William Richard Drucker, MD

Class Year



Posted on: December 23, 2021

William (“Bill”) Richard Drucker of Jericho, Vermont, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 10, 2021. He was born April 5, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois to Henry Drucker and Mary (Larzelere) Drucker.

Following graduation from New Trier High School, he received a B.S. from Harvard College, where he was captain of the swim team, and his MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following an internship year at the Osler Medical Clinic, he was on active duty with the U.S. Navy for two years, stationed in Cairo, Egypt. His time was divided between research and caring for patients during the cholera epidemic. This was the beginning of his lifelong research interest in the understanding of and the care for patients in shock.

After returning to the U.S., Bill completed training at Yale New Haven Hospital and a surgical residency at the University Hospitals of Cleveland. After rising in the academic ranks to the level of Professor at Western Reserve University School of Medicine (now Case Western), he accepted the position of Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. Subsequent positions include Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester, and Distinguished Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences before “retiring” to Vermont where he was an Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the University of Vermont.

He was the author of over 100 scientific papers, numerous book chapters, and a book titled “The Curse of Cholera.” He was an editor for the American Journal of Surgery, Canadian Journal of Surgery, and the Journal of Trauma. His leadership positions included the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (President), the American College of Surgeons (Governor, 2nd Vice President), the American Federation for Clinical Research (Chairman of the Midwestern Section), National Institutes of Health (study section chair), and the National Library of Medicine (Board of Regents.)

He received multiple honors through his distinguished career, including induction into Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha honor societies, selection as a Markle Scholar in Medical Sciences, and Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh.)

Throughout his career, he maintained a strong interest and expertise in mentoring others, helping them through surgical residency or choosing appropriate research activities. He thoroughly enjoyed weekly teaching sessions with medical students, receiving several “Teacher of the Year” citations.

He was an avid woodworker, leaving behind countless handmade wooden bowls, trays, pens, and picture frames along with two wooden train sets, two dollhouses, and many other gifts that were distributed to family and friends. He was a passionate rose gardener and enthusiastic photographer, often combining these hobbies. His house had multiple pictures, which he had taken of roses he had grown, and then mounted in frames which he had built. Bill’s love of camping led to multiple family camping trips across the United States and Canada.

Bill is survived by three children, John and wife Terry Swanson (children Max and Robin), Bob and wife Joan Drucker (children Eric and Jenny), Nancy and husband Peter Macone (children Katie and Will), daughter-in-law Jayleane Drucker (children Dawn, Nick and Kirstin); spouses of grandchildren (Brooke, Luke, and Scott), six great grandchildren, a great-great granddaughter, his brother Bob and wife Rosie, sister Margaret Drucker, sister-in-law Sue Frank, and his many loving and supportive nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his lovely wife Barbara, son David, and twin sister Jane.

The family plans a celebration of his life at a later date. The family invites you to share your memories and condolences by visiting www.awrfh.com. For those who wish to honor Bill’s memory, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UVM College of Medicine Department of Surgery to support the annual John H. Davis, MD Endowed Lectureship in Surgery and other research and educational activities. Donations in his honor should be sent to: UVM Foundation, 411 Main Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401. Online donations can be made at go.uvm.edu/givemed, select “Other” and type John H. Davis Fund.