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Dr. David Barclay Walthall III

Port Charlotte, Fla. — Dr. David Barclay Walthall III, age 86, died May 2, 2019, in Port Charlotte, Fla.

He was born in Richmond, Va., Feb. 25, 1933, to the Rev. David B. Walthall Jr. and Lois Claytor Walthall. He graduated from Darlington School in Rome, Ga., where he developed a lifelong love of tennis, winning many amateur trophies over his lifetime. He served two years in the U.S. Army, after which he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at University of Virginia, and a MD medical degree at University of Virginia Medical School in 1961. His residency in general practice (later family practice) was at Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk, Va.

Dr. Walthall had a long and distinguished medical career from 1963-1995, starting with a solo practice in Dublin, Va. While there, he was instrumental in establishing one of the first Coronary Care Units in rural Virginia at Radford Hospital. His great joy was working with Virginia Heart Association, training health care workers and rescue squads in CPR and advanced cardiac life support. It was in that service he made many lifelong friends, who are lovingly referred to as “the Heart Group.”

In 1973, he was recruited to the faculty of Medical College of Virginia (now Virginia Commonwealth University) to serve in the areas of Continuing Medical Education and Quality Assurance. At MCV he developed a passion for adult learning and adult education, serving first as associate professor, Department of Family Practice, then as assistant dean, Department of Continuing Medical Education. In 1977 he joined Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. where he held numerous leadership roles in the developing fields of continuing medical education and quality assurance until his retirement in 1995. In 1984, he co-edited Continuing Education for the Health Professions, a publication of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Among his many honors were serving a term as president of Virginia Affiliate of the American Heart Association, receiving Bronze and Silver Meritorious Service awards, as well as a Silver Distinguished Service and Leadership award.

Of his career and all the good things in his life he always said, “It’s better to be lucky than smart.”

It was in his retirement years that David found his greatest joy in family and friends. In 1998, he married Vivian Ann Dennis, with whom he shared the happiest years of his life. Known as “Grand-Daddy and Miss Vivian,” they entertained their children and an ever-growing clan of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends at their home in Waynesboro, Va., where their Christmas celebrations and Fourth of July pool parties were legendary! David also pursued his interest in cooking — a hobby he loved. David and Vivian were active in Moon and Star Pattern Glass Society, of which David was a past president.

Surviving him are his beloved wife of 20 years, Vivian Ann Dennis; five children, David Barclay Walthall IV (June) of Fredericksburg, Va., Eric Jordan Walthall (Michelle) of Fredericksburg, Va., Lois Walthall Murdaugh (William) of Spotsylvania, Va., Janet Cecelia Walthall (Lisa) of Baltimore, Md., and Jeffrey Harrison Walthall (Justine) of Wiesbaden, Germany; step-daughter, Diane Sherwood Robinson (Erik) of Summerville, S.C., and sister, Patsy Jordan Walthall Hassert (Robert) of Strasburg, Va. There are nine grandchildren (Jordan, Katie, Michael, Megan, Nathaniel, Laura Beth, David, Scott, and Jessie) and nine great-grandchildren (Kaylee, Karsen, Konnor, Kendall, Sophia, Ashley, Grandon, Lucas, and Maddox). He leaves behind his cherished “Heart Group” and numerous friends. Dr. Walthall was predeceased by his daughter, Amy Walthall Cast, and grandson, William Justin Murdaugh.

A Celebration of Life service was held Saturday, June 15, 11 a.m., at Unity of Charlottesville, 2825 Hydraulic Road, Charlottesville, Va., followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.

Interment is Monday, June 17, 2 p.m., in Vivian’s family section (JH McLawhorn) of Winterville Cemetery, Winterville, N.C.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Dr. Walthall’s favorite charities (Salvation Army or your local food bank) or your favorite charity.

When asked how he wanted to be remembered, he replied, “As a good doctor.” We will also remember him as a loving husband, father, brother, a good friend and, most of all, Grand-Daddy.




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