Dr. Thaddeus Bryan 'Thad' Wester

December 25, 1926February 12, 2017

Dr. Thaddeus Bryan ‘Thad’ Wester, 90 of Bald Head Island, passed away on February 12, 2017.

Dr. Wester was born December 25, 1926 in Henderson, NC the son of the late Millard Winston Wester and Della Bryan Wester. He was a veteran of WWII where he enlisted in the Naval Air Corp and served 2 ½ years and was discharged as a lieutenant. Dr. Wester graduated from Duke University in 1946 and Duke University Medical School in 1950. Dr. Wester was a practicing pediatrician for 30 years and was the co-founder of The Children’s Clinic in Lumberton NC. He was the first pediatrician in Robeson County. Dr. Wester served as the Health Director of Robeson County for 3 ½ years, Deputy State Health Director for 8 years, a Trustee at Duke University for 12 years, a Corporate Member for Duke University at Research Triangle Institute, and President of the North Carolina Health Directors in 1987. Dr. Wester served as the Chief of Staff at Southeastern General Hospital, was President of the Robeson County Medical Society, President of the North Carolina Medical Society in 1995, and President of the Duke Medical Alumni Association 1981-82. He was a Senior Warden, Vestryman, Superintendent of Sunday Schools, and Lay Reader at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lumberton.

Dr. Wester was the first Mayor of the Village of Bald Head Island. He was the founding President of the Bald Head Island Property Owners Association and the founding President of the Bald Head Island Conservancy. He was Dean of the Thad Wester Fishing School, run by the Conservancy. Dr. Wester was a Master Gardener and it was a large and delightful part of his life.

Dr. Wester was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award, Duke University Medical Center in 2001; Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, 1978; Outstanding North Carolina Health Director, 1986; Order of The Long Leaf Pine from Governor Hunt, 1994; US Public Health Service Medal, 1993; Honorary Member NC Pediatric Society, 1993; Honorary Member and Director Emeritus Bald Head Island Conservancy, 2001; Who’s Who in South and Southeast, and is the name sake of the Thad B. Wester Community Award presented annually to the outstanding community in health promotion and disease prevention.

Dr. Wester is survived by his wife Lee Wester, a son Bryan Wester and wife Janet of Southport; three daughters, Ellen Wester of Southport, Ginny Reeves and husband Tom of Greenville, SC, and Amanda Kidd and husband Henry of Raleigh; a brother Hut Wester of Henderson; eight grandchildren Lee Pridgen, John Pridgen, Thad Wester, Katherine Wester, Marion Reeves, Wes Reeves, Matt Kidd, and Will Kidd; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother MW Wester.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 17 at 1:00 pm. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lumberton with a reception following. Another memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm. on Saturday, February 18 in the Bald Head Island Village Chapel also with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to The Bald Head Island Conservancy or the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation.

Online condolences may be made at

Peacock –Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service.


  • Memorial Service

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • Memorial Servce

    Saturday, February 18, 2017


Dr. Thaddeus Bryan 'Thad' Wester

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tim Pittman

March 30, 2017

I was fortunate to work at the N.C. Medical Society when Dr. Wester served as president. We travelled across North Carolina together during his term as part of his effort to energize the association membership and encourage civic engagement. He was a thoughtful, discerning leader and a wonderful man to get to know. It was my great pleasure to run into him in later years at various N.C. events, including the occasional "hello" on Bald Head. He loved the island and shared many stories about his family's early years camping on the island. Best to his family.

Pamela Chawkin

March 6, 2017

I only knew of Dr. Wester through his beautiful daughter Amanda and therefore knew him as a wonderfully loving and supportive father and grandfather always there for his family and others in need. I hope it brings his family and friends peace knowing he lives on in the their hearts and continues to watch over them now from above.

Mary Jones

March 5, 2017

I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Wester's passing. I had the honor and privilege of working with him at the health department. Dr. Wester was a brilliant man, kind, and genuine. All that knew him in our lifetime were truly blessed. My condolences to Lee and the family. Cherish your special moments and memories always.

Win Stevens

February 19, 2017

We moved to Bhi in sept. 2000 and shortly thereafter I attended Thad's wonderful fishing school and that is when our wonderful relationship began. We played golf many times where Thad shot his age and if memory serves he one time shot a 68. He pitched in when he, Gene Douglas, Joe Brawner and I visited four "comparable courses" when we were evaluating the courses to document
The Bhi course shortfalls as part of the transfer of governance from ltd to the members, Thad helped, he did most of the work, on our grandson's train set platform and campus town racer for the Boy Scouts. We had chili, pot roast and meat loaf cook-offs at one another's house. Our two daughters and grandson, who is now a junior in college, remember Thad fondly and all send condolences, (our grandson remembers Thad watching him hit balls on the Bhi range when he was 7 or 8. After coming from the "zoo-like" atmosphere of working in NYC for over 30 years the contrast with Thad's demeanor was sharp as our family will remember Thad as the epitome of a fine Southern gentlemen. He will be dearly missed by many. We are fortunate to have spent lots of time w Lee and Thad and will remember them fondly. Win & Fran Stevens

Kathy & Bob Ketels

February 18, 2017

We are very sorry to hear of Dr. Thad Wester's passing. Always a gentleman, always a kind word for those he met. The Bald Head Island community and the Conservancy will miss his guidance and dedication to his beloved Island. We will miss seeing him sitting on a bench at his home in the Maritime Forest holding Lee's hand, and at the Peli enjoying a pizza. Our condolences to Lee and the family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

John Byrne

February 17, 2017

Dr Thad Wester was a true mentor to me and I will always remember the time I spent with him on Bald Head Island. Thad was a true Treasure to Bald Head Island and North Carolina with his leadership and loving kindness he always displayed (A True Southern Gentleman). May God Bless Lee and the family.

Mayor John W Byrne
Fuquay Varina, NC

Vicki Ransom

February 17, 2017

Dr. Wester provided me with a healthy start in life as my Pediatrician. Years later I had the honor to work with him and the public health family, that loved and respected him so much. His legacy will dwell among us forever

melinda perritt

February 15, 2017

I am so sorry for your loss. I know and worked with Janet. You all are in my prayers.

Carol Runyan

February 15, 2017

I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Wester's death. I feel privileged to have worked with him in shaping the injury prevention focus to the state health department when I was at UNC. Because of his leadership, many children are safer today. The state is fortunate to have counted him among our citizens and leaders. He was an inspirational leader and a wonderful colleague. My condolences to his family.

Bald Head Island Club

February 15, 2017

The personnel at the Bald Head Island Club extend their heartfelt sympathies to Mrs. Lee Wester and the entire Wester family. Dr. and Mrs. Wester have been leading members of the Bald Head Island Club since its formation thirty years ago. Together with the entire Bald Head Island community, our hearts are heavy and our prayers are constant as Dr. Wester's passing will yield an emptiness felt by all of us who were blessed to have known him.