Richard Henry Saunders Jr., M.D. – Middlebury

Richard Henry Saunders Jr., M.D., 93, of Middlebury, died at his home on Aug. 12, 2012, surrounded by his family. He was born, Feb. 13, 1919, in Holland, Va., the son of Richard Henry Saunders and Floy (Simons) Saunders, both of whose families were early settlers of the Virginia Colony. He was an only child. After graduation from Holland High School (1935) and the University of Richmond (1939), he attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine from which he graduated in 1943. It was while working as an intern at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester that he met his future wife, Betsy Ann MacMillan, and on May 19, 1944, they were married. During 1945, he served in the Pacific theater as a medical officer on the escort aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Kadashan Bay. From 1947-1949 he was a resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital and instructor at Yale School of Medicine after which he held a fellowship in hematology at New England Center Hospital. In 1950, he moved to Burlington, where he served as a professor of medicine at the University of Vermont until 1957, held a Markle Foundation fellowship to study red blood cell production and was Associate Director of the Vermont-New Hampshire Blood Bank. For the next three years, he was associate director of education at Highland Hospital, Rochester, N.Y., and adjunct professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. During these years, he conducted a landmark study of university hospital internships at 40 American medical colleges subsequently published in the Journal of Medical Education. In 1960, he became a professor of medicine and Associate Dean of Cornell University Medical School, where he remained until 1965. From 1965-1969, he was Associate Director of the National Board of Medical Examiners in Philadelphia, Pa. Among his greatest professional accomplishments was helping to create the new University of Massachusetts Medical School where he was professor of medicine and Associate Dean from 1969-1982. From 1982-1989, he was coordinator of health services at the Willows, a retirement community in Westborough, Mass. Upon his retirement in 1989, he moved to Middlebury where he lived until 2001. From 2001-2006, he and his wife were residents of the Willows before returning to Middlebury. He took special pride in a marriage of almost 65 years and frequent visits from children and grandchildren. Among his survivors is his grandson, Greg Warrington and his wife, Jill of Shelburne. A reception will take place at the Lodge at Otter Creek on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, at 3 pm. Interment will be at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Vermont Foodbank, 33 Parker Rd., Barre, VT 05641.


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