Cover photo for Dr. Michael Phillip Waalkes's Obituary
Dr. Michael Phillip Waalkes Profile Photo
1953 Dr. 2022

Dr. Michael Phillip Waalkes

August 6, 1953 — July 27, 2022

Dr. Michael Phillip Waalkes, 68, passed away Wednesday July 27, 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dr. Waalkes was born August 6, 1953 to the late T. Phillip and Francis Brewster Waalkes in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Waalkes received his Bachelor’s degree from Hope College in biology and chemistry in 1975 and his Ph.D. from West Virginia University in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1981. Before retiring in 2014, he worked more than 31 years conducting cancer research with the National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute, and National Institute of Environmental Sciences where he was a Chief and Lab Director for over 20 years. For ten years, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Dr. Waalkes won numerous awards for his scientific research including the Society of Toxicology (SOT) esteemed Achievement Award and the Career Achievement Award from the SOT Metals Specialty Section. He was an accomplished and well-respected scientist who published over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles as well as serving as a featured speaker at numerous national and international meetings. He was elected to SOT Council and several other SOT positions, served as an advisor to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) with the World Health Organization, and was a member of the EPA IRIS Toxicology Review Committee. Michael was an engaging, energetic, caring, kind and humorous person. He loved football, woodworking, building models, swimming, fishing, gardening and history. His strong Christian values guided his life choices. Mike will be remembered as a loving husband, father, brother and friend who will be deeply missed.

Mike is preceded in death by his mother, Francis Brewster Waalkes; his father, T. Phillip Waalkes; and his siblings, Kelly Waalkes Butler and Steve Waalkes.

Mike is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Michele Conte Waalkes; sons, Phillip Waalkes (and wife Elizabeth Waalkes), Joseph Waalkes, and Thomas Waalkes (and fiancée Haley Bamborough); siblings, Richard Waalkes, Robert Waalkes, and Nancy Waalkes Hunt; numerous nieces, nephews; and loving friends and family members.

A Memorial service will be held on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at 1:00 pm at Bay Leaf Baptist Church (12200 Bay Leaf Church Road, Raleigh, NC 27614-9130). The family will receive friends in the fellowship hall 1 hour prior to the service at 12:00 pm. Officiating will be Rev Billy Driver.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be directed to The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. Checks should be made payable to Tisch Brain Tumor Center and sent to the Tisch Brain Tumor Center, DUMC Box 3624, Durham, NC 27710. Or you may donate on-line at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Michael Phillip Waalkes, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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