WILLIAM MARTIN STAHL, MD - LARCHMONT, N.Y. - William Martin Stahl, MD, passed away on Dec. 22, 2012, at age 90. Bill and his family lived in Burlington for many years, beginning in 1962. Bill was a practicing surgeon, an academic, scientist, master teacher, and lifelong musician, who dedicated much of his professional life to the cause of providing quality health care for the poor. He attended Dartmouth College and Harvard Medical School, graduating from each in three years under the U.S. Navy's wartime accelerated program. He was later commissioned as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps (1951-52) and stationed in the Marshall Islands at Eniwetok Atoll under the auspices of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. He received a commendation for his outstanding performance while commanding officer of a mobile surgical hospital - the only doctor for nearly 1,000 men stationed on the island. During his long career, he labored for more than 30 years in New York City hospitals. His residency at Bellevue Hospital (1952-1955) opened his eyes to what was possible and seeded his desire to teach and conduct research. After practicing surgery in Danbury, Conn., he taught at the University of Vermont Medical School (1962-1966) as Associate Professor of Surgery and Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery. Returning to New York City in 1966, he became a member of the faculty of New York University Medical School and directed one of the surgical services at Bellevue Hospital. In 1977, he joined the faculty at New York Medical College and was appointed Chief of Surgery at Metropolitan Hospital and, in 1980, Director of Surgery at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, where he remained until his retirement in 1997. He became a leader in the fields of trauma and critical care medicine, and his medical publications numbered in the hundreds. He was considered a master teacher by his peers and the legions of students and residents whom he trained. He played clarinet and sang in the Barbary Coast at Dartmouth College, the well-respected Big Band of the time. He later played clarinet with the Hudson Valley Wind Symphony and played soprano sax with the Westchester Saxophone Quartet. His true love was playing tenor sax for 15 years with the Wednesday Night Big Band. He never wasted a moment of his life. He is mourned by his wife, Patricia Maloney; their children, Matyas Stahl and Elizabet Stahl, of Larchmont and Montauk, N.Y.; the children from his first marriage, all of whom attended Burlington public schools, William M. Stahl III "Skip" of Portland, Maine, Katherine A. Stahl of Washington, D.C., and Springs, N.Y., Sarah (Stahl) Jaffe Turnbull of Bridgehampton, N.Y., and Elizabeth Stahl Parkinson of Phoenix, Ariz.; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and brother, Frederick A. Stahl "Tad" of Boston, Mass. He was predeceased by his son, Jonathan Stahl; and two wives, Mary Elizabeth (Betts) Stahl, and Alice Miller.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on January 28, 2013