June 22, 2020

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In Memoriam: Dr. David G. Watson

Dr. David Goulding Watson, the fourth member of the pediatric department at UMMC and the state’s lone pediatric cardiologist for more than a decade, died June 14. He was 91.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Aileen “Aili” Ingrid Watson, who died June 10 at age 87.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Dr. Watson graduated from the University of Toronto Schools in 1946 and attended the Banff School of Fine Art in 1947. He then entered the University of Toronto and earned his M.D. in 1952. He did a rotating internship and a year of pediatrics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Portrait of David G. Watson

During the remainder of his residency, his training included specialization in pediatric pathology at Children’s Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, and in pediatric cardiology at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, Minneapolis. He completed his pediatric cardiology fellowship training in Toronto.

In 1959, he was recruited to UMMC’s pediatric department by Dr. Blair E. Batson and became the lone pediatric cardiologist in Mississippi until the early 1970s. In 1972, he did a National Institutes of Health fellowship in Cardiovascular Radiology at the University of Florida. After visiting the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, to learn about pediatric rhythm problems in 1982, he played an instrumental role in acquiring a Ronald McDonald House at UMMC, which ultimately opened in 1989.

Dr. Watson served as governor of the Mississippi Chapter of the American College of Cardiology from 1978-80 and as chairman of the Mississippi American Academy of Pediatrics from 1981-84. He retired from UMMC in 1993 as a professor emeritus. He was inducted into the University of Mississippi Medical Alumni Chapter Hall of Fame in 2016.

The family will gather for a celebration of life service in Toronto at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Capital Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi or the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mississippi.