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David Allan Taft M.D.

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David Allan TAFT, MD David Allan Taft, MD, died March 10, 2011 at the age of 77 after a full and rewarding life. He helped write these words. He was born December 26th, 1933 in Madison, Wisconsin to Cyrus and Margaret Taft. David was preceded in death by his parents and his brother John. He is survived by his wife Sheila, sons Robert and Michael, his brother Michael (Anne), and Wendy (Jay), who is like a daughter, and their children (Riley and Lauren). David grew up in Ames, Iowa and received a BS degree from Iowa State University, an MD degree from the University of Iowa, and took his general surgical residency at Ohio State (Go Bucks!). He then spent one year at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, Scotland where he met his bride to be, Sheila Blackwood of Stirling, Scotland, while she was training to be a nurse. In 1967 David volunteered for active duty in the Navy and quickly found himself in the Republic of South Vietnam as Chief of Surgery, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Division. He received a Navy Cross for certain heroic actions during that time. While in Vietnam, David bought an engagement ring, mailed it to the prettiest nurse in Edinburgh and, much to his surprise, she said yes. David and Sheila were married in April 1968 in Stirling, Scotland with his younger brother Michael serving as best man.He left the Navy in late 1968. In early 1969 he entered private practice as a general surgeon with the Mason Clinic in Seattle, Washington. During that time he became a Fellow in the American College of Surgery, the Seattle Surgical Society, the Pacific Coast Surgical Society, and the Western Surgical Association, and held a Clinical Associate Professorship at the University of Washington. He touched and helped so many lives over his 20 years with the Mason Clinic. David re-entered the Navy in 1989, and was stationed at Naval Hospital Bremerton from 1989 to 1994. He deployed in August 1990 as part of Desert Shield/Desert Storm attached to the 1st Marine Division entering Kuwait as part of Task Force Ripper. He deployed to Somalia in 1992, again serving with the 1st Marine Division. In July 1994 he was assigned to Camp Pendleton, California, where he held the position of Group Surgeon, for two years. He became Division Surgeon for the 1st Marine Division in 1996 and retired to Seattle in 2000 with Sheila and black lab Mac. In addition to his love for his family, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Navy, and his passion for surgery, David enjoyed many activities. He was a ferocious reader, climbed Mt. Rainier, went on safari to Africa, built a cabin from the ground up, and grew the best tomatoes, to name just a few of his interests. Semper Fi, David; Fair Winds and Following Seas. We will miss you. Funeral will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date. Honoring his request, there will not be a formal memorial service.
Published in The Seattle Times from Mar. 16 to Mar. 20, 2011
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