Dr. William Edmund Lassiter passed away in Chapel Hill on Saturday, May 11, at the age of 85. He rejoins his loving wife of 55 years, Diane Irving Lassiter, who departed this world two years ago in May and whom he sorely missed. He is survived by his four children, Bill (Mathews), Susan (Lillington), David (Key West), and John and his wife Tina (Austin), and seven grandchildren, and by his two sisters, Anne (Chapel Hill) and Sarah (Atlanta). He was born in Wilmington, NC on July 21, 1927 to Leroy Irving Lassiter and Anne Elizabeth Cummings Lassiter.
He had a life-long interest in science. His curiosity and love of learning would lead him to Harvard University on a full academic scholarship, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1950. He chose a career in medicine, and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1954. During his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital he met his future wife, Diane, who was a registered nurse at the hospital (she taught him to draw blood). He joined the UNC School of Medicine in 1958, first as a fellow and later as a professor, and was one of the founders of the UNC Nephrology Department. He was a pioneer in the treatment of kidney disease and kidney transplant patients, and his contributions to this field have improved the lives of countless individuals.
After spending his professional career helping others as a doctor, he continued to reach out to those in need in his retirement. He was a volunteer at the Chatham County food bank, Meals on Wheels, and UNC-TV, and was active in many community organizations at Carolina Meadows Retirement Community, where he resided. He was a loving, loyal, and caring physician, husband, father, grandfather, and brother, and he will remain forever in our hearts.
A memorial service will be held at The Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, NC at 1 pm on Monday, May 20. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to any charity of choice.