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DONALD WILLIAM WADLAND, MD


1941 - 2019
February 8, 1941 -
September 30, 2019

Dr. Donald W. Wadland (age 78) died on the morning of Monday, September 30, 2019, at his home in LaConner, Washington, after a long struggle with prostate cancer.

He was born on February 8, 1941, in Detroit, Michigan, to William and Elinore Wadland. He graduated from Cooley High School in Detroit (1959), Kenyon College in Ohio (1963), and the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor (1967).

He received advanced training in internal medicine and gastroenterology from the Universities of Michigan and Washington. He served as a captain in the Navy (1969-71). He practiced general medicine for many years in Mount Vernon, Washington. After specializing in gastroenterology, his main practice was located Bellingham, Washington.

His patients greatly valued his personal dedication to their individual care. He loved the great outdoors and gladly shared his interests in skiing, sailing, fishing, hiking, mountaineering, and world travel with family and friends. Classical music and jazz became life long passions. He was an avid reader and wonderful conversationalist and story teller.

He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Kollmar; his brothers, William (Betty), Kenneth (Lisa Lava-Keller), and John; his son, Nolan Wadland (Heather) and grandson, William Wadland ; and son, Matthew Specht (Jenna); and grandson, Conner Specht (Hailey).

Don embodied values of hard work, persistence, and "can do" attitude inherited from parents who struggled through and up from the Great Depression. He will be remembered as a family trail blazer; for his quest for adventure; and for inspiring courage, fortitude, generosity, and strength in others.

The final line of Mark Strand's poem, "The End," reads: "not every man knows what is waiting for him and what he shall sing when the ship he is on slips into darkness there at the end."

Nothing would make Don happier than to be at the tiller of the ship breaking the waves toward the unknown, surrounded by celestial music.

A celebration of Don's life will be held at a later date and will be announced by Kern Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to your favorite charity.

You may offer Don's family condolences and share memories online at www.kernfuneralhome.com.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald on Oct. 6, 2019
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