Ezekiel Hunter "Dooner" Wilson Jr., a retired Baltimore internist whose career spanned more than four decades, died of congestive heart failure Monday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 88.
"Dooner was a very accomplished person," said retired Baltimore urologist Dr. Earl P. Galleher, who became acquainted with Dr. Wilson when the two 17-year-olds were being interviewed for scholarships to Princeton University. "And he was extremely highly regarded as a physician."
The son of E. Hunter Wilson, a businessman, and Shirley Skinner Wilson, a homemaker, Ezekiel Hunter Wilson Jr. was born and raised at a home near the Choptank River in Cambridge. He graduated from Cambridge High School in 1944.
Dr. Wilson, who did not use his first name, began his college studies at Princeton and then was drafted into the Navy in 1945. He spent a year of active duty aboard the USS Prairie, a destroyer tender, before being discharged in 1946.
Dr. Wilson then returned to Princeton, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1949.
He entered the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, from which he earned his medical degree in 1953. After completing an internship at Philadelphia General Hospital, he returned to Hopkins for his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology directed by Dr. Samuel Asper.
Dr. Robert B. Welch, a retired Baltimore ophthalmologist, was Dr. Wilson's roommate at Princeton and later at Hopkins.
"We always called him 'Dooner,' which was a name given to him by his sister who when she was little couldn't say 'junior,'" said Dr. Welch, who remained a lifelong friend.
Dr. Wilson established a practice in an office in the Medical Arts Building on Read Street. He later moved to an office on University Parkway and at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where he was working at the time of his retirement in 2001.
He was also an attending physician at Keswick Multi-Care Center in Roland Park for 30 years.
"He was an excellent physician and internist, and so caring. He looked after his patients and always had a friendly smile on his face, which made his patients feel well. It was one of his gifts and they loved him," said Dr. Welch, who lives in Annapolis and Baltimore. "He really had an excellent career."
"He really was a very accomplished person, an outstanding doctor and a superb diagnostician," said Dr. Galleher. "He had a huge practice. ... He was very good and kind to his patients and was much loved by them."
Shortly before his retirement, an endowed fund was established at GBMC, known as the Hunter Wilson Jr. M.D. Lecture in Internal Medicine. The fund's purpose is to provide continuing education to GBMC physicians and bring distinguished physicians to an annual lecture.
Dr. Wilson enjoyed playing the piano, listening to classical music and singing at parties as a member of a quartet of other physicians. He also liked to write and published two novels, "In My Father's House" in 1992 and "The Gemini Mutation" in 2008.
"'In My Father's House' was about Hopkins and based on people in our class and some of our teachers, who were not named," said Dr. Galleher. "Dooner also wrote poetry."
"It seems as though I've known him all of my life. He was my doctor and we played lots of interclub tennis at the Elkridge Club, and I can tell you he played to win," said David W. Barton Jr. of Roland Park, a retired businessman and former chairman of the Baltimore City Planning Commission.
"He was an absolutely wonderful man who'd do anything for anybody. He was a good spirit who never gave up," said Mr. Barton.
The Cross Keys resident was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday.
In addition to his wife, Dr. Wilson is survived by two daughters, Louisa Murphy of Baltimore and Emily Murphy of Worton; a stepson, Colston Young of San Francisco; two stepdaughters, Charlotte Harvey of New York City and Eleanor Hartman of Germany; and three grandchildren. An earlier marriage to the former Anna O'Donovan ended in divorce.