Willard Fernald M.D.
1923 - 2020
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Fernald, M.D., Willard
Willard B. Fernald, M.D., born August 16, 1923, died September 15, 2020 at Bickford of Bexley where he had lived for the last 5 years of his life. He had been married to his most beloved best friend, Elizabeth (Bette) Taylor Fernald, in an extraordinary partnership for nearly sixty years until her death in 2008. He died gracefully, peacefully, gently and still thinking of others first. Will received his BA from Brown University after an interruption to serve in the Army Air Corps in Guam during the Second World War, and his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1951, for which he always credited the support of the G.I. Bill. He continued his service to others throughout his lifetime. Will was a Healer in every sense: as a pediatrician in private practice for more than 50 years who touched countless lives; as a founder of Pediatric Associates; as a member of the staff of Nationwide Children's Hospital for 60 years and serving as Medical Staff President (1972-1973); as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine teaching the art of medicine to new generations of doctors; as the Medical Director of Heinzerling Community (a foundation to care for children with severe and profound developmental disabilities), volunteering his services for many of its first 50 years; as a Board Member of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association and founder and medical director of Camp Hamwi, a camp for children with diabetes; as President of the Columbus Civil Rights Council and chair of the Fair Housing committee for Bexley; as Deacon of First Congregational Church and Elder of The Redeemer's Church; as a person who treated everyone who crossed his path with dignity, offering wisdom, comfort and help - spiritual, moral, financial, every kind of support he could. Will and Bette opened their house in Bexley to provide sanctuary to more than 80 people who needed a place for restoration after being battered by the world. Will invested himself and his resources in people and matters of the spirit, rather than personal gain. Many people are alive or living enriched lives because of Will's compassionate heart. Will made great use of every second of his 97 years in the service of others. He lived an exemplary life. Will and Bette are survived by their children, Willard T. (Tom) Fernald (Mary), Tora Fernald Huntington (Joel), Margaret Carlton Fernald, and Theodore Barker Fernald (Betsy Horner); grandchildren, Julia Tompkins Fernald Huntington, Margaret Vea Fernald Huntington, Marena Horner Fernald, and Eleda Horner Fernald; and the innumerable lives that they touched. For those who wish, donations to the Heinzerling Community, First Congregational Church UCC Columbus, or Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund would honor his memory. A memorial service and online celebrations will be announced at a later date. Arrangements completed by EGAN-RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 403 East Broad Street. Visit www.egan-ryan.com to offer condolences.

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Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Sep. 19 to Sep. 20, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
October 14, 2020
Dr. Fernald was my pediatrician when I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s. When I enlisted in the Navy, they wanted to see something from my medical record. For the first time in a few years, I stopped by the office to pick up what I needed. I had not actually seen Dr. Fernald in a few years. He came out just to greet me. He asked about my sister and my parents. He was always kind, but I did not expect him to greet me personally when I stopped by his practice to pick up some paperwork. That little event was a snapshot of who he was in his heart. He genuinely loved people. My sincerest sympathies to his family. I am sure they will miss him. He left behind a wonderful legacy.
Greg Adams
Friend
September 27, 2020
It was such a great honor to know Dr. Will. He was always so thankful for anything you done for him. Always concerned for the other residents and our staff here at Bickford. He participated in many activities and could put a smile on your face no matter how bad you were feeling, or if you were having a bad day. I am so thankful to have met Dr. Will and his family. Tom, Mary and rest of family , you will always hold a special place in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May God Bless you all.
Brenda Amburgey
Friend
September 25, 2020
Dr. Fernald was one of the snidest men I ever met. My father, Dr. Malcolm Robbins, and Will started their practice which span decades and allowed each of them to share their best as doctors and community members. My heart goes out to all of the Fernald family and hope they all find peace. Will was truly a man of conviction, kindness and healing. The world is a little less bright without him.
marlene robbins
September 25, 2020
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marlene robbins
September 24, 2020
Dr. Will was not only my pediatrician, he was also my children’s pediatrician. His healing touch was miraculous. Not only that; he was the 1st person outside of my parents who truly believed in me. I remember as a child saying something about being a nurse, and his would were, “ Kristie, you have the smarts and drive to be a doctor”. I didn’t become a doctor, instead getting my BS in Education and Teaching Certificate in Health Education from Miami of Ohio. I thank him for giving me the “gumption” to do what I wanted to. He will be truly missed.
With much love and admiration,
Kristie Mixer-Strzyzewski
Kristie Mixer-Strzyzewski
Student
September 23, 2020
I am saddened to hear of Dr. Fernald passing. A tremendous loss for the family and the community. I was blessed to have served with him on the Women's Board for the Central Ohio Diabetes Assoc. /Camp Hamwi. May his memory be eternal. Stephanie Wright (Baker) Wm.'s Board Member
Stephanie Wright
September 21, 2020
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Lisa Welsh
September 20, 2020

Born in 64, 70 and 75 Dr Fernald was my and my siblings pediatrician. I remember his kindness and the clown wall paper... fast forward to 1995 when my special daughter Abigail was born with multiple disabilities that eventually caused her to seek care at Heinzerling, the Dr who lovingly cared for me as a child was now caring for Abbey. Many hospital visits I would see his friendly smile. Thank you for being a prime example of selfless person... dedicating your life to help others!! Your impact touched many lives. Rest in peace
LORI VERNIKOFF
September 19, 2020
Loved the man, and the bow tie. Made a great difference in my disabled son's life. Compassionate and great sense.
Steven Jackson
Friend
September 19, 2020
Loved the man, and the bow tie. Made a great difference in my disabled son's life.
Steven Jackson
Friend
September 19, 2020
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
The Families and Staff of Egan-Ryan Funeral Home
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