Jewell Walker Sloan
Jewell Walker Sloan, 97, passed peacefully from this world in the company of her adoring daughter and son, Lisa and Walker, on January 17, 2021. She was unfortunately preceded in death by her beloved spouse Bill, as well as by Lisa’s dear husband Sidney, but is survived by her loving granddaughter Sidisa, her husband Michael, and their son Phoenix, all of whom provided her with great happiness. Her son Walker and Amelia also gave her additional grandchildren, Stella and Bryce, who were her frequent companions, particularly at Sunday dinner. Jewell was born in rural Tennessee near the banks of the Cumberland river. The daily rhythms of farm life were rich in family and friends. These seemingly humble beginnings provided the lessons that helped her to develop great strength of character, propelling her forward for an adventurous life.
With little money but tremendous perseverance, Jewell graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1947, and began her professional career as a chemist with the Addiction Research Center in Lexington, KY, helping to explore treatments for the addictive properties of narcotics. She went on to earn her Ph.D in Pharmacology, broadening her fields of interest by conducting extensive laboratory studies involving nicotine, opiates and benzodiazepines, eventually publishing more than 80 scientific papers and speaking at numerous national and international meetings. She retired from her position as Director of Research, Department of Pharmacology at UK in 2000, but remained active for may years thereafter as an Emeritus Professor. She took particular joy in her association with the College of Medicine, advocating for medical school candidates as part of her role on the admissions committee.
Despite her academic achievements, Church and family remained central to Jewell’s life. A long time member of Central Christian Church, she served with the Parish Nurse ministry, attending those in need with grace and love. For her family, she was generous with her time and her heart always remained open — no question was left unanswered, no need left unexplored. All who knew her felt their lives were made better by her presence in the world.
Private services are planned. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to either the Central Christian Church Parish Nurse Fund or the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.