William R. McWhirter, MD, 85, of Hempfield Township, Greenville, passed away Monday, April 30, 2018.

He was born in Mercer on May 9, 1932, the fourth of four children to John Herman and Blanche Rebecca McWhirter.

He was a 1950 graduate of Mercer High School, a 1954 graduate of Grove City College, BS Chemistry and Biology, and a 1958 graduate of Temple University School of Medicine.  He interned at McKeesport Hospital, McKeesport, PA and served 2 years as U.S. Army medical officer, 101st airborne division, 1959-1961.  He was a general surgery resident and an orthopedic resident at the University of Pittsburgh from 1961-1965.  He followed that with a Fellowship at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Downey, CA in chronic disease and rehabilitation.

William was in private surgery practice in Escondido, CA from 1966-1967 and in Greenville from 1967-2004.  He was in private office practice at Desert Orthopedic Hospital, Rancho Mirage, CA from 2004-2006.

William married the love of his life, Donna Rae Cozad of Mercer, on December 30, 1957.  His interests, in addition to orthopedic surgery, were family, traveling, art, movies, humor, and Pitt and Steeler football.  For 37 years he was a member of Senior Staff at Greenville Regional Hospital and served on numerous committee chairmanships, including Chief of Staff and Chief of Department of Surgery.

He was elected to the inaugural Mercer High School Academia Hall of Fame.

William is proceeded in death by his wife Donna, his sister Mary Lois Grantham, his brother James Herman McWhirter, and his sister Ruth Rebecca Walmer.  He is survived by his daughter, Cynthia Hughes and her husband, Brian, of Houston, Texas; his son, David McWhirter of Los Angeles, Calif.; and grandchildren Alexandra, Blake, and Patrick Hughes.

The family would like to thank Lovina Swartzentruber, Chuck Stafford, the Joshua Lentz family, the staff of St. Paul’s Home and Southern Care, and all their friends for their wonderful love and support.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to St. Paul’s, 339 E. Jamestown Road, Greenville, PA 16125 or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, June 16, 2018 in First Presbyterian Church, Greenville, with Rev. David A. Dobi, Pastor of the church ,officiating.

Greenville VFW Post # 3374 will render military honors at the conclusion of the service. Family will receive friends immediately following the service in Calvin Hall of the church. Inurnment  of cremains will be in Findley Cemetery, Mercer, PA.



  1. Bob & Rene McIntire Bob & Rene McIntire
    May 5, 2018    

    Our deepest sympathy on the loss of your father and grandfather. We have many fond memories of Bill.

  2. Robert Grisetti Robert Grisetti
    May 6, 2018    

    My deepest sympathy. Your dad was my doctor back in my younger days. Always treated my good. Sorry for your loss.

  3. Robert Grisetti Robert Grisetti
    May 6, 2018    

    My deepest sympathy. Your dad was my doctor back in my younger days. Always treated me good. Sorry for your loss.

  4. Nancy Elizabeth McElree Nancy Elizabeth McElree
    May 7, 2018    

    How very heartbreaking it is to lose your dad of ALL dads !! This being my time of year to spend a few days with my mom, I was very much looking forward to visiting your dad, as well, along with my exceptionally well-tempered, black chow to brighten his day. It grieved me, tho with each report my mom gave me of his failing health. With that in mind, I believe it is just as well that your mom so quickly called him home to be with her. I know they are, and always will be with you all in spirit….
    Cynthia, remember back in Junior High, upon YOUR suggestion when with my permission, a-s a joke I consented to your telling your dad that my family was moving to England ?? How I wish I had remembered in later years to humor him about his recollection of that !! I know for a fact, that he shared your info with my dad !! How I do so cherish my memories of his and my chats !!! He was truly a man of honor, and integrity….. Tho, I heard rumors of other older men I was infatuated with, NEVER did I EVER hear a negative word about YOUR dad !!! He was a genuinely beautiful man in EVERY way !!! I very much look forward to seeing you, next month !! Your Friend, Always, Nancy McElree

  5. Dean A. Walker Dean A. Walker
    May 10, 2018    

    Dr. William McWhirter was a kind, straightforward and skilled surgeon of whom I am reminded every time I look at either knee! I enjoyed talking football with him upon occasion and remember fondly a dinner in Palo Alto, CA that we once shared as David was investigating colleges. I trusted him with my knees and he once trusted me to transport his son to LA in my 1965 Chevy Impala SS! He was a fine man that gave so much to the Greenville area. He will be missed, but never forgotten. I celebrate a life that was well lived as evidenced by the many people who loved and cared for him.

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