Jan. 11, 1934 – May 9, 2023
Dr. Margaret A. "Peggy" Acara, a research scientist and professor in the University of Buffalo's medical and dental schools, died May 9. She was 89.
Born in Buffalo, one of 13 children, Margaret Ann Smith was the daughter of Adelbert and Helen Smith and niece of Bishop Leo Smith, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo from 1952 to 1963.
She graduated from what is now D’Youville University with a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1955 and became a research scientist at what was then Roswell Park Memorial Institute.
After completing a degree in pharmacology at UB, she joined the faculty as a professor of pharmacology and therapeutics. Her research focused primarily on renal drug metabolism and resulted in 57 publications and 950 citations in scientific journals.
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Also an advocate for gender equality, she co-directed UB's Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender, headed its research division and pushed to end discrimination of women in higher education. She received the Award of Excellence in 2000 from Everywoman Opportunity Center and was a board member of Hopevale Inc., a residential treatment center for young women.
After retiring in 2000, she wintered in Mandeville, La., to be near her grandchildren and was involved in social and scholarly groups there.
She was an avid reader, an aspiring chef and traveled extensively.
Her husband, Thomas J. Acara, who founded the Tonawanda Contact Lens Center, died in 2019.
Survivors include a son, Thomas; three daughters, Mary Grace Knapp, Janet Acara and Rosanne Boczar; three brothers, Francis Smith, Dennis Smith and William Smith; two sisters, Teresa Carpp and Ann Groel; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered May 13 in St. Joseph Cathedral, 50 Franklin St.