of us a lifelong appreciation for our faith, family and work and opened our eyes to the world and other cultures,” said his daughter Teresa Ayd Knott.

In a career that found him sharing his knowledge at colleges, universities and medical schools in every state and 47 nations, he authored more than 400 articles and authored, co-edited and contributed to more than 50 books, including three editions of “Principles and Practice of Psychopharmacotherapy.”

In recognition of his service, Dr. Ayd had received numerous honors and awards. He received the Holy Name Society Award for Maryland in 1960; the St. Vincent Pallotti Award in 1964; the Rev. Joseph M. Kelly S.J. Award from Loyola High School in 1965; and the Alumnus of the Year Award from Loyola College in 1975. He received numerous medical accolades as well.

In the fall of 2003, Dr. Ayd was invested into the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, a papal honor bestowed upon outstanding Catholic laymen.

Dr. Ayd and his wife, the former Rita Anne Corasaniti, attended Mass at Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington until his health would not permit it. He then became devoted to watching Eternal Word Television Network.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Ayd is survived by his 12 children: Frank J. Ayd III, Joseph M. Ayd, Margaret A. “Maggi” Reid, Virginia “Ginda” Simpson, Teresa Ayd Knott, Loretta M. Simpson, Martha Teitelbaum, Christina Lears, Thomas J. Ayd, Vincent J. Ayd, John J. Ayd, and Rita “Bird” O’Brennan. He also is survived by 32 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren. Dr. Ayd is also survived by two sisters, Jane Morales and Regina Brockmeyer, and one brother Robert Ayd. His brother Rev. Joseph J. Ayd, S.J., died in 1999.

Memorial donations may be made to Mother Angelica of EWTN, 5817 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35210.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.