Sidney Hovey Wanzer, 93

April 2, 2023

Dr. Sidney Hovey Wanzer, 93, of Riverwoods in Exeter, NH and 50-year resident of Concord, MA, died March 28, 2023. Sidney was born in Charlotte NC, the son of the late Charles Tice and Ruth Hayden Wanzer. He leaves his wife, Anne, and sons Stephen (Polly), Charles (Lydia), and Timothy (Marcy), and his six grandchildren Lucy, Sam, Lyra, Cilla, Emily, and Sophie, as well as other family in the NC area.

Sidney was a graduate of Duke University and its medical school and did his residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1955 to 1957 and practiced internal medicine for 28 years in Concord, MA, and later at Harvard University Health Services.

One great interest for Sidney was end-of-life issues. He was the author of To Die Well (De Capo Press, 2007) and two seminal New England Journal of Medicine articles, the first in 1984, on the physician’s responsibility to the dying patient.

Dr. Wanzer was a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society and the AMA where he represented a progressive voice. He was a board member of the Society for The Right to Die and the head of the publications committee for the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. He was a founder of the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation which built a robotic telescope that is working to bring astronomy to Vermont schools and amateur astronomers.

“Pop” was a patriarch for many. He could always be counted on for compassionate conversation on matters of emotional and physical health, finances, and political discourse. He was a prolific writer, a caring mentor, and a kind man. He was a serious genealogist, and listened avidly to classical music. He waxed poetic at solemn occasions and frequently quoted his great grandfather ‘to love and never deceive’. His family misses him.

Services will be private. Concord’s Town Flag will fly at half-staff on April 2, 2023 in recognition of his honorable military service. 

At Sidney’s request and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Union of Concerned Scientists, 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge, MA, 02138.