Dr. David Wesley's Story
Dr. David Sauer, 80, beloved husband and father, passed away peacefully Wednesday, December 14, 2016, in the Smith Phayer Hospice House, Landrum, SC.
David lived an extraordinary life and leaves behind a robust legacy of family, friendships and accomplishments—a testament to a life of adventure and scholarship. David grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, son to Gertrude and Harold Sauer, and the younger brother of Harold Sauer. He attended Fairfield Country Day School and the Berkshire School. David continued on full scholarship at Yale University and graduated in 1958 with a B.A. in English and then earned his M.D. in 1962 from Tufts Medical School, followed by an internship at the Boston City Hospital from 1962 to 1963. In 1963, David became a Naval Flight Surgeon in the armed services. He was assigned to a Marine Jet Squadron (VMF-AW-312) in El Toro, Calif., and was deployed for advanced training in Iwakuni, Japan, where he was a Flight Surgeon from January 1965 to January 1966.
In December 1965, David was discharged from the armed services and embarked on an eight month journey by motorcycle across India and Western Europe. After his return to the U.S., he began his eye surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania. While in Philadelphia, he met the first love of his life, Wilhelmina Davis (Willa), whom he married in September, 1967. Upon completing his residency in 1969, David took his first professional position at Stanford University’s Department of Ophthalmology and in the same year, wife, Willa gave birth to their first child, David William. Three years later, David, Willa, and David, Jr. moved east and David established his private Ophthalmology practice in Gloucester, Mass.
In 1977, David and Willa moved to Essex, Mass., where they lived for the next 20 years. In that time, he grew his practice in Gloucester and his family with Willa, introducing three daughters, Wendy Anne, Wilhelmina Elizabeth (Beth), and Laura Alexandra. In 1996, he lost Willa to cancer and subsequently moved to the Carolinas to retire. It was there that he eventually met the second love of his life, Mary Thompson. Today, David is survived by his beloved wife, Mary; his son, David and wife, Christine Sauer; daughter, Wendy and fiancé, Josh Belisle; daughter, Beth; daughter, Laura and husband, Nicholas Player; Mary’s daughter, Jennifer and husband, Bill Hendrix; and two grandsons, Sam and Lucas.
A celebration of David’s life will be held in the spring of 2017. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer that donations are made in memory of David Sauer to the Smith Phayer Hospice House in Landrum, S.C., or to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, .