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Dr. Bernard D. Wakefield, 86, internist and company physician

Sept. 20, 1931 – Jan. 1, 2018

Dr. Bernard Dick Wakefield, a retired internist and company physician, died unexpectedly Jan. 1 while visiting family in Hartford, Conn. He was 86.

Born in Buffalo, he grew up in Kenmore, the son of an oral surgeon for whom the University at Buffalo Oral Surgery Clinic is named.

He was a 1948 graduate of Nichols School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1953. He completed UB Medical School in 1957 and served his internship and residency at Millard Fillmore Hospital.

Dr. Wakefield began a private practice in Amherst, which he maintained for 18 years. At the same time, he was an adjunct professor at the UB Medical School, served at UB’s University Health Services clinic from 1962 to 1972 and was co-director of outpatient services at Millard Fillmore Hospital from 1970 to 1976.

He went on to serve as assistant director of the family practice residency program at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. At Millard Fillmore Hospital, he helped open the skilled nursing facility in 1983 and served as its medical director.

He also was a consultant for Arcata Graphics, corporate medical director for Carborundum Corp. and plant medical director for Occidental Chemical Corp.

He retired in 1997 after working for several years in the Health Care Regulations division of the State Office of Health System Management.

Known to everyone by his middle name, he volunteered to help build and renovate houses for Habitat for Humanity for 15 years. He also assisted in painting and other restoration efforts at Shea’s Performing Arts Center for 16 years.

A resident of Niagara Falls and Grand Island before moving to the Town of Tonawanda seven years ago, he and his longtime partner, Cecelia M. Kohlmeier, toured New Zealand, the Alps and the western United States and Canada by motorcycle.

Survivors also include two sons, Brian and Keith; two daughters, Tracy Cross and Shelly; and three grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held at 1 p.m. March 10 in the Garrett Club, 91 Cleveland Ave.

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