Willard Chandler Thompson Jr., MD
August 15, 1921 – May 10, 2019
Charlotte - Willard Chandler Thompson, junior, MD passed away on Friday, May 10, 2019. He was born on August 15, 1921 to Willard Chandler and Mabel Claire Bell Thompson in New Brunswick, NJ. He received a BS from Rutgers University. Chan served in WWII, marching from India to China and setting up a hospital laboratory in Shanghai. Following his military service, he graduated from the Cornell Medical School, interned at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and completed his surgical residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. He was a prominent surgeon, serving all hospitals. He was Chief of Staff of Presbyterian Hospital.
As well as being a gifted surgeon, Chan had an almost limitless curiosity and capacity for learning and wasn’t satisfied with his knowledge unless he had absorbed every detail and imparted it to someone else, usually his children. He loved new technology and played classical music to his family constantly on his state-of the-art hi-fi, with speakers in every room, thus instilling in his children an appreciation for music. He also passed along his interest in and passion for the natural world, particularly in the areas of astronomy, biology, and wilderness adventure. Chan was a talented woodworker, a skill he learned after retirement, and made a cherished piece of furniture for each of his children and grandchildren. Chan possessed a wicked sense of humor and delighted in puns. He was also one heck of a pie-maker. A favorite hobby of Chan's was growing dahlias. His home was filled with dahlias and he enjoyed sharing them with numerous friends.
Chan is survived by his wife of thirty-three years, Cordelia Gant Thompson, whom he adored. Chan and Dede married August 3, 1985 in Blowing Rock where they spent many wonderful years. He is also survived by his six children: Willard Chandler Thompson, III and his wife, Laura; Elizabeth James Thompson and her husband, Guy Hutt; Robert Bell Thompson and his wife, Tricia; Anne Thompson Turlington and her husband, Les; James Covington Thompson and his wife, Anne; and Christopher Rorer Thompson and his wife, Shannon. Chan thought of his step-children as his own. In addition, he leaves: James S. Wilcox, III; Penn Wilcox Branin and her husband, Francis Branin, Jr.; Louisa Wilcox; and Erwin Wilcox Morrison and her husband, Howell. He had ten grandchildren: Hannah, Anne Claire and husband Jordan, Betsy, Mary Anne and husband Sam, Rob, Chandler, Louise, Christopher, Francis III, and Lilly; and one great-grandchild, Thompson. Chan is also survived by his first wife, Anne Wilson Thompson, with whom he moved to Charlotte in 1955. They raised their children at St. Martin's Episcopal Church where he served on the Vestry.
Chan’s family would like to thank all the loving caring staff at the Stuart Center who helped make his stay there pleasant and comfortable. They would also like to thank the staff at Hospice for their care.
Memorials may be made to the Willard Chandler Thompson Scholarship Fund at Rutgers University, The Charlotte Symphony, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
A memorial service will be held 2:00 pm Thursday, May 16th, at Christ Church Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends following the service in the Blue Room of the church.
- Memorial Service Thursday, May 16, 2019
Willard Chandler Thompson Jr., MD
May 15, 2019
What a wonderful surgeon and friend to work with in the operating room. Love and sympathy to all of the family. Will cherish my visit with him. Anne J Miller
May 14, 2019
I will be out of town Thursday for my Former senior partners funeral in the oldest surgery group in town. What a gentlemen! I remember when my dad died in 1988 Chan came over in an old jeep(it snowed12” that day) and picked me up and drove me around telling old stories about the early days of the practice that Chan and him started. That was a great comfort to me that I will never forget We did many cases together and his advice was always spot on! I went to see him a year ago after his stroke and he was sharp as a tack. What a great guy. My best to all the kids and Dede. Sincerely Tommy McElwee