David Walter Kistler, M.D., 89, of Wilkes-Barre passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Sunday, March 24, 2013, at Celtic Hospice Inpatient Unit at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Dr. Kistler was the son of the late Walter W. Kistler, M.D., and Nellie Hammer Kistler.
He was a graduate of E.L. Meyers High School, Class of 1941; Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.; and Hahnemann Medical School, Philadelphia, where he completed his training as an officer in the U.S. Army during World War II
. Afterwards he completed his internship at the former Wyoming Valley Hospital and set up his practice on "the hill" in Wilkes-Barre. After a few years his practice was put on hold as he served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War
. He returned to continue his medical practice. During his 52 years of medical practice he touched countless lives, brought many children into this world, and developed many deep friendships.
Dr. Kistler dedicated his life to service in his community. He valued education highly and served on the Wilkes-Barre School Board from 1963 to 1969, becoming its president for two years. After the David W. Kistler Elementary School was dedicated to him he developed a scholarship to help its students attend college.
Dr. Kistler's life revolved around his relationships with patients, community and friends and he felt very blessed by opportunities to be of service. He had a vision for the future of health care, developing a comprehensive model for family practice where many services were available in one location and pioneering the concept of family practice clinics being associated with a larger health care organization. Dr. Kistler was instrumental in the formation of the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and served as its chief of staff for many years.
He was involved with the creation of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Practice and would go on to be its president and then Family Physician of the Year in 1999. He helped create a new family practice residency in Kingston and was involved in the family practice residency at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital.
Dr. Kistler was a life member and elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wilkes-Barre.
Preceding him death were his wife of 65 years, the former June Ann Carpenter; son, Christopher C. Kistler; and brother, William Kistler.
Surviving are sons, David W. Kistler Jr., M.D., Boulder, Colo.; William Alexander Kistler, M.D., and wife, Mary Lane, Olympia, Wash.; John Andrew Kistler, Yardley; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and sister, Florence Reynolds, Portland, Ore.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2 Lockhart St., Wilkes-Barre. The Rev. Anne M. Emery, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Dr. Robert M. Zanicky, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Wilkes-Barre, will co-officiate. A private interment will be made in Fern Knoll Burial Park, Dallas. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Harold C. Snowdon Funeral Home Inc., 140 N. Main St., Shavertown.
The family respectfully requests, in lieu of flowers, that memorial donations be made to the Kistler Scholarship Fund administered by the Luzerne Foundation, 140 Main St., Second Floor, Luzerne, PA 18709 (phone toll free at 1-877-589-3386), or the Geisinger Kistler Foundation.