David John McClain
David John McClain

Compassionate and thoughtful, David John McClain died at home with his family on June 6, 2021. He was 65. Having grown up in Statesville, NC, David met his future wife, Sheri, in college and married her just before starting medical school in 1978. Their loving and happy marriage lasted for 43 years, until his death. He was the best of fathers to his three children, playing silly games and reading to them when they were small and holding long discussions with them about medicine, history, literature, and theology when they were older. Having graduated from medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill and become an infectious-disease doctor, he left a career in vaccine research in 1997, moving to Asheville to join an infectious-disease practice. He made this move, he said, because "it's very rewarding to help a sick person get better." He loved his patients and colleagues and continued to care for patients as long as he was physically able. He served for years as an elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church, where he also taught theology to the middle-school communicants until complications of thyroid cancer took away his ability to speak at length. He was known everywhere for his gentleness and kindness, and in situations of conflict he often served as a peacemaker. In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by his sister, Katherine Benbow (John), and his brother James Dick (Cathy); his children, Angela Heetderks (David), Paul McClain (Madeline), and Laura McClain (Bryan Biba); and eight grandchildren. A memorial service, at which all are welcome, will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 13 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 17 Shawnee Trail, Asheville, NC 28805 and be livestreamed on the church's website. The family will greet visitors at an outdoor reception following the service. The church follows the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines.





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Published by Asheville Citizen-Times from Jun. 9 to Jun. 10, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Jun
13
Memorial service
2:00p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church
17 Shawnee Trail, Asheville, NC
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33 Entries
Doc was one fine fellow and treated my wife and myself with love. I enjoyed watching football bowl games several years ago, always hoped we would have the chance to do it again. Peace and prayers to family
Moose
July 13, 2021
Dr. McClain used his talents to literally save my brothers life. He was one in a billion and so kind to us each time we were in his office. I will be praying for the family. I know we will all see Dr. McClain again. God bless. Brenda Warren and Brent Thomas, Boone, NC
Brenda Thomas Warren
Other
July 12, 2021
I have just learned of Dr. McClain's death. He is gone far to soon. He was the finest doctor I have ever known and he saved my life for which I will forever be in his debt. He always came into the room with a big smile on his face and he always took as much time as I needed to answer any questions I had and also just to catch up as you would with an old friend. To those he leaves behind, just know that he was the BEST!
Jim Kirkpatrick
Work
July 8, 2021
Jennifer jones
July 1, 2021
I was saddened to hear of the passing of David. David and his family grew up next door to us in Statesville. My siblings and I use to play with David and Jim. We also worshiped in the same church. His dad was my doctor as well as our family doctor. We had many wonderful memories growing up together. David was always an outstanding person of peace and knowledge . I pray for peace and comfort for all of his family and friends. God be with you.
Patricia Warlick
Neighbor
June 14, 2021
I will forever miss our tractor talks or how to train our dogs. More important I will miss the compassion and love that he showed his patients. Hoping to save them all. How much he talked about his kids and Sherrie and how much he loved them all. How much love he had in his heart to share that could only have come God. What strength he has shown over the past couple of years. Love and prayers to the family.
Jaime Earwood
Coworker
June 13, 2021
You are gone but I will never forget our friendship. I have to say with out a doubt you was always the kindest person to me and I appreciated that always the same person. I know your in a better place and I pray that I will see you again!!!!
Randy Jones
Friend
June 13, 2021
Was with great sadness that I learned of David’s passing
A brilliant clinician with a wonderful sense of humor and a gentle spirit, his gifts to his patients, colleagues, and community will be much missed
Most of all, my heartfelt condolences to Sherri and family.
Ron Friedman MD
Coworker
June 13, 2021
David was our Elder for the women’s ministry team years ago and was such a blessing. His quiet and thoughtful guidance taught me so much. And his willingness to serve us at Trinity even in the midst of his health challenges this past year will always be remembered. Praying for his family and friendshe will be missed. But what a wonderful place he is now!
Adrienne King
Friend
June 12, 2021
David was one of my attendings as a MAHEC resident. We then got to cross paths again as he consulted on some of my patients at Pardee Hospital. He was a believer in fecal flora transplants for treatment of resistant c. diff infections. One very important life lesson he taught me was to never buy a blender at a yard sale. David, I hope this brings a smile to your face on the other side of eternity, and I will see you when I get there.
Andrew Morris
June 12, 2021
I am so sorry to hear of Dr. McClain's passing. I knew him from DHHS board and he was my doctor for 8 years. He truly cared about his patients and took time to listen and make you feel at ease at a difficult time. He will be missed
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Angie Jenkins
June 12, 2021
I always admired Dr. McClain for his superior intelligence and clinical skills but what I'll remember most is how he was one of only a few doctors who always addressed me by name whenever he said hello during my 29 years of practice at Mission Hospital. He was a gentle soul.
Steve King
Coworker
June 11, 2021
I always admired Dr. McClain for his incredible intelligence and clinical skills but what I'll remember most is how he was one of only few doctors who always addressed me by name whenever he said hello during my 29 years of practice at Mission Hospital. He was always gentle soul.
Steve King
Coworker
June 11, 2021
Sheri and family, I am so distressed to learn of David’s passing. We were friends in high school and at church, and we had the same voice teacher who cast us in Little Theater musicals. I always loved hearing David sing! And I loved his astute observations in Sunday school class. I admired him very much. Even as a teenager, he was extremely bright, very talented, a good citizen, always responsible and acted with integrity. And he was humble, always. I never saw him again after he left Statesville, but I am grateful our paths crossed for a couple of years. Clearly he made the world a better place and his legacy will no doubt live on in the family he cherished. God bless you all during this sad time. Please accept my sincere condolences.
Liz Boyd Rader
Friend
June 11, 2021
I worked with David for abut 10 years at Mission. He was a wonderful doctor, a trusted colleague, always took time to chat, or have a laugh. He seemed like he was pretty happy with the way life turned out, proud of his family, and outstanding at his job. I am so sorry to hear he has left us.
Samantha
Coworker
June 11, 2021
Dr McClain was an excellent physician and caring man. He was always a pleasure to work with and I know he will be missed. I hope for the family, all these kind words provide some solace as he will always be remembered.
Jennifer Osborne
Coworker
June 10, 2021
He was the greatest to work with, an awesome person. He will be missed by patients and all that he worked with.
Susan Buckner
Coworker
June 10, 2021
Most amazing person you could ever meet. My husband and I knew him from " the hospital"... he was so awesome, talking about his garden and how to grow the "best tomatoes " , when I would see him come on to the floor at work, he would always smile, and then just talk as any one would one to one about life !!!! He loved his family and they are so lucky to have had such an amazing person to call him their father/husband. Peace to his family

