DAVID BOGART PILCHER M.D.

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DAVID BOGART PILCHER, MD - COLCHESTER - David Bogart Pilcher, MD, vascular surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, who dearly loved his craft, his family and Vermont, died peacefully, in his home in Colchester, on Sept. 4, 2012. His death followed a long struggle with prostate cancer. He was 78 years old. David was born May 11, 1934, in Boston, the son of Dr. Lewis and Eleanor Pilcher. He grew up in West Newton, Mass., but he enjoyed many summers at his family's camp on Lake Champlain. After graduating from Amherst College and medical school at the University of Rochester, he followed his heart back to Burlington to complete his surgical residency at UVM. He spent two years as an Army surgeon in the Vietnam War, and completed a Vascular Surgery Fellowship at UCLA. In 1970, on returning to Vermont to join the Department of Surgery faculty, he found himself at the forefront of advances in trauma and vascular surgery. In the 1970s, he directed the Emergency Room at the Mary Fletcher Hospital. David pioneered advanced medical training for first responders such as ambulance crews and firefighters, and he established the system for Emergency Medical Services that still serves Northern New England today. He was the state's first board-certified vascular surgeon, and a President of the New England Society for Vascular Surgery. He served for many years as an Associate Editor at the Journal of Trauma; and he authored scores of academic research articles and book chapters that included important innovations in the use of vascular ultrasound. After retirement, he went on to write a definitive history of Surgery at the University of Vermont entitled "Catamount Surgeons." There is no doubt that his life's work was also his great passion; and that he felt a particular, enduring pride in the lives and careers of the young surgeons that he taught and mentored over the years. David is survived by his wife of 23 years, Suzanne Wulff Pilcher; by his brother, Paul Schuyler Pilcher of Wellfleet, Mass.; and by Jonathan Pilcher, Susan Pilcher, Chris Pilcher, Warren Wulff and Wendie Wulff, his beloved children and stepchildren. He is also survived by his daughters-in-law, Laura Dober Pilcher, Barbara Laraia and Susan Buell Wulff; and by his son-in-law, Steve Black. To six grandchildren, Dylan, Max, Alex, Joshua, Meghan and Chris, he will be remembered as the one and only, fabulous "Grandave." He is also survived by his first wife, Jean Rogers Pilcher, of Burlington. He was predeceased by his brother Stephen; and by his sister, Nan Pilcher Frymoyer. David is remembered as a modest and honest man who, even outside the operating room, never stopped learning, never slowed down, and always demanded all that there was from life. He loved the lake - he sailed, motored around looking for turtles, and photographed birds. In winter he skied, and especially loved taking the last run of the day with the Ski Patrol. He loved cutting brush, maple sugaring and finding mushrooms in the woods. And he loved us well. He will be missed.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Sept. 6, 2012
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