Dr. David Wesley Sauer

Published 10:02 pm Monday, December 19, 2016

December 7, 1936 – December 14, 2016

Dr. David Sauer, 80, beloved husband and father, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 in the Smith Phayer Hospice House, Landrum, S.C.

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. Born at home in Southport, Conn., David was son to Gertrude and Harold Sauer, and the younger brother to Harold Sauer. He grew up in Fairfield, Conn. where he attended the Pequot Grammar School and Grasmere School through the seventh grade. Recognized for his character, intelligence, and insatiable curiosity, he earned full scholarship to the Fairfield Country Day School and for high school, full scholarship to the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass. David continued on full scholarship at Yale University and participated in the honors program. He graduated in 1958 with a B.A. in English. David moved onto Tufts Medical School, earned his M.D. in 1962 and was awarded internship (1962-63) at the Boston City Hospital where he discovered his interest in ophthalmology.

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In 1963, David enlisted in the armed services. Embracing his duty, he became a Naval Flight Surgeon. He finished training at the School of Naval Aviation and was assigned to a Marine Jet Squadron (VMF-AW-312) in El Toro, Calif. from January – December 1964. His squadron was then deployed for advanced training in Iwakuni, Japan. He was their Flight Surgeon from January 1965 – January 1966. While he was in the Navy, he taught English as a second language at the business school of the University of Hiroshima. David was also a guest participant and lecturer for a professional society devoted to 19th century American literature at the University.

In December 1965, David was discharged from the armed services and flew to Calcutta, India to meet his Yamaha motorcycle that he had shipped there. It was from Calcutta that he embarked on an incredible eight-month journey by motorcycle that took him across India, Nepal, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Monte Carlo, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and ended in the Netherlands.

At that point, he flew home to the United States to begin his eye surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania. While in Philadelphia, he met the first love of his life, Wilhelmina Davis (Willa), who 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 to the North Shore area of Massachusetts where David established his private Ophthalmology practice in Gloucester, Mass.

In 1977, David and Willa settled at Red Root Hill Farm in Essex, Mass. where they established their family home and horse farm and 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 (1973), Wilhelmina Elizabeth (Beth, 1977), and Laura Alexandra (1982). In 1996, he lost Willa to cancer and subsequently moved to the Carolinas to retire and spend his time raising and riding horses.

Being the gregarious individual that he was, he created a new and loving community, eventually finding the second love of his life, Mary Thompson. The family grew from four to five children with the addition of Mary’s daughter Jennifer.

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., www.hocfnet.net, or to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, www.theaftd.org/get-involved/ways-to-give/electronically.

An online guest register is available at www.mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com.

McFarland Funeral Chapel

Tryon, N.C.