David E. Saunders, MD, age 89, passed away on Sunday, January 3, 2021 at Wilmington Hospital, from COVID-19.
David was born in 1931 in London England to the late Charles J. and Margery (née Hearn) Saunders. He was educated at King’s College University of London and received his MD from Kings College Hospital Medical School London.
Immigrating to America in 1957, he did his early surgical training at D.C. General Hospital in Washington D.C., and the Delaware Hospital in Wilmington, DE. Finally, he did his plastic surgery residency at St. Luke’ Hospital in NYC.
He returned to Wilmington, DE and established a successful 30 year practice of plastic surgery. David was recognized for his expertise repairing cleft lip and palate by being appointed Chief of Plastic Surgery Service at A.I. Du Pont Children’s Hospital in 1971. He also was Chief of the Section of Plastic Surgery at Christiana Care from 1971 to 1990.
David belonged to many medical societies including the Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, the Cleft Palate Society and was elected to the prestigious American Association of Plastic Surgeons. David stated his most personally rewarding professional experience were the trips to China, Bolivia, and Ecuador under the auspices of Operation Smile to perform cleft lip and palate surgery. He also volunteered in the Barsky Unit in Viet Nam repairing cleft lip and palate and introduced a Burn Unit for children.
David was captain of his cricket team at Kings College and had a rare feat of scoring 100 runs or a “ton” while playing in a day match. When David was not in the OR, he could be found on the squash courts or golf course of Wilmington Country club where he was a many year member. There were also the 20+ family ski trips each year.
David is survived by his wife of 40 years, Marcia and his children; Jonathan (Charlene), Annie (Tim) and Christopher (Alice); 8 grandchildren ; 1 great-grandchild.
Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, a celebration of David’s life will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Operation Smile, 3641 Faculty Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA 23453.