Dr. David Nichols ’70, a physician dedicated to the care of the 600 people who live on the remote Tangier Island, passed away on Dec. 30 after a battle with cancer. Every Thursday for the past 31 years, Nichols piloted a helicopter from White Stone, Va. to the island in Chesapeake Bay to attend to patients young and old. Just four months ago, a state of the art medical clinic was dedicated in Nichols’ honor. The David B. Nichols Health Center replaced a 50-year-old clinic that served as the island’s only medical center.
In October 2010, Nichols was awarded the Hobart and William Smith Community Service Award for his selfless giving to the people of Tangier. For more information about the award and Nichols’ service, visit http://www2.hws.edu/article-id-13513.
While at Hobart, Nichols majored in biology, and went on to graduate from McGill University School of Medicine in Montreal, Canada. In 1979, he began the White Stone Family Practice in White Stone, Va.
In 2006, Nichols was named Country Doctor of the Year, an honor bestowed on those who exemplify the spirit, skill and dedication of America’s rural practitioners. Nichols was featured on NPR, and was named ABC Person of the Week in January 2007.
In October 2010, Nichols was also featured on the “Making a Difference” program of NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/ns/nightly_news/#39768836
A private family funeral service was held on Tangier Island. A public celebration of his life will be held at a date to be determined this spring. In lieu of flowers, Nichols requested that memorial gifts be made to the Tangier Island Health Foundation, Box 788, Irvington, Va. 22480.
Pictured above are: Louise Nichols, Dr. David Nichols ’70, Trustee Gail Herman Mcginn ’73 and Arch Kingsley ’50.