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W. Bedford Waters

W. Bedford Waters Obituary
W. Bedford Waters

Knoxville, TN

Dr. W. Bedford Waters, age 71, passed away on May 25, 2019 in Knoxville, TN. Bedford was a driven, wise and compassionate doctor, gentleman, friend, and mentor. He was passionate about life and medicine, and as a lifetime student and teacher, he passed on a love of excellence and quality healthcare to multiple generations, personally training over 70 residents. Bedford was a graduate of West High School and Vanderbilt University Medical School. He served his residency in San Diego, California and Boston, Massachusetts, and practiced in Chicago for over 20 years prior to returning to his hometown of Knoxville in 2001. He helped create the urology residency at University of Tennessee Medical Center, and served as both Chairman and Program Director. His distinguished career earned him multiple awards, accolades and titles over the years too many to enumerate, but the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Urological Association this May was the supreme honor. He was humbled, yet proud, to be elected the first African-American fellow of the prestigious American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons. The unveiling of his portrait at the Vanderbilt Medical School in 2018 brought him great joy as did the pleasure of meeting the young woman recipient of the scholarship named after his mother: Irene Bedford Waters. He had a great mind with a servant's heart, and gave his time and talent in ways both big and small. He helped create scholarships at Vanderbilt, and was warm and friendly to both patients and colleagues alike. Bedford will also be remembered for his love of life, cooking and entertaining. He loved to travel the world and his sense of style was impeccable. He was a good friend, loyal to his family and to the communities he served.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Irene G. Bedford Waters, and father, William Browder Waters. Bedford is survived and will be dearly missed by his first cousins Cecelia Waters, Knoxville, TN and Mildred Kelso, Knoxville, TN and Jamesetta Waters Lewis, Dayton, OH. Bedford had a lifelong friendship with first cousin Cecelia Waters and enjoyed spending time with her and her family (daughter Amy Matthews Williams, son-in-law, Revi Williams, and grandchildren, Eliana and Evan Williams) and a host of extended family, friends and colleagues.

A Celebration of Life gathering is to be at The Knoxville Museum of Art located at 1050 World's Fair Park Dr, Knoxville, TN 37916 on June 22nd, 2019 from 6-9PM EST. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the Irene Georgia Bedford Waters Scholarship Fund in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in his memory. Online condolences may be made at
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from May 31 to June 2, 2019
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