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302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

David E. Saunders, MD

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.

Funeral Services

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, a celebration of David’s life will be held at a later date.


    Leah and Mike Maher writes,
    So sorry that I just heard about your Dad’s passing Jon. He was a wonderful man ! Leah Maher
    01/09/2021 01:28 pm
    suzanne g meli writes,
    Oh my gosh Sophie and I in Australia are so so so sad, so pained for all of the family and want to send the biggest hug and celebration for what a great man, physician, giver, father, husband, friend and golfer he was. He will be missed here on this earth but will undoubtedly be laughing and hugging his friends above. Our thoughts are with you.
    01/10/2021 08:59 am
    Gretchen & Halsey Spruance writes,
    Dear Marcy, Our hearts go out to you, the children and the grandchildren. We are so sad to learn about Dave. We pray that time will help to heal your pain. May God Bless you all. Love, Gretchen & Halsey
    01/10/2021 09:10 am
    Beverly Barker writes,
    I trained at Beebe Hospital in the 70's and vividly remember Dr Saunders coming to do surgery on a person seriously injured in an accident during the summer craziness that is the beach. He was so professional and concerned about the patient. I got to see more of his work ethic when I was a MICU nurse at Christiana. We didn't often have a consult for plastics in our unit, but the few times he was consulted, he was always professional and understanding when we didn't have all the supplies surgeons needed. Praying for your family. He was great.
    01/10/2021 09:45 am
    Mark L. Mitchell, MD writes,
    I had the pleasure of performing frozen sections for Dr. Saunders at the Wilmington Hospital for many years. He was always a pleasure to work with. He was always reasonable and often entertaining. I missed him when he retired and I am sorry that he has passed. I offer my heartfelt condolences.
    01/10/2021 10:11 pm
    Nancy meli writes,
    Nancy and Sarah are so very sad for your loss. David was a very special friend to our family. He was very caring, helped Sarah and I with his medical knowledge. He never missed sending us a Christmas card! He was loved . Al will welcome him.
    01/11/2021 08:23 am
    Eileen and Joe Janssen writes,
    Marcie, our hearts and thoughts are with you. Eileen and Joe
    01/11/2021 01:08 pm
    Beverly Flannigan writes,
    I am very sorry to hear that Dr. Saunders passed away - particularly by the circumstances of Covid. The doctor operated on my sister Joyce many years ago to repair a horrific leg injury that required surgery on both legs. My sister actually regained enough confidence that she bought fishnet stockings, white go-go boots and became a very popular go-go dancer in the 1960s which made us all very relieved and pleased that she was able to experience joy in her life. We are grateful to Dr. Saunders.
    01/12/2021 09:55 am
    Beth Duncan MD writes,
    I enjoyed working with you as long ago as the Delaware Division. We worked together on infant cleft procedures, and others. My deepest sympathies to your family. You will be missed.
    01/16/2021 09:25 am
    Sharon Stinson writes,
    Dr. Saunders you have a wonderful gift of healing and I personally know because I was only 9 months old in 1963when I met you after an electrical burn to my mouth. You would hold me in the OR to calm my fears before surgeries. I too am gifted with the power to heal and as a nurse I have touched many. Your hands were like magnets. God has a wonderful place for you. Thank you. My condolences to your family. Sharon May I
    02/23/2021 06:52 am

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