Dr. Dexter Pierce (School Physician)

Dr. Dexter Pierce (School Physician)

Dr. Pierce Dies of Heart Attack, Succombs Minutes After Being Rushed to Vermont Hospital

Dr. Dexter Pierce, 61, of 18 Ross Street, Batavia, died unexpectedly Friday, August 2, 1957, in Kerbs Memorial Hospital, St. Albans, VT., only a few minutes after being rushed there by ambulance from his camp at Swanton, VT.

Death was attributed to a heart ailment with which Dr. Pierce had suffered for many years. He was taken ill late Thursday night at his Swanton camp. A physician remained with him for several hours and pronounced him out of danger.

Around 8:00 am Friday, his condition again turned for the worse. an ambulance was summoned and he was rushed to the hospital.

His sister, Mrs. Gordon Wells of the Ross Street address was spending the summer with him in Swanton.

Dr. Pierce came to Batavia in 1925 and was associated with the late Dr. Frederick D, Carr for many years. His health forced him to give up the strain of private practice.

While convalescing, he took post graduate courses in roentgenology and then in 1941 took over operation of the X-ray department at Genesee Memorial Hospital, converting it to what was considered one of the outstanding roentgenology units in a community of this size.

The physician operated the facility until 1945. Its growth and demands proved taxing on his health and he relinquished the assignment. He became school physician in that year.

Last November, because of his health, Dr. Pierce took a leave of absence from the school post and went to Florida. He returned in May and resumed his school duties. With the close of school, he went to his summer camp.

Dr. Pierce was a graduate of the University of Vermont Medical School, Class of 1923. He was born in Vermont April 23, 1896, a son of the late Clarence Dexter and Nellie Chaffee Pierce.

The physician's community contributions were many. He was notably active on behalf of the Genesee Memorial Hospital, the YMCA and the Children's Home. He was once a director of the YMCA and member of its Boys Work and Camp Committees.

YMCA officials credit him with being a key factor in the Y's Silver Lake camp being the success that it is. "He was the mainspring back of the whole camping program at the crucial time," one aide noted.

"He was intensely interested in the welfare of young people," a Children's Home official pointed out, "And he did so many things for the organization and the children through the years that it is impossible to recount them. He was one of the best friends the Children's Home ever had."

Dr. Pierce aided many area students with financing their college education. "His services and value to the school system and the children," Batavia High School Principal Leland C. Sanborn said, "cannot be computed. He was most conscientious and capable."

Dr. Pierce was a member of St. James Church. Besides his sister, he is survived by a son John A. of Bethany Center; two brothers, David R. of Hanover, NH, and Mark G. of Ithaca; another sister, Mrs. Glenn Chaffee of Melrose MA; two grandchildren and several nieces and nephews, including Wallace C. Wells of the Ross St. address.

Services will be at 2 pm Monday at the Swanton First Methodist Church. Friends may call at the Smith Funeral Home, Swanton.

From the dedication of the 1958 Batavian: