HOPKINTON – Walter G. England (Dr. E to his patients), 63, passed away peacefully, at home, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, after a valiant fight against lifelong chronic illness. Born Sept. 9, 1953, in Burlington, Vt. to Bob and Dorothy (Emerson) England, he never let his illness define him. His expressed desire, from the age of three, was to be a doctor and "make it better."
He loved hiking and mountain climbing, and when not working as a car engine mechanic to pay for college, managed to see 48 of the 50 states before graduation. In 1984, with Residencies in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry from Rush-Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, he packed up his hiking boots and began a journey of tireless advocacy for the aged as the Senior Psychiatrist at the New Hampshire Hospital in Concord, then a designated "asylum".
There he performed the first comprehensive psychiatric evaluation of patients, with special attention to about 120 long-term patients in Thayer Building, resulting in multiple 'awakenings' leading to re-socialization/rehabilitation and out placement of many. He fostered collaboration between the Dartmouth Medical School and the State of New Hampshire, culminating in a state of the art central psychiatric hospital in Concord with full Accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
In the 90's, he focused on improving services to his patients in Manchester as the Founding Medical Director of the Geropsychiatric Unit at the Elliot Hospital, a 16 bed inpatient unit and Elliot Home Health and Hospice, as well as serving as Co-Medical Director for New Hampshire Easter Seals Elder Rehab Services and Brain Injury/Neuro Programs.
By 2000, his solo practice specializing in Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry, biopsychosocial Rehabilitation and Chronic Pain Management had offices in Concord, Manchester, and finally at his home in Hopkinton. He consulted at the Elliot, Catholic Medical Center, and Concord Hospitals, as well as area nursing homes, and even made house calls when warranted.
For 13 years, until his death, he served as founding Medical Director of BITS ETC (Back In The Saddle Equine Therapy Center) harnessing his own trusty steed Tanya to bring the healing power of horses to people living with physical, mental and emotional difficulties.
He was a member of the New Hampshire Medical Society, New Hampshire Psychiatric Society, the American Psychiatric Association, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, and the American Geriatric Society.
Walter is mourned by his wife, Pauline Meridien; two children, Katherine England and Andrew England; two stepchildren, Matthew Maloney and Sarah Graham; five grandchildren, Brady Maloney, Julia Maloney, Mackenzie Graham, Jackson Graham and Charlotte Graham; and his sister, Georgia England. Aunt Ruth Duchacik, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and countless patients and their families hold him in fond memory. He made it Better!
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Walter England Memorial Fund of Back In The Saddle Equine Therapy Center, 334 College Hill Road, Hopkinton, or to the First Congregational Church of Hopkinton, 1548 Hopkinton Road, Hopkinton, NH 03229.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church of Hopkinton.
Go to durningbykowskiandyoung.com for on-line condolences.
Durning, Bykowski & Young Funeral Home, Inc.
285 Manchester Street
Manchester, NH 03103-5210
Published in The Concord Monitor on Jan. 4, 2017