Robert D. Wakefield MD
Passed away on May 31, 2020
Robert D. Wakefield MD, 99, of West Auburn Road, Auburn, ME, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Sunday, May 31, 2020. He was born on July 7, 1920, in Camp Dix, NJ, son of the late Harold F. Wakefield and Ida M. (Fisher) Wakefield and brother of the late H. P. Wakefield MD and Richard R. Wakefield.
Raised in Burlington, VT, he was a graduate of Cathedral High School, the University of Vermont, where he was member of Sigma Nu fraternity, and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Beginning military service in 1945, he was an assistant ward officer in orthopedics at Tilton General Hospital, Camp Dix, NJ, attended Military Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, PA, and was assigned to the Separation Center, Camp Fannin in Texas as a medical examiner. Ordered to the European theatre in 1946, he served as a battalion surgeon for the 14th Infantry before reassignment to the 26th Infantry Regiment’s Medical Detachment in Nuremberg, Germany. He attended sessions of the Nuremberg trials, as his regiment was responsible for security during the trials. Returning stateside following discharge in 1947 as a captain, he continued his service in the US Army Reserves as a medical officer, retiring in 1968 as a lieutenant colonel.
Dr. Wakefield did his internship at St Francis Hospital, Hartford, CT, followed by residencies at Boston City Hospital, Worcester City Hospital and Hahnemann Hospital in Worcester, MA, and Montana Deaconess Hospital in Great Falls, MT. In 1948 he married Mary A. Mack, a nursing school graduate he met in medical school, who predeceased him in 2010. He practiced medicine in Boston, MA, and Great Falls, MT, eventually settling with his family in Auburn, ME. He was a pathologist at Central Maine General Hospital (now CMMC) and later chief pathologist at St. Mary’s Hospital, where he was instrumental in establishing the hospital lab and a training program for lab technicians. He also served as medical examiner for the State of Maine.
A voracious reader since childhood, he was interested in a diverse range of subjects and had a keen grasp of history, with a special interest in naval and military history and the Civil War. Lake Champlain, a central part of Wakefield family history, was an essential element in his life. He explored its shores as a child and during high school and college, was a crew member on the Ticonderoga, one of the last remaining side-paddle-wheel passenger steamers on the lake, an experience that provided fond memories and fascinating stories.
He possessed an enduring interest in the world and the lifelong pursuit of knowledge, a love of nature, and a passion for sailing, skiing, and tennis. A quietly loving and supportive presence in the lives of his children and grandchildren, he will be forever remembered. He is survived by his six children: Robert D. Wakefield Jr. of Sudbury, MA; Deborah J. Wakefield and her husband, Robert W. Coakley, of Portland, ME; Sarah A. Wakefield of Auburn, ME; John M. Wakefield and his wife, Katherine, of Albuquerque, NM; Martha Wakefield and her husband, Pip Shepley, of Belmont, MA; and Michael H. Wakefield of Auburn, ME. He was the cherished grandfather of Robbie and Lesly Wakefield; Molly, John, and Katherine Coakley; Erin, Jake, and Trevor Kenealy; Kaitlyn and Ethan Wakefield; and Christine Wakefield; and the great grandfather of Zen and Rawryn Wakefield and Jackson Kenealy.
Burial and a memorial service will be held later at Lakeview Cemetery in Burlington, VT. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his memory may be made to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, VT 05491, or online at lcmm.org. To share a memory or leave a message of condolence with the Wakefield family, please visit Dr. Wakefield’s online guest book at thefortingroupauburn.com.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Robert D. Wakefield MD
June 16, 2020
To Bob's family,
As Bob and Mary's neighbors across the road for more than 40 years, we all send our deep sympathy to you following Bob's death. It feels as though it's the end of an era here. He was a quiet , friendly neighbor, whose presence we appreciated. We will miss him.
Sincerely, Nancy and Fred Holler
June 11, 2020
Bob was a true gentle man, one of a kind. Our country could use an infusion of his ilk during these tense times.
Joe and Monique Longtin
June 8, 2020
Dr. Wakefield was the epitome of a true gentle man. He was the guiding light in the laboratory during my early years working under his and Dr. Hunter's leadership. He was very kind and generous to me during his tenure at St. Mary's Hospital and encouraged me to transfer to the 1125th USAH Reserve Unit and apply for a direct commission. Because of his suggestion, I was commissioned as a First Lieutenant and retired after 27 years of service with the 1125th as a Lt. Colonel, the same grade that he had when he retired from the same unit. For that alone, I will always have a tremendous amount of gratitude for him. He was truly a good man. My wife, Monique, and I would like to offer our deepest sympathies to the Wakefield family.
June 8, 2020
My condolences to the entire family. Sorry to hear of your loss. May the happy memories help ease the pain and grief you are experiencing at this time. Prayers and thoughts are with the family during this sorrow time.
Alan and JoNell Solander
June 8, 2020
Please accept our sincere condolences on Bob's passing. We are so very grateful for the many kindnesses your family showed us through the years. It was Bob's guidance that directed my introduction and early years at St. Mary's, for which I'm ever grateful.
June 8, 2020
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
June 7, 2020
On behalf of the Sim's Levesques', we are so very sorry to hear of Robert passing.