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David Willard ’60

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docDavid Alan Willard, M.D., FACP, FACE, of Marlton NJ, and formerly of Princeton NJ and Bethel ME, died December 12, 2015. Dr. Willard, 77, a widely respected and beloved physician, practiced internal medicine and endocrinology in Princeton for more than three decades.

He leaves his second wife of 15 years, Margaret (Peg) McDonald Willard, of Marlton NJ; his four children and their spouses: Edward (Ted), and Courtney Willard of Pilot Mountain, NC; Carol, and Joseph Sullivan of Yardley, PA; Catherine, and Brendon Jenks of Kansas City, KS; Sarah, and Scott Steinhauer of Princeton NJ; 10 grandchildren; and his first wife and mother of his children, Patricia Stewart-Willard of West Windsor NJ. He also leaves four sisters, Christine Bennett, Nancy Willard, Ruth Feeney, and Mary Corkum in Maine, and a brother, Ronald Willard, in Springfield, Virginia.

David/Dr. Willard was deeply devoted to his family, Princeton and Princeton University and to his Maine roots. He grew up in Bryant Pond and Bethel ME, where he graduated from Gould Academy in 1956, remaining close with many Gould classmates over the years, and loving his ‘Joy Cottage’ on Lake Christopher in Bryant Pond. He was a devoted member of the Princeton University Class of 1960 and also maintained warm relationships with his class members.

Following graduation from the Tufts University Medical School Class in 1964, his career as a physician began with internship and residency at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, and a residency at the Boston Veterans’ Administration Hospital. He broadened his experience with a summer internship at the Public Health Hospitals in Anchorage and Kotzebue, Alaska. After two years as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force in Grand Forks, North Dakota (where he also ran the “Willard Clinic” in the small farming town of Michigan, ND), he took an endocrinology fellowship at the University Hospital in Boston. He subsequently settled into private practice in internal medicine and endocrinology in Princeton for the next 31 years.

David/Dr. Willard was the first Board-Certified Endocrinologist in Central New Jersey and served as president of the Mercer Medical Society. Along with his private practice, he founded one of the first Independent Practice Associations (IPA), worked for Bristol Meyers Squibb in first-in-man studies for Captopril and other pharmaceuticals and as a consultant in Medicine at the North Princeton Developmental Center. He was one of the last, if not the last, physicians to make house calls in Princeton. He authored over 50 articles in clinical pharmacology literature. In the mid-nineties, he took a six-month sabbatical from his Princeton practice and went to Russia as a physician in an American clinic.

For more than two decades, until 2009, he served as Graduate Chairman for Terrace Club and oversaw many improvements in the Club following a major fire in the late eighties. He was a member of the Medical Center of Princeton Board of Trustees and a member of the Board of Directors of Trinity Counseling Service in Princeton.

A man who delighted in his own New England quirkiness, he was known for his thriftiness, enjoyment of a good joke and making others laugh, recitation of the list of all the Maine counties and their capitals, frequent review of all 28 of the jobs he’d held over the years (including ice truck helper, caddy, paper mill worker, orderly at the Maine Medical Center), and passion for the Red Sox. He also thoroughly enjoyed Mozart, the Impressionists, antique clocks, opera … and Oreos and Snickers.

Always a philosopher, one of his favorite expressions was that “there’s good and bad about everything.” An avid Princeton basketball and football fan, he wrote about himself in 2000 for a Princeton Alumni publication, quipping that he was headed, “into the 4th quarter with a small lead.” That lead faded in 2007 when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He spent the final chapters of his life living each day to the fullest, and battling the disease and its symptoms with his characteristic intensity, gentleness, intelligence, courage and humor. He passed away from complications of the disease. Donations may be made to Terrace Club, Princeton University, Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine, the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Cherry Hill, or the Alzheimer’s Association.