Donald Reay, MD: May 14, 1937 – Nov.10, 2018

Reay

Reay

Dr. Donald Reay passed away at his home in Oak Harbor on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. He was 81.

Don was born May 14, 1937, in Rock Springs, Wyo., to Thomas and Mary Storey Reay. In his youth, his family moved to Price, Utah, where he attended local schools, but finished high school in Cañon City, Colo., at The Abbey School, run by Benedictine monks.

Following graduation, he attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in 1959. He entered medical school at the University of Utah and graduated in l963. He completed his internship at the University of Utah hospitals followed by a residency in pathology. After his residency, he completed a fellowship in forensic pathology sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic.

In 1968, he entered active military service with the U.S. Air Force and was assigned to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. He was a staff member at the AFIP until 1970, when he was then assigned to the Royal Air Force Institute of Pathology and Tropical Medicine in Buckinghamshire, England. In 1972, he returned to the United States, at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, and was the director of laboratories at the USAF Academy hospital. He left the service in 1973 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After separating from the service, he came to Seattle and took the position of deputy medical examiner for King County. In 1975, he became chief medical examiner and was in this position until his retirement in June 1999. While medical examiner, he also was a regular faculty member of the University of Washington, Department of Pathology, where he pursued his investigative interests in asphyxia and deaths in custody. He authored and co-authored some 50 publications relating to forensic pathology and death investigation. While medical examiner, he established a forensic pathology fellowship training program for pathologists affiliated with the University of Washington and gave lectures and national seminars in forensic pathology. He was on the editorial board of two forensic journals. He separated from the University of Washington as emeritus professor at the time of his retirement from King County. He also earned a master’s degree in public administration at Seattle University in 1978.

While in King County, Dr. Reay participated in a variety of regional and national organizations. In 1984, he was appointed to the Washington State Forensic Investigation Council by Gov. Booth Gardner and chaired the council until his retirement. He was past president of the Washington State Pathology Association, past president of the National Association of Medical Examiners and an active member of the American Academy of Forensic Science, the College of American Pathologists, Washington State Medical Society, King County Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Locally, he was past president of the Seattle First Hill Lion’s Club and a member of the Knights of Columbus in Oak Harbor.

Dr. Reay was actively involved in the Army Reserve during most of his medical career in Seattle. He was a member of the Army Reserve 50th General Hospital at Fort Lawton, where he was in charge of the hospital laboratory. In 1989, he became commander of the 6250th USAR Hospital in Tacoma. In 1990, his unit was activated for Desert Storm, and he was on active duty for four months supporting Madigan Army Medical Center. After completing this assignment, he was briefly commander of the 50th USAR General Hospital during its deactivation. He retired from the military in 1995 with the Legion of Merit citation.

Dr. Reay had a variety of interests including fishing and books. Throughout his life, he was interested in literature and philosophy and how things work. Following his retirement, he took classes in topics ranging from marine technology to New Testament history and interpretation.

He is survived by his wife of 55-plus years, Judith Reay (nee Pexton), an accomplished musician and artist; sons Brendon, Sean and Laurence; daughter Elise; and five grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, please extend your generosity in Don’s memory to St. Augustine Catholic Church, 185 N. Oak Harbor St., Oak Harbor, WA 98277, or your local food bank.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, at St. Augustine Catholic Church, Oak Harbor. A reception will follow in the parish hall.

Arrangements were entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor. To leave messages or condolences for the Reay family, please visit Don’s Book of Memories page on the funeral home website at www.wallinfuneralhome.com

More in Obituaries

Ackerman
Norma Ruth Ackerman: March 16, 1934 – Feb. 5, 2019

Norma Ackerman passed away peacefully in Coupeville on Feb. 5, 2019, at… Continue reading

Camelia Truan Gutierrez: Feb. 10, 1946 – Feb. 5, 2019

Camelia Truan Gutierrez, 72, of Oak Harbor, passed away at Skagit Valley… Continue reading

Mattson
Bruce D. Mattson: Oct. 3, 1921 – Jan. 26, 2019

Bruce Douglas Mattson, 97, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 26,… Continue reading

Joan Ruth Foster Little: Aug. 11, 1939 – Jan. 23, 2019

On Jan. 23, 2019, Joan Ruth Foster Little went home to join… Continue reading

Starcher
Gwen Starcher: 1926-2019

A member of the Coupeville community for over 40 years, Gwendolyn June… Continue reading

Cowger
Marilyn Louise Cowger: 1931 – 2019

Dr. Marilyn Louise Cowger, age 87, passed away peacefully at her home… Continue reading

Downing
Dinah ‘Joan’ Downing: Sept. 4, 1944 – Dec. 29, 2018

Joan was born on Sept. 4, 1944 to Alice and Joe Taylor… Continue reading

Walker
Edwin Charles Walker: Oct. 18, 1949 – Jan. 20, 2019

Edwin Charles Walker, beloved husband, father, brother and friend to many, passed… Continue reading

Gabelein
Marilyn Elise (Fjeld) Gabelein: June 12, 1946 – Jan. 27, 2019

Marilyn Elise (Fjeld) Gabelein was born in Minot, N.D., on June 12,… Continue reading

Most Read