Steve and Tacey Mack
Coworker
June 10, 2021
Sheri,
I am so very sorry. Dr. McClain was always so very kind and professional whenever I had to contact him. He was a wonderful physician who will be greatly missed. I fondly remember sitting in my corner on 10 Onco at St Joes and laughing at his subtle humor as he interacted others. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers--knowing the Lord will bring you comfort and peace in the coming days.
Laura Sharpe
Coworker
June 10, 2021
Love, John & Galadriel Pastor
June 10, 2021
David was the first doctor that I met in the hospital on my first consult as a member of Asheville Arthritis, way back in 1999. I have always genuinely enjoyed our interactions. I will miss his compassion and his sage advice. We have lost a great colleague and wonderful man!
Kristin Gowin
Coworker
June 10, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Dr. McClain was my physician in 2012 and he prayed with me at each visit. I was proud to call him my doctor and friend.
Whilamena Miller
Whilamena Qualls Miller
Friend
June 10, 2021
To say Dr. McClain was a once in a lifetime Doctor and friend is an understatement. He has saved my husband’s life on 3 different occasions and as his Doctor and more importantly he became our friend. As I would sit and listen to the two men talk sports I would just admire Dr McClain’s passion for life and compassion for Us and what we were going through personally. He would find My husband in the hospital when we didn’t know he was there. Walking into his room with that smile on his face and a hug for me that immediately made me know he was going to make it ok. Our hearts are broken that we will be physically without our Dr and our friend but oh how our lives have been richer with the time he was in it.
Our love to his wife and family who he always shared with us his love for.
We will miss you great man and thank you for the lessons and love you have taught us.
We love you Dr. MCClain.
Dawn Ottman & Joseph Simonoko
Dawn Ottman
Friend
June 10, 2021
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Lillian Anne Milazzo
Acquaintance
June 10, 2021
I am heartbroken to hear of David's passing. He was one of my favorite doctors with whom I've ever worked. The wound care team will miss his visits to our office.The hospital will feel this loss greatly. My heart goes out to Sheri and all his family in a time of such great sorrow.
Lori Hedrick
Coworker
June 10, 2021
I enjoyed working with him and had respect for his knowledge and admiration for his compassion.
Sandy Lundblad
Coworker
June 10, 2021
Dear Sheri,

My deepest sympathies at the loss of David. Thank- you for sharing him with all of us at St. Joseph’s. 6thn was blessed to have him. My prayers are for you and your family. Much love. Michele ChapinRN(6nth)
Michele Chapin
Friend
June 10, 2021
He was an incredible doctor and we loved to talk Carolina Bball every time we saw each other at the hospital. I am so sorry for your loss and prayers that you keep the love and life you all shared alive in your memories. I will never forget this friend and colleague. Angie Wilson
Angie Wilson
Coworker
June 9, 2021
Condolences to the family. I was his patient and also worked with him. I also took care of him couple months ago on the 9th floor. I’m very sorry to hear about this and keeping dis family in my thoughts and prayers.
Pam Stephens
Teacher
June 9, 2021
My prayers for comfort and peace for you and your family are with you.
Vanessa Mills
Coworker
June 9, 2021
I am so sorry!! Praying that Jesus surrounds you and your family with peace and comfort during this time and the days ahead. Heaven gained a great man.
Melissa Sluder
Coworker
June 9, 2021
Sheri and family, I am so sorry for your loss. David was a wonderful man of God and reading this brought back so many memories of him reading, telling stories, and playing games with the children. What a wonderful life he lived and husband, father, grandfather, friend and follower of Jesus he was. Praying for peace and comfort for each of you. ❤
Pam Biggs
Family
June 9, 2021
Fond memories of David from both myself as a colleague for the past 29 years and from my daughter for whom he was a mentor as a medical student. He will be sorely missed by all
Christina McQuiston
Coworker
June 9, 2021
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