William S. Erwin, Jr., MD

Class Year




Posted on: April 14, 2020

Dr. William Swadley Erwin Jr., 87, of Roanoke, Virginia, originally from Bristol, Virginia, passed away on Sunday, March 29, 2020. His parents were the late William Swadley Erwin Sr. and Virginia Weaver Erwin.

Dr. Erwin was a graduate of Hampden Sydney College and the University of Virginia Medical School. He did an internship and internal medicine residency at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City. Dr. Erwin did two years of specialized training in pulmonary disease at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and Goldwater Memorial Hospital in New York City. He served two years in the United States Air Force, being stationed in Newfoundland.

Dr. Erwin came to Roanoke in 1965 and joined private practice. He developed the Respiratory Intensive Care Unit at Roanoke Memorial Hospital and enjoyed many years of private practice. Dr. Erwin then joined Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and was director of the transitional residency program. He was employed by Carilion Clinic in their Internal Medicine Clinic until retiring in 2014. In addition to his years in clinical practice of internal medicine and pulmonary diseases, Dr. Erwin served in leadership roles in the postgraduate training programs at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. In 2015, The Carilion Clinic Foundation established Carilion’s first professorship at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine: The William S. Erwin, M.D., Professorship of Internal Medicine in his honor.

Bill is survived by his wife of 35 years, Liz, as well as his brother, Don Erwin (Mary) of New Orleans, Louisiana. Also remaining to cherish his memory are his children, Mary Beth Pope (Alan) of Charlotte, North Carolina, Bill Erwin III (Holly) of Annandale, Virginia, Tom Erwin (Kirsten) of Roanoke, Virginia, Michael Erwin (Joanna) of Richmond, Virginia, Jennifer Froeschl (Chris) of Roanoke, Virginia, and Emily Lackey (Ti) of Roanoke, Virginia; and 11 grandchildren. He had many nieces and nephews, as well as great-nieces and nephews. He is also survived by Dorothy Rosser and a multitude of close friends.

Bill was a true family man and his grandchildren held such a special place in his heart. The highlight of his year was the annual family beach trip where all of the grandchildren gathered for the Christmas picture.

During retirement, Bill was involved in much volunteerism. He read to the blind, worked at the Bradley Free Clinic, and was a Pastor’s Visitor with his church. Bill sat on the Turning Point Domestic Violence Council for many years, as well as the board for Apple Ridge Farm. He was the Volunteer of the Year at the Rescue Mission in 2015.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Second Presbyterian Church, 214 Mountain Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24016 or to Hampden Sydney College, 172 Via Sacra, Farmville, VA 23901. When safety concerns over public gatherings have subsided, a celebration of Bill’s life will be announced.