Dr. William Anthony Darling|
May 8, 1943 — March 28, 2015
Beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, Dr. William “Bill” Darling passed away on March 28, 2015, at the age of 71 while he was awaiting a kidney and pancreas transplant. Bill is survived by his wife, Alberta; daughter, Liza Winkeljohn (Paul); son, Will Darling (Nancy); and three grandchildren, Charlie and Andie Winkeljohn and Liam Darling. He is also survived by two brothers, Robert Darling (Mary) and Dr. Ronald Darling (Jane), with whom he practiced medicine for over four decades.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Sylvester and Helen Darling; and two sisters, Suzie MacClurg (John), and Cheri Read (Tim).
Bill was born on May 8, 1943, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee — the same hospital where his father, grandfather and uncle helped establish the hospital’s landmark maternity ward. He attended Fox Point Grade School and Country Day High School, serving as a prefect and becoming a standout athlete in basketball, baseball and football. Bill graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965 with a degree in zoology. He married Alberta Statkus, his college sweetheart, in 1967. Bill graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1969 and served an internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, Colo.
The couple returned to Milwaukee in 1970 for Bill’s residency in otolaryngology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He joined his brother, Ronald, and Dr. Thomas Belson in private practice at the Moreland Ear Nose & Throat Group in Waukesha. “Dr. Bill,” as his associates and patients affectionately knew him, was a renowned surgeon and passionate about diagnosing and treating hearing problems in children early, knowing language development was critical to learning. He was loved by his patients for his caring bedside manner and maintained a busy practice until his passing.
Active in the Milwaukee community, Bill served on the Board of Directors for Penfield Children’s Center in Milwaukee, as a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, as a Zeit fellow at the Medical College, and also was involved in many other professional societies. Compassionate about serving everyone, Bill did pro bono work at St. Michael’s Hospital for Medicaid patients and the uninsured.
Bill firmly believed being a father was his most important responsibility, and his children feel blessed he was their Dad. The kindest person she knows, Liza also describes him as an “incredibly loving father, a gentle giant and always emotionally present, someone who truly lived in the moment.” For Will, his father was his “anchor and always there as a calm guiding light on the shore.”
Grandson Charlie (9) says “Pops” was “special, smart, easy going, a contributor, a great fisherman and a great pal.” Granddaughter Andie (8) speaks of him as a “great man, an awesome friend, loving person and a great grandpa.” Liam (3) loved his Pops because he was “happy and kind.” Friends commented on his generosity, compassion, thoughtfulness and patience. They noted Bill never had a negative word for anyone. One friend described Bill as a “gentle man and a gentleman.” His wife, Alberta, says she “won the lottery” when she met Bill and couldn’t have had a better man for her husband. Bill always supported her career and was a constant source of encouragement. “He was always optimistic and positive even during tremendously challenging times.”
Bill loved music and always kept up with the latest gadgets. He was passionate about traveling, seeing the world and experiencing different cultures, as well as an avid skier, cook, gardener, fisherman and golfer.
He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Appreciating every day, Bill lived his life with love and joy.
Funeral services will be private. A celebration of his life is scheduled for July 9.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Diabetes Research Institute would be appreciated. Please send donations in his memory to the “William Anthony Darling Fund,” c/o Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, 200 S. Park Road, Suite 100, Hollywood, FL 33201, or donate online at www.diabetesresearch.org. Bill lived with Type 1 diabetes for 45 years, so the greatest gift is to help find a cure.