AAPS, American Association of Plastic Surgeons
AAPS, American Association of Plastic Surgeons
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Willard D. Rowland, M.D.

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Willard D. Rowland, M.D.
1914 - 2016

Willard D. Rowland, M.D., a pioneer in Oregon plastic and reconstructive surgery, died at home in Lake Oswego on March 29, 2016, two weeks short of his 102nd birthday.

Dr. Rowland was born on April 15, 1914 in Greenville, Illinois, the son of Frank Taylor and Maybelle Anna Grigg Rowland. He attended elementary, high school and Greenville College there and then Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where after completing his undergraduate studies he attended medical school and earned his M.D. His surgical residency was as a Fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. During World War II his expertise helped to heal hundreds of marines and navy seamen in the burns and reconstructive surgery division of the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. Immediately after the war he helped open the plastic surgery unit at the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana, developing new emphases in children's reconstruction.

In the late 1940s Dr. Rowland moved to Portland, Oregon to establish one of the first plastic surgery practices in the Pacific Northwest where his work focused increasingly on children with congenital deformities, burns and automobile accident and other traumas. Over the years there he was associated with the Good Samaritan, St. Vincent's, Emanuel and Providence Hospitals, and he was instrumental in establishing and teaching at the plastic and reconstructive surgery unit at Oregon Health Sciences University.

In the mid-1960s he opened a second practice at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs, California, eventually moving there in the mid-1970s. While increasingly expanding his California practice, he continued to see patients in Portland and only retired in 1989 at the age of 75. Although by then living predominantly in Palm Springs, he never abandoned his ties to the Northwest, and for many years in retirement he spent summers in Portland. In the late 1990s he returned fulltime to Oregon, establishing residence at the Mary's Woods Retirement Community in Lake Oswego.

"Will," as he was widely known, had been an Eagle Scout at age 15, and was an outstanding student and eager reader.

He was married three times, first to Mary Saugrain Pettus , with whom he had five children, and later to Barbara Wagstaff and Elynda Knauft.

Dr. Rowland was an avid fisherman, skier, and traveler, and over the years he visited many parts of the country and globe, from the Arctic to Antarctica, from Europe to Asia. His passion for fly fishing took him and Elynda to every stream or lake they could reach around the world. He had been a devoted member of the former Meadow Lake Club at the headwaters of the Nestucca River, fished frequently on the Deschutes River and became a friend of dozens of fishermen and outdoors people throughout the Northwest. In retirement he was happiest when fishing at his beloved Lake Pennask Lodge in British Columbia.

Linda Phillips, M.D.

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