David W. Doner, Jr. M.D

Date of Birth

July 25, 1939

Date of Death

October 13, 2020

David W. Diner jr. M.D. died unexpectedly in the early hours of October 13, 2020 at the age of 81. He had been living in his home of 36 years in Santa Barbara. He went to the hospital via ambulance on October 12, 2020. His cause of death was listed as Pulmonary Embolism. Preceding David in death are his Mother and Father, his dear sister Gaye Diana Doner Tudanger and her beloved husband Harvey S Doner Tudanger.

David was born and placed into his Mothers arms on July 25 1939 in Jackson Michigan. David’s mother was Dorothy Williams Doner, an Artist and Homemaker. His father was David W Doner Sr. a life-long Goodyear Tire and Rubber Personal Manager who rose to international rank for the company. Rounding out the family, at the time of his birth, was David’s big sister Joy Pamela age 4. A younger sister Gaye Diana was born 8 years later. David remained a devoted and loving son and brother to both of his parents and sisters.

David grew up in Ohio, living in Cuyahoga Falls and Chillicothe. After High School, he enlisted in the United States Army and completed officers training and was certified in artillery for active duty. He continued his service to our country in the reserves while pursuing his education and journey to becoming a physician. He attended both Ohio State University and its College of Medicine where he graduated cum laude. Dr Doner completed his residency in internal medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester in New York, and a fellowship in Nephrology at Boston University before joining the staff at Boston VA Hospital. After his time at Boston VA he spent 10 months traveling the world and meditating in Switzerland before moving to Santa Barbara in 1978. This is where he established his private Internal Medicine and Nephrology practice near Cottage Hospital. During this time Dr. Doner was also an associate clinical director of medicine at USC.

He, along with his nephrology colleagues, started the Santa Barbara Artificial Kidney Center first at Cottage hospital then on upper State Street and finely opened the Lompoc Artificial Kidney Center in Lompoc where he was clinical director.

Dr. Doner always enjoyed teaching. He was a strong proponent of education and in that interest he established Scholarships funds at Santa Barbara City College in the area of Biological Sciences and the School of nursing. He and his sister Joy Doner Mazzeo also set up a scholarship together at SBCC for students with learning challenges.

While in Private practice Dr Doner would each year reserve the largest picnic site at Tucker’s Grove, throw a patient appreciation party and invite all of his patients and staff. His family and close friends would BBQ and plan games and prizes for an afternoon of family fun. There was never a rush to leave the get together. This tradition reflected the loving, caring side of Dr. Doner that shone through as he engaged with all who attended and all of the activities. It was no wonder some of his Patients remained life-long friends. David held dear many friends and patients over the years and considered most of them like family.

David first married in medical school and a second time years later. David married his third wife Lillian Ayers Diner in early 1983 and was thrilled to become a dad when Lilli gave birth to Ivy Elizabeth and 3 years later to David “Austin”. They divorced in 2001 and continued to raise their children together.

Dr Doner retired in 2010, and loved to travel, he also enjoyed Music, dancing, walking, and meditation and was always ready to celebrate a special occasion with his family and friends or to help in the care of his loved ones when called upon.

David had been affected by frontal lobe dementia for his last years. His death was not related to the C vide19 pandemic. The last few years were challenging for David for someone who had always been active and loved to be around people. David enjoyed tennis lessons, piano lessons, lunch and dinner dates with his dearest friends and family and workouts at the gym and The Unity Church for Choir practice and services as long as he was able and until the Quarantine made it difficult to impossible for David to continue his activities.

He never hesitated to reach out and engage with folk’s wherever he was. He left a hole in many circles and will be missed by so many that we couldn’t begin to list everyone but we hope you know that you enriched his life as he tried to enrich yours.

David is survived by:
His lovely and devoted older sister Joy Doner Mazzeo who, years ago,
relocated to Santa Barbara from Florida to be closer to family.
His talented and intelligent children, daughter Ivy Elizabeth Doner, son
David “Austin” Doner and their mom Lilli Ayers Doner, each of whom have their own memories of a guy larger than life.
Aria Tudagner always a much-adored niece, with whom he shared a birth date as well as fun and playful relationship, along with her cherished son Ember Ward
His first cousin, Barbara Steffen, so much like a dear sister.
His dear companion and travel partner for many years Margaret Kenney and her daughter April.
His loyal and honorary Brothers and their families:
Paul Erlich, Bruce Gladstone, Alan Tomashesky, Steve Marasciullo.

Derrick Thompson, from Senior Planning Services, was God sent when he moved in, October 2018 to watch over and take care of David right up to the end of his life.

As outside activities became less available due to quarantine and David’s cognitive challenges and increasing physical weakness progressed Derrick gave David a sense of security to remain in his own home. This was a true and real comfort for David, his children and all of his loved ones. The “Doc’s” family sincerely thanks you, Derrick.

As we are unable to get together at this time a memorial in the future is to be determined.


